Innovation culture

German Future Award announced

BioNTech has received the German Future Award for developing mRNA vaccines. Siemens Healthineers was also nominated for developing a novel approach to computed tomography.

Doris Pischitz
Published on November 17, 2021

Thomas Flohr, Stefan Ulzheimer, Björn Kreisler, and colleagues developed photon-counting computed tomography (CT)1.

Dr. Christoph Zindel, President Diagnostic Imaging, Siemens Healthineers

<p>The new CT technology from Siemens Healthineers, which was nominated alongside BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine and Continental’s dandelion-based tires, produces precise images of the inside of the body. Patients can expect shorter acquisition times and reduced radiation dose. Medical professionals will benefit from high spatial and temporal resolution and new spectral information for additional diagnostic information for treatment decisions. NAEOTOM Alpha with Quantum Technology, the first clinical <a href="photon-counting">photon-counting</a> CT, was introduced to the market earlier this week.</p>
Photons are the energy quanta of electromagnetic radiation – e.g., light, X-rays, or gamma radiation. The interaction between radiation and matter can result in either the absorption or emission of photons.
The concept of photon-counting CT involves completely new detector technology and major redevelopments of all the system components, hardware, and software. Photon-counting computed tomography opens new horizons by combining sharp images and short acquisition times with improved image contrast and more diagnostically useful content. It also requires lower X-ray and contrast agent doses. It is therefore not merely a new, improved generation of CT scanner – CT imaging has effectively been redefined.
<p>The huge potential of this innovation offers great advantages for doctors and patients alike.</p>
<p>Patients who previously could not undergo CT imaging can now benefit from this fast and noninvasive examination method. In addition, the wealth of information produced by photon-counting CT imaging could be used with AI to assist the physician in differential diagnoses of cardiovascular and oncology cases, and to plan and track targeted therapies.</p>

By Doris Pischitz
Doris Pischitz is an editor in corporate communications at Siemens Healthineers. The team specializes in topics related to healthcare, medical technology, disease areas, and digitalization.