PRESS RELEASE – Gemeente Maastricht / 1st July 2016 / Reference nr 064-ab
(translated from the Press of City of Maastricht)
This afternoon, deputy mayor Mieke Damsma handed out the royal honor award: knight in the Orde of Oranje Nassau to mr. Ir. B.J.A. Verstraelen, on the occasion of his farewell as managing director of Pie Medical Imaging B.V. in Maastricht and of 3mensio Imaging B.V. in Bilthoven.
Mr. Verstraelen is employed since 1982 in the company which develops medical imaging software, Pie Medical Imaging B.V. Here he played an important role in the digitization and development of radiology. Thanks to the development of the video image processor (VIP), the amount of contrast medium which is inserted in heart patients could be reduced significantly. From 1983 he also was project leader of the product development of the Coronary Angiography Analysis System (CAAS) in cooperation with the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The new software made digital X-ray images possible and improved the identification of constrictions in the coronary arteries, which led to a significant improvement in bypass operations, dotter procedures and the subsequent treatment.As such he stood at the basis of the early diagnosis and more adequate treatment of heart patients. In addition, new software was developed for the CT- and the MRI- systems. It is stated that this led to a significant cost reduction in health care and prevented long-term heart diseases through early diagnosis.
Since 1995 he is managing-director and since 2011 also managing director of 3mensio Medical Imaging BV in Bilthoven. As such he was responsible for distributing and providing the software to medical institutions. The products of the company are internationally leading and are being used in almost half of all catheterization-facilities all over the world, both under its own name and as an integral part of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)-partners such as Philips and Siemens. Under his leadership the company grew from 3 to 80 employees. Former professor of experimental cardiology Patrick Serruys, developer of the modern stents, states that he person concerned has played a major role in the technical and clinical progress in the field of digital radiology and that he is an intermediary between the hospitals and the image processing industry.
In 2014 the company received the National Business Success Award in the category High Tech and in 2015 the “European Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership” for the development of the CAAS and 3mensio software. In 2015 the company was nominated for the Maastricht Awards 2015.