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A Computational Answer to the Soaring MRI demand

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The steady growing demand for MRI scans is leading to unsustainable financial, human and operational costs, mainly caused by the typically long exam times. MR-STAT is a fundamentally new paradigm in MRI, which delivers multiple quantitative MR parameters in a single scan of just 5 minutes. The technology can be applied to existing MRI scanners increasing overall capacity while examinations become faster, more standardized, and comfortable. Although current pilot implementations of MR-STAT deliver usable quantitative data with a 5 minute scan, the processing step takes about 1-3 hours of computing time, thereby hampering its clinical implementation. This project aims at dramatically reducing the computing times to within 1 minute. To achieve this, scientists from the UMC Utrecht, CWI, Philips and eScience Center will create a highly-efficient distributed GPU implementation that parallelizes the computations across a GPU cluster. We will develop an open-source library using low-level GPU computing languages to provide highly-optimized GPU kernels for the basic building blocks of the MR-STAT reconstruction. By defining a high-level interface in Python and Julia, we will ensure it will be easy for researchers and students from a broader community to use the MR-STAT toolbox. This computing infrastructure will be tested in the UMCU radiology department at the end of this project. The resulting increased patient throughput will allow to meet the challenges of increased demand for MRI scans in the future. Furthermore, this project will represent an important ground of scientific exploration for the application of large-scale numerical methods in real-world scenarios.

Participating organisations

University Medical Center Utrecht
Netherlands eScience Center
Life Sciences
Life Sciences



Alessandro Sbrizzi
Lead Applicant
Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht
Tristan van Leeuwen
Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica
Nico van den Berg
UMC Utrecht
Ben van Werkhoven
Ben van Werkhoven
Netherlands eScience Center
Stijn Heldens
Stijn Heldens
Research Software Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center

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