Sant Joan de Déu participates in the new Barcelona Medical Photonics Network

Eight prominent health institutions in the Barcelona area, their research institutes and ICFO join forces through the creation of a network to bring cutting-edge photonic technologies to hospitals.

As the saying goes, "it takes a village to raise a child". It is equally true that it takes close interdisciplinary R+D collaborations to bring children into the world, detecting, understanding, monitoring, and treating health issues they may develop throughout their journey to old age.

The Barcelona Medical Photonics Network promotes the research and development activities carried out in and around Barcelona through long-standing collaborations between ICFO and its numerous clinical partners, like Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu.

Because of its exceptional versatility, precision, and non-invasive nature, photonics is playing an increasing role in medical techniques and practices, to the extent that today it is considered a key enabling technology in developing healthcare in Europe. Researchers at ICFO have extensive expertise in the development of photonic-based technologies for clinical use, in collaboration with doctors around the world, and especially in the Barcelona area.

Successful 'bench-to-bedside' translation of new technologies require the collaborative efforts of experts in different fields, ensuring that research around medical technologies is continuously aligned with the needs of citizens and society at large. After over a decade of close collaboration with hospitals and health care specialists in the Barcelona area, the formalization of the Barcelona Medical Photonics network enables the solidification and expansion of the reach, scope and impact of these critical relationships.

Light for Health

This network is part of the Light for Health program at ICFO, an initiative that was launched and took root thanks to the impetus of the Cellex Foundation, and continued to grow through the continuous support from the "La Caixa" Foundation, Barcelona City Council, as well as state and European funds.

“The 'Light for Health' program at ICFO' has been working for years to build the trust, understanding and types of productive relationships with doctors and clinical and biomedical researchers that we are consolidating today with the Barcelona Medical Photonics Network. Their knowledge of the patient's needs, and their motivation to work with interdisciplinary partners to meet those needs, are the central pieces of this puzzle, without which new technologies would have no hope of saving lives”. Emphasizes Ariadna Martinez, coordinator of the Light for Health Program at ICFO.

The Network aims to have an impact on society at many levels:

  • Sharing and contrasting of best practices for technology use, adoption and dissemination of results amongst care centers.
  • A formal structure that will allow for increased focus on a wide-range of patient scenarios that ultimately improves patient outcomes.
  • Flexibility to participate as a block in international initiatives and projects, primarily from the European Union, to expand the common research goals of the network partners.
  • Preparedness for engagement in emergencies, such as COVID, to rapidly and effectively test new technologies to meet emerging requirement for critical patient care.
  • An expanded range of data points from around Catalonia (age, geography, pathologies) for testing technologies providing reliable and insightful analysis.

The main established joint endeavors to date have spanned initiatives in disciplines such as neurology and neurosurgery, neonatal care, ophthalmology, oncology, intensive care monitoring, dermatology, rapid clinical analysis, rehabilitation, sports medicine, wellbeing, sleep disorders and anesthesiology, among others.

Sant Joan de Déu takes part in Barcelona Medical Photonics Network

Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu takes part in Barcelona Medical Photonics Network through the participation of research staff: Dr. Marta Camprubí, Dr. Joan Sánchez de Toledo and Dr. Cecilia Jiménez. The three researchers are part of the JointLab ICFO-SJD project.

The application of advanced microscopy and analysis techniques is a qualitative leap forward for biomedical research as they provide a more detailed and accurate view of cells and molecules as well as a tool to measure the effectiveness of new advanced therapies that we are developing, facilitating their implementation for the benefit of children suffering from incurable diseases today.” Say Dr. Cecilia Jiménez, group leader “Applied research in neuromuscular diseases

The partner institutions initially participating in this network include:

  • ICFO,
  • La Fundació Institut de Recerca de l'Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau,
  • l'Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica Sant Pau, L'Hospital Clínic de Barcelona,
  • L'Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS),
  • L'Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, L'Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebrón,
  • El Vall d'Hebrón Institut de Recerca (VHIR),
  • L'Institut d'Investigació Oncològica de Vall d'Hebrón (VHIO),
  • L'Institut d'Investigació i Innovació Parc Taulí,
  • Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP),
  • El Parc Sanitari Pere Virgili,
  • La Fundació Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM).

Medicine, medical research and photonic science unite to prioritize the health and well-being patients of all ages and all areas of society.