Servicio Madrileño de Salud

Servicio Madrileño de Salud (SERMAS) is the administrative and management structure that integrates every public hospital and other public health services of the Madrid Regional Health System in Spain. One of its largest hospitals is the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital (RyCUH), a 1,000 bed institution founded in 1977. The RyCUH provides comprehensive health care in all medical and surgical specialties, and it has an established research institute named Ramón y Cajal Health Research Institute (IRYCIS). The IRYCIS encompasses basic, translational and clinical research departments, with all the required infrastructures to perform phase I to IV clinical trials, including full laboratory and imaging equipment and an Ethical Committee. The IRYCIS ranks first in Madrid and third in Spain in biomedical research production, working in partnership with more than 50 leading international centres.

According to the last scientific report available (2021), the IRYCIS relies on over 1,100 people performing research, with more than 1,400 active research projects, over 100 innovation projects, 27 patent families, 1,311 scientific publications and 65 courses and events.

IRYCIS comprises 42 research groups structured in 6 priority research areas:

– Neuroscience, sense organs and mental health: 10 research groups

– Microbiology, immunology and infection: 4 research groups

– Cancer: 5 research groups

– Tools for advanced medicine: 7 research groups

– Chronic pathologies and surgery research: 12 research groups

– Epidemiology, public health and healthcare: 4 research groups

IRYCIS also counts on many associated clinical researchers who develop translational and clinical research as well as innovation in multiple departments such as pathology, bioelectromagnetics, pharmacy, haematology, intensive care and radiology, among others.

The Radiology Department at the RyCUH performs a large number of imaging tests (approximately 400,000 per year), and has over 250 employees. It provides diagnostic and therapeutic support to patients of all medical and surgical specialties, and it is equipped with 5 CT scanners (including a Spectral CT scanner) and 4 MRI scanners (including a 3.0T MRI scanner). In addition to having state-of-the-art equipment, the Radiology Department has an extensive R&D activity and a strong commitment to scientific and technological progress. The Department integrates a Biomedical Imaging Research Unit and collaborates closely with numerous universities and technology companies in research and innovation projects. Its R&D activity is strongly oriented towards strategic objectives such as personalized medicine or early detection, especially through the use of artificial intelligence and radiomics. The department’s research activity in cancer stands out, both through clinical trials and publicly funded projects. 

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Role of institution in the project

The SERMAS team is mainly involved in WP2 and WP7. Within WP2, the team’s work focuses on providing insight, as a clinical partner, on the key aspects to foster the enrolment of health data providers, as well as facilitating their participation and engagement in the project. In WP7, the team collaborates in the design and implementation of a set of scientifically relevant use cases, especially aimed at developing precision medicine and early detection tools through the use of artificial intelligence and radiomics, in order to demonstrate and validate the usability of the EUCAIM platform.

Javier Blázquez Sánchez

Javier Blázquez Sánchez, MD, is Head of the Radiology Department both at the RyCUH in Madrid (since 2011) and at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre Madrid (since 2006). As a subspecialist in Vascular and Interventional Radiology, he is Director of the Interventional Unit of the San Francisco de Asís Hospital (since 1999), as well as a full member of the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE). He has also been President and Vice-president of the Spanish Society of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (SERVEI) and was Head of the Vascular and Interventional Radiology Unit of the Quirónsalud Sur Hospital in Alcorcón (from 2003 to 2006). Dr. Blázquez Sánchez has an extensive research career and promotes both clinical and technology research, undertaking multiple research projects which include various competitive public funding projects, as well as numerous clinical trials. Additionally, he has engaged in multiple collaborations with other research centres, universities, and private companies in the field of engineering and technology, which have resulted in numerous cutting-edge research and innovation projects related to medical imaging.

María Muñoz Beltrán

María Muñoz Beltrán, MD, PhD, is Head of the Abdominal Radiology Unit of the Radiology Department of the RyCUH (since 2014) and, as PhD in Medicine and Surgery, she is Associate Professor of Radiology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Alcalá de Henares University. She has a wide teaching career with more than 30 lectures in continuing education courses and an extensive research activity with over 100 communications presented at both national and international congresses. She has authored more than 20 publications in national and international indexed journals, and 10 book chapters. She is a member of the Pancreatic Tumors Committee at RyCUH, an area in which she has focused her research work. She has participated in multiple cancer clinical trials and has collaborated in several publicly funded research projects with the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and the Carlos III Health Institute.

Angel Torrado-Carvajal

Angel Torrado-Carvajal, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering that aims to understand human pathology by means of multimodal imaging. During his graduate training, he acquired unique technical skills in the use of medical imaging, and his engineering background allowed him to gain expertise in the image analysis and processing field. However, he was eager to complement his skills with those that could lead to a direct clinical application of his developments during his postdoctoral training. Thus, he developed expertise in the integration of multimodal imaging data to answer questions about the underlying mechanisms of disease. He is involved in several research projects investigating the different facets of in-vivo multimodal imaging in cancer, chronic pain, and rehabilitation, among others. In this context, he develops predictive models to identify multimodal biomarkers and translate these methods into real clinical scenarios. Since recent developments in artificial intelligence prove to be very promising to help searching for biomarkers, he is focusing on the use of multimodal radiological features (radiomics) as reference attributes to explain disease. In this sense, he has been working towards the application of these methods for novel diagnosis, planning and treatment pipelines, aiming at improving current equipment and clinical workflows.

Javier Soto Pérez-Olivares

Javier Soto Pérez-Olivares, MEng, is R&D manager and researcher at the Biomedical Imaging Research Unit of the Radiology Department of the RyCUH, and collaborator of the IRYCIS Innovation Unit. Throughout his professional career in the healthcare field, he has participated in numerous research projects, mainly related to artificial intelligence and radiomics, both as project manager and researcher. In the context of his work at the RyCUH, he has established numerous collaborations with universities and technology companies for the development of research and innovation projects related to medical imaging. His background as an industrial engineer has also allowed him to participate in the development of digital transformation and process reengineering projects. More recently, his work has focused on the evaluation, implementation and integration of decision support tools in radiology workflows.

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