It's being described as a partnership unlike any other in the world.

London hospitals and research teams have come together with Canon Medical in an effort to advance medical imaging technology and improve patient care.

Seven of Canon Medical's newest and most advanced Computed Tomography (CT) scanners are coming to London.

CT is used to provide critical diagnostic information, incorporating thousands of ultralow-dose, high-resolution x-ray images to create complete images of the body and its organs.

London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care have purchased six of Canon Medical’s Genesis CT scanners, with three going into Victoria Hospital, two into University Hospital and one going into St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The total cost of that purchase was about $11.8 million.

Canon Medical has also donated a seventh scanner, along with an Angio Suite and portable ultrasound that will be located at Western University’s Robarts Research Institute.

Dr. Narinder Paul is chief of the Department of Medical Imaging at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine, LHSC and St. Joseph’s.

He says, “We will help them design the imaging equipment of the future that our patients need, driven by our understanding of what our patients need. And they will invest in London to help us do that process."

Jens Dettmann, general manager of Canon Medical Systems Canada, says the company will also commit personnel to the London research team.

“We will have a physicist actually located permanently in London to support the project. We will have clinical application support. We will have a service engineer which we are going to dispatch permanently in London.”

The donation is valued at approximately $4.5 million and four executives from Canon Medical Japanese headquarters flew in for the announcement, including President Tashio Takiguchi.

Takiguchi says, “You will house the largest concentration of our premium one genesis CT's in the world today."

Paul says those involved believe the new partnership means London hospitals and research teams are positioned to play a leading role in the development of imaging technology and improving patient outcomes.

"If we develop these machines and the software with our industry partners. Then, of course, when we validate it in the clinical environment they actually have machines, and software, and equipment that really meets the needs of the patients."

Paul says a training academy will be set up in London to instruct others from across Canada and around the world on how to best use the technology.