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Words by Ole Petter Ottersen on the new CT-lab

On Friday 29 October, we inaugurated our new CT laboratory at BioClinicum, adjacent to Karolinska University Hospital in Solna. In addition to a tour of the laboratory and an ensuing reception, several speeches were given on the significance of the new CT laboratory. The following is an excerpt from the speech given by Ole Petter Ottersen, president of Karolinska Institutet.

“Events here today have significance far beyond the equipment and technique in question; in fact, beyond even the patients that they will help. Because this is an example of how this district, our dream team comprising the Region, KTH, KI – MedTechLabs – is on the frontline. And it is this that is so important. So, please allow me to congratulate you again because this has significance. All of our ambitions – whether that be the Region’s ambition to become a leading global life science cluster, KI’s ambition to conduct groundbreaking research or, of course, the ambitions of KTH and the hospital to be among the world’s best – are inextricably linked with this. But let me take you back to 1979, a big year for this technology, when Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work on computerised tomography.”

“In his Nobel Lecture, Hounsfield explained that the first scan he performed took 10 days! Consider that. He makes no mention of how long the subsequent analysis took. Then there is a marvellously interesting section if his lecture: ‘What improvements should we expect to see in the future?’. Well, one of his greatest dreams was that it might one day be possible to look at the heart, a feat that was completely impossible at the time because, of course, the heart moves. However, when he spoke about how resolution could be improved, he never believed that we would have come as far as we have today. That was beyond his imagination. Now, with silicon-based detectors, we not only achieve much better resolution but we also obtain a great deal more important data from the equipment. Had he been with us today, Hounsfield would have been extremely impressed.”