Birth of the Barcelona Medical Photonics Network

The network was presented on Thursday, 18 February 2021. The network is promoted by the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and groups several hospitals and research centers, including Hospital Clínic and IDIBAPS.

Photonics is playing an increasingly important role in different medical techniques and practices, including noninvasive diagnostics, advanced imaging, and therapies.

The mission of the Barcelona Medical Photonics Network  (BMP Network) is to promote research and development activity in photonics carried out in the Barcelona region through long-term collaboration between the ICFO and its biomedical and clinical partners. Hospital Clínic and IDIBAPS take part in several of the network’s projects:

Helping physicians to improve management of COVID-19 patients
The goal of the projects HEMOCOVID-19 and VASCOVID is to introduce and clinically test a real-time, portable, noninvasive microvascular-health surveillance platform for stratifying COVID-19 patients based on their need for aggressive respiratory therapy and for early prognosis of potential unexpected deterioration of their respiratory status.

Device combining laser and ultrasound for characterizing thyroid nodules
LUCA is a four-year project that deals with a growing social need: by creating a new, low-cost device for screening thyroid nodules, LUCA makes sustainable health care possible. The device will combine two photonic systems: near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and time-resolved spectroscopy. The two systems are integrated in an ultrasound system and a sensor that makes it possible to acquire multimodal data for screening thyroid nodules.

Real-time noninvasive brain monitoring and early rehabilitation interventions guided by blood-flow evaluation
Diffuse optical imaging technology provides a new opportunity for noninvasive, real-time, bedside evaluation of key biomarkers in brain function, including cerebral blood flow, with the aim of providing early prediction of treatment response, thus leading to better decisions and clinical outcomes.