High Precision Diagnostic Center
The Hospital of Bellvitge has the first PET/MR care of public health in Spain
The Bellvitge University Hospital has a High Precision Diagnostic Center with the installation of equipment that integrates positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) into a single examination, these are the most advanced imaging tools in today’s healthcare practice. The PET/MRI, which integrates anatomical, functional, and molecular information, is the first healthcare equipment in the Spain’s public network. The implementation of the equipment has been possible due to the philanthropic collaboration of the Daniel Bravo Andreu Private Foundation, turning the Bellvitge Hospital into a reference centre for southern Europe in the use of PET/MR equipment.
The advantages offered by a PET/MR equipment are multiple: it increases patient safety by reducing the radiation received by up to 60% in relation to a PET/CT device (positron emission tomography and computed tomography), improves precision diagnosis – which allows the most appropriate treatment to be selected – and reduces the number of tests and the consequent travel and time to address the disease. For all these reasons, these devices are also especially indicated for the diagnosis and monitoring of paediatric pathologies.
The diagnostic applications of PET/MR reach very diverse specialties: the detection of prostate and gynaecological cancers, oncoendocrinology, liver and brain tumor pathologies, breast, head and neck and colorectal cancers, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, cardiac dysfunctions, inflammatory diseases and other rare diseases.
Once the philanthropic donation from the Daniel Bravo Andreu Private Foundation was installed, the PET/MR team began the examinations mainly with patients from the Bellvitge Hospital itself, in January 2023. The start of the activity allowed HUB to review, organize and establish the best protocols assistance to offer this advanced technology to all citizens of Catalonia through a single list for both adults and children.
The patient experience at the centre
With the help of the Daniel Bravo Andreu Private Foundation, the High Precision Diagnostic Center has been planned and developed according to a model that takes the patient’s experience as its backbone. This model considers that excellent care must not only consist of the most advanced equipment and good professional skills, but must also guarantee that the patient feels comfortable, well informed and well-treated throughout the entire process. The possibility for boys and girls to monitor their pathology in a Hospital without paediatrics such as Bellvitge, has further promoted the involvement of users in the design of the new space and the patient circuits, working with specialists in humanization of spaces. Among the results of this task is the incorporation of ambient elements in the design of the Centre that connect it with the Llobregat Delta, the natural and industrial space closest to the hospital.
Research and teaching in Precision Diagnostics
With the collaboration of the Daniel Bravo Andreu Private Foundation, the new High Precision Diagnostic Center at the Bellvitge University Hospital will facilitate the development of new research and teaching projects at the hospital and academic level. The project contemplates the incorporation of a researcher to promote and consolidate research in Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging at the Hospital. Likewise, new training in Precision Diagnostic Medicine will be created with the involvement of the University of Barcelona.