In the last seminar we had as a guest Ignacio Larrabide, Systems Engineer and coordinator of Yatiris, a research group focused on the development of image quantification and simulation techniques in medicine. Ignacio told us about the projects they are currently working on and we discussed the transition from laboratory projects to clinical practice.

You were working on your post-doc in Europe. How would you place Argentina in relation to Europe in terms of technological/academic advances in the health area?

In my opinion, the advances and technical capacities of the research groups in Argentina are not inferior to those of the research groups I had the opportunity to meet in Europe. Perhaps the advantage in Europe is the proximity to medical centers, since research groups are generally located within the hospital. This favors the contact and relationship with the doctors, but there is no substantial difference in terms of training or skills of the team members. The really big and obvious difference between both places is the institutional maturity and vision, which allows for faster and more solid progress in the innovations that take place within the research groups and the Universities. Additionally, the funding structure for new projects and/or start-ups with potential is widely developed. In this way, the incentives and motivations for young researchers and entrepreneurs in the area allow a large number of ideas that are born within the laboratory to take the step towards industry.

Yatiris is working with several academic researches in the health area. Which are those projects that have gone beyond the academic field to be used in the clinic?

The most advanced is an application for treatment planning of brain aneurysms with flow-diverting stents. This software allows you to choose the device that best suits the needs of the patient’s treatment according to the criteria used by the doctor. Another example is an ultrasound simulator, another project that is quite advanced in its use in clinical practice, not for diagnosis, but for teaching and practice of ultrasound image acquisition.