In 2009 we inaugurated the new World Institute for Digestive Endoscopy Research (WIDER) Centre, a collaboration between the Government of Catalonia, Hospital Vall d’Hebron, ”la Caixa” Foundation and the Vall d’Hebron Instituto de Investigación (VHIR), the goal of which is to foster education, research and dissemination of the digestive endoscope in all its facets. We initiated a first period of experimentation with advanced digestive endoscopy techniques combined with laparoscopy to perform minimally invasive surgery. Since then, we have progressed in the application of innovative endoscopic techniques in line with the evolution of cutting-edge radiological devices. The development of new software systems now enables real-time 3D images to be obtained while using the endoscope.
We have recently introduced the Artis Pheno robotic x-ray system, the first of its kind in the world to be employed in an endoscopy unit, with the aim of pushing forward in the research, diagnosis and treatment of pathologies of the digestive system and its adnexa, such as the lower and upper abdomen, lungs, trachea and major vessels. The x-ray robot, which will be used with some 1,200 patients a year, has scanner performance that provides three-dimensional images in real time, and allows real-time monitoring with virtual images of what is happening with the neighbouring organs.