Significant funding for the development of a new mobile dental and head imaging method

A consortium led by the University of Oulu covering the entire value chain of imaging has received more than €5 million in funding for a project that develops a tomographic imaging system utilising edge computing and X-ray radiation.
Picture: Satu Ylimaula

The three-year project “TOMOHEAD - Mobile cone-beam computed tomography of the head” funded by Business Finland aims to develop a new cost-effective mobile cone-beam computed tomography concept enabled by distributed computing and diagnostics utilising advanced X-ray detectors, artificial intelligence and distributed edge-cloud computing. The project involves a consortium covering the entire value chain of imaging: research groups from the Universities of Oulu and Helsinki studying imaging techniques and the related data processing and transfer, an imaging equipment manufacturer, a developer of X-ray detection technologies, companies developing artificial intelligence algorithms and computing and communication technologies, as well as product end-users.

The main research goal of the project is to improve the image quality of cone-beam computed tomography and to increase its calculation efficiency. With the rapid development of imaging equipment, artificial intelligence and edge cloud computing, heavy local computing units are no longer practical. Cone-beam computed tomography was selected as the imaging technique because of its small size, cost-effectiveness, spatial resolution and potential to reduce radiation dose.

In terms of research, the project is challenging, and the new information and expertise gained from it can be widely applied and utilised in companies’ own development work, improving their international competitiveness. The project strengthens the national and international cooperation network, generates new expertise for the Finnish business sector and improves the operational capabilities of social and health care.

The project will be carried out under the leadership of Professor Miika Nieminen from the Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology, University of Oulu. Academic project partners include Assistant Professor Erkki Harjula from the University of Oulu Centre for Wireless Communications whose group focuses on the wireless system level architectures for future healthcare, and the research group of Samuli Siltanen, Professor of Industrial Mathematics at the University of Helsinki, which is part of the Centre of Excellence of Inverse Modelling and Imaging.

The project is funded as part of the Nokia Competitive Edge programme. Corporate parties receiving funding through the project are Planmeca Oy and Detection Technology Oyj. The project also includes Nvidia Corp, MVision AI Oy, Disior Oy, Techila Technologies Oy as well as the Wellbeing Services County of North Ostrobothnia. The total budget for the project is approximately €5.4 million. The share of public funding in the budget is roughly €3 million, of which Business Finland provides some €2.6 million for the consortium.

Last updated: 20.1.2023