Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging

About IDII

The Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging (IDII) was founded in 2010. It was accredited by NWO and ZonMw as one of the eight Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) of the Innovative Medical Devices Initiative (IMDI, in Dutch). In these CoREs, partners in science, industry and health care work closely together on the development of novel medical devices that improve both the quality and the efficiency of health care.
IDII researches, develops and evaluates image-guided technologies for early detection of pathology and pathophysiology, for reliable diagnostics and prognostics, for patient-specific therapy selection, and for efficient and effective planning, guidance and follow-up of interventions, in the areas of cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and cancer.


IDII researches, develops and evaluates image-guided technologies for early detection of pathology and pathophysiology, for reliable diagnostics and prognostics, for patient-specific therapy selection, and for efficient and effective planning, guidance and follow-up of interventions, in the areas of cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and cancer.

Medical imaging is well suited to address the challenging combination of an increasing need for quantity and quality, a shrinking workforce and rising costs of our healthcare system. The role of imaging in medical diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment has expanded considerably. Imaging will enable therapies to be tailored to the needs of individual patients and to be more accurately targeted. In consequence, less-invasive procedures can be used for more effective care, with fewer side effects, shorter hospitalization, and reduced morbidity, and thus increase the quality of life of Dutch citizens. More efficient imaging and image-guided intervention protocols will lead to shorter procedures, lower radiation exposure and a safer working environment for healthcare professionals. IDII will significantly contribute to a shift from hospital care to outpatient care and will increase the labor productivity of health professionals.


IDII as a Centre of Research Excellence is aimed at meeting two of the three healthcare challenges mentioned in the overall strategic plan, viz. (i) shifting hospital care to outpatient care and (ii) increasing the labour productivity of health professionals. This will be accomplished by a joint research effort of universities, industrial companies, and medical centres in an area of growing importance in clinical practice, viz. medical imaging, by which we understand the ensemble of imaging-based technologies driven by demands in and providing solutions to medical diagnosis and treatment.
The leading strategic principle of IDII is that innovation in medical imaging requires the close collaboration of three parties: university researchers, industrial developers, and clinical end-users. All vertices and sides of this golden triangle of medical imaging are essential to make headway in this high-technology field. Clinical unmet requirements define the imaging research framework of the university groups and indicate to industry in which directions novel imaging technology solutions are needed. Results of fundamental and applied imaging research at the universities may open new roads to industrial R&D and suggest hitherto unnoticed imaging-enabled diagnosis or treatment options to clinical specialists. And industrial medical imaging innovation has the proven potential of revolutionising clinical practice and of creating new challenges to university research as concerns optimisation of imaging protocols and of quantitative image analysis methodology.


The mission of the Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging (IDII) is to contribute to improving healthcare efficiency and effectiveness, by forefront scientific research and education in medical imaging and by innovative industrial development of image technology enabled healthcare solutions, for patient-tailored image-guided diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

This will be realised by meeting the following objectives:

  • To establish and execute a coherent and internationally recognised research and development programme in medical imaging. The clinical focus of the programme will be on cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and cancer, while the technology focus will be on high-precision technology for diagnostic and interventional high-field MR and hybrid imaging, and on integration and quantitative analysis of multidimensional images for diagnsotic and prognostic decision support.
  • To train and supervise PhD students and postdocs to attain the level of qualified and independent researchers in line with the highest international standards.
  • To offer an advanced and balanced educational programme of lectures, courses, seminars and workshops to MSc students, PhD students, academic postdocs and staff, and industrial researchers in the medical imaging field.
  • To acquire funds from governmental, charitable and industrial sources to expand and advance the research programme.
  • To strengthen the national and international position of the research by cooperation with related academic and industrial institutes.
  • To transfer knowledge, methodology, software and technology from university research and from industrial R&D to industrial production and to clinical practice.

Need for research and development

Patients are well aware of the rapid developments in medical imaging technology and are calling for optimized and individualized diagnosis and therapy. The rapidly increasing availability of custom-made biomarkers for optical, nuclear, ultrasonic and magnetic resonance imaging has a considerable potential to improve our understanding of disease processes. This, in turn, may lead to enhanced prospects for patient-specific prevention, diagnosis, disease monitoring and treatment, such as replacing conventional open surgery by image-guided, minimally invasive interventions and localized drug delivery.
Innovation in medical imaging requires close collaboration of university researchers, industrial developers and clinical end-users. Medical imaging academia and industry should join forces in a coherent program for research and development. This will achieve scientific and technological breakthroughs and fortify the currently already strong economic position of the Dutch medical imaging industry.

Aims and objectives

IDII aims to establish and execute a coherent and internationally recognized research and development program for medical imaging. Objectives include training and supervision of PhD students, post-docs and industrial researchers; acquiring funds from governmental, charitable and industrial sources to expand and advance the research program; and strengthening the national and international position of the research through cooperation with related academic and industrial institutes. Furthermore, IDII will transfer knowledge, methodology, software and technology from university research and industrial R&D to industrial production and clinical practice.

Economic impact

The market potential for innovative industrial solutions in medical imaging is high. Many of the Dutch university groups in this field are internationally renowned. This is particularly true of the academic IDII groups, who are leading in the core disciplines radiology, radiotherapy physics, MR imaging and medical image analysis. IDII’s main industrial partners are world leaders in several branches of medical imaging technology. Because of the strong position of university research and industrial R&D, IDII has an excellent setting for public-private partnerships in medical imaging science and technology.


At the start of the program, IDII set as objectives that the research would roughly lead to a doubling of its annual output of PhD theses, journal publications, conference contributions and patents. Now that the program is halfway, we already are close to having reached these goals. The deliverables of the program comprise high-precision image instrumentation and protocols for enhanced high-field MR imaging, hybrid imaging, and image-guided and X-ray-guided interventions, as well as methodology and software for registration and visualization of multimodality images, and for quantitative analysis of data for diagnostic and prognostic decision support. All deliverables harbour elements of scientific novelty, product innovation and improved patient care. The program finally aims at delivering demonstrators for optimal and less-invasive patient-specific diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.


RASOR sharp

MRI-based radiotherapy planning using a single MRI sequence Aim We propose the development of an MRI-only radiotherapy treatment planning system to improve and streamline minimally-invasive cancer therapy guidance and control, increase treatment accuracy and reduce both patient burden and medical co … Lees meer

Computer-aided identification of coronary artery disease

The main aim of the this project is to develop image analysis algorithms to provide automatic, reproducible, and quantitative analysis of non-invasively acquired CT images of the heart to identify patients who need to undergo percutaneous coronary treatment. The overall goal is to replace unnecessar … Lees meer

Computer-aided phenotyping of breast cancer

Recent advances in breast imaging have allowed detection of breast cancer at earlier stages, but also contributed to the detection of indolent cancers. Here, the cancer grows so slowly that the patient dies of other causes before the cancer produces symptoms or it remains dormant. With the widesprea … Lees meer


Quantitative analysis of MR brain images for cerebrovascular disease management Diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of patients with cerebrovascular diseases critically depend on robust quantification of brain structures and on identification and characterization of abnormalities, to establish patho … Lees meer

Technical leader:
Prof. Dr. M. Viergever

Max Viergever received the MSc degree in applied mathematics in 1972 and the DSc degree in 1980, both from Delft University of Technology. Since 1988 he has been Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Imaging at Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht, since 1989 Professor of Physics and since 1996 Professor of Computer Science at Utrecht University. As of 2002, he is Manager Education and Research of the Imaging Division of the University Medical Center Utrecht, which comprises all technical and medical education and research in radiology, nuclear medicine, radiotherapy and medical imaging. He has ample management experience, especially in management of research, at Delft University of Technology, at Utrecht University, at the University Medical Center Utrecht, as well as in a variety of functions at numerous national and international institutions. He has served on scientific advisory boards of several universities in Europe and the USA, and on expert assessment panels in 15 countries. Max Viergever established the Image Sciences Institute in Utrecht (, which now counts 15 faculty, 15 non-tenured research staff, 10 technical and administrative staff, and 40 PhD students. He has established the first graduate (PhD) school on medical imaging in The Netherlands (ImagO, 1998, and the first MSc programme on this subject in the new Bachelor/Master system of Dutch universities (BIS, 2003, Research subsidies acquired under his direction total over 125 M€ (with >25 M€ as PI). He has in addition a longstanding tradition (>30 years) of industrial collaborations, including research contracts with 27 companies. Research done and supervised by him has led to many industrial products, both in hardware and (mostly) in software.

Medical leader:
Prof. Dr. W.Mali

Willem Mali got his MD at Utrecht University in 1975. He became a resident in radiology at the University Hospital Utrecht and was registered as radiologist in 1980. In 1979 he performed a fellowship in radiology at the University of California in Los Angeles. In 1983 he obtained his PhD in medicine for research on a vascular interventional procedure. From 1987 to 1992, he was medical manager of the Department of Radiology at the University Hospital Utrecht. In 1989 he became professor of radiology in this hospital.

Since 1993, Willem Mali has been responsible for the clinical research of the radiology department. He has initiated and participated in many of the large-scale trials that validated newly developed minimally invasive treatment techniques. This involved iliac artery stenting (DIST trial), renal artery stenting (STAR trial), carotid artery stenting (ICSS trial), vertebroplasty (VERTOS trial), and many other interventional procedures. He directs the research at the department of radiology, involving 8 postdocs and 12 PhD students and a small trial office. Research subsidies acquired are well over 20 M€, and include four recent large CTMM projects: Volta, Mammoth, Parisk and HIFU-CHEM. There is a longstanding working relationship with Philips which in the last few years focuses on MRI-guided high intensity focused ultrasound ablation. Willem Mali is (co)author of 360 articles in peer-reviewed international journals and has supervised 68 PhD theses. He has been a member of several committees of the Gezondheidsraad, of the Foundation “Het Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde”, of the SCK committee of the Dutch Cancer Society, and of the scientific board of the Netherlands Heart Foundation. Willem Mali is an honorary Fellow of CIRSE (the Cardiovascular International Radiological Society of Europe).