Canon Medical Arena

“If you want to see the future, look back at the past…” Albert Einstein.

The Great British industrial revolution, brimming with innovations, began in Northern England. Cities were epicentres of transformation via the growth of heavy industry such as weaving, steelmaking, and ship building. At the same time, poor health and living conditions, long working hours and rapid population growth from immigration, triggered positive political and social change.

Today, cities such as Sheffield – known for its proud industrial heritage and subsequent decline – are rejuvenating once again through local and national Government regeneration and investment programmes to support communities such as the Levelling Up Fund.

The UK’s greenest city
Even before the Government mantra of ‘levellingup’ was heard, the ‘Steel City’ was brimming with new industry,  engineering and manufacturing. It was the UK’s first ‘National City of Sport’ and boasted Sebastian Coe and Jessica Ennis as sporting alumni; it began thriving in digital-tech incubation and acceleration; it was named the UK’s greenest city with 4.5 million trees, more than any other city in Europe; it features two world leading universities and one of the UK’s busiest and most successful NHS Foundation Trusts; it is the proud location of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park – the world’s only Olympic Legacy Park outside of a host city; and it has bold ambitions to be a zero carbon city by 2030.

Health inequality

However, still lingering in the background is health inequality. Sheffield continues to lag behind the England average on most outcomes including life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, educational attainment, unemployment and housing.  Bleakest is the inequality in healthy life expectancy in Sheffield – 20 years between the most and least deprived men; 25 years for women 1.

Canon Medical Systems UK believes that a way to improve people’s overall wellbeing is through proactive health, sport, social engagement, and education; creating a cycle of future health prosperity that boosts a long quality of life. With long links to charitable causes and academic partnerships with health research and development organisations, the city of Sheffield was an obvious choice to build the first community catalyst, a blueprint of sport fused with wellbeing.

2023 opening

Located in the heart of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Sheffield’s health and wellbeing centre, the Canon Medical Arena is taking shape, building towards its 2023 opening. As a carbon-neutral built community arena with multi-purpose sports facility and integrated Medical Diagnostics Centre, it will champion the purest vision of what community diagnostics should be about.

Mark Hitchman, Managing Director of Canon Medical UK states, “Where you live should not define how long you live. Keeping people well means striving not just for improvements for the individual, but also for towns, cities and society as a whole. The Canon Medical Arena will aim to strengthen the community in Sheffield by encouraging healthy, active lives. As an affordable and accessible location for local people, it will welcome the diverse communities of South Yorkshire for proactive health, sport, social engagement and education.

“The Canon Medical Arena will also create an Artificial Intelligence (AI) incubation hub for research and development for health screening and disease prevention for today and into the future. Supported by our sister company, Canon Medical Research Europe based in Edinburgh, we will create, analyse and build new progressive health innovations that will look to diagnose disease earlier. Prompt detection delivers the greatest change in long-term survival rates and can enable the prescription of simple lifestyle shifts such as diet and exercise before invasive and complicated hospital interventions,” adds Mark Hitchman.

Hope and pride
Renewal and regeneration are at the heart of creating modern healthcare. The city of Sheffield will no doubt become a shining example of how tackling the bleakest of health statistics head on with sport, wellbeing, and healthcare, will create new life certainties, hope, and pride. Preventative medicine can be the strongest means of creating perpetual health for all.

1 NHS Sheffield Annual Report 20/21,

Photo Caption: Build progress of the Canon Medical Arena, developed by Canon Medical Systems UK.

Canon Medical Systems and Manchester United are celebrating ten years of sports medicine and imaging partnership by extending their agreement, ensuring the continued provision of specialist diagnostic imaging equipment, supporting proactive and reactive imaging delivery for its professional male and female footballers.

Since 2013 Canon Medical Systems’ equipment at the Club’s Carrington Training Complex has ensured the continuity of specialist cardiac, musculoskeletal (MSK) and general sports medicine using the most advanced systems available. As part of the partnership extension Canon Medical Systems will provide upgrades to the existing range of Healthcare IT (HIT), CT, MRI and Ultrasound diagnostic imaging systems to advance the level of care that can be provided to players and enhance ongoing research projects that will benefit wider global patient communities.

Altivity, Canon Medical’s deep learning & machine learning AI powered technologies, will be included in the upgrade to the existing Vantage Galan 3T MRI via Canon Medical’s Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE). This will improve the clarity and detail in the resulting image outputs providing a greater level of information for sports medicine interpretation and clinical decision making. With the ability to combine with 2D and 3D Compressed SPEEDER it can further accelerate the speed of MRI scanning giving swift imaging results. AiCE offers the clarity and quality that can, in some cases, be comparable to that of high-end 7 Tesla systems.

Sequence enhancements for improved MRI workflow will also be applied to improve the acquisition of dynamic, high-quality images. The Vitrea Enterprise system will be enhanced with cutting edge MRI image analysis software packages as well as an MRI and Ultrasound fusion navigation package, helping to examine muscle and tendons simultaneously improving the understanding of MSK injuries.

Mark Hitchman, Managing Director of Canon Medical Systems UK states, “This extension to our capacity as ‘Official Medical Systems Partner’ to Manchester United will take our long-term relationship to even greater depths. Together, for over a decade, we have helped support proactive and reactive imaging for injury prevention, identification and rehabilitation to help have a positive impact on player availability and care.”

He continues, ”Key advancements that the imaging systems have helped expand include the important introduction of annual cardiac screening of all players from the Academy youth teams upwards to proactively check for heart abnormalities, which is essential for elite athletes under high physical pressure to pre-empt, for example, sudden cardiac arrest. Also included is a programme of exploratory work into diagnosing and monitoring for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a brain condition that can be caused by repeated blows to the head and repeated concussion; and finally further research projects with academia to develop knowledge beyond sports into areas such as congenital heart disease. The success of these initiatives is reliant on harnessing the power and productivity of medical imaging innovations.”

Victoria Timpson, CEO of Alliances and Partnerships at Manchester United states, “Player care and performance is incredibly important at Manchester United, across all of our teams and age groups, so having a partnership with a leading medical systems innovator who understands this and can deliver the most advanced range of diagnostic imaging systems is a huge advantage. . By continuing our relationship with Canon Medical Systems, we can ensure our men’s, women’s and academy players have access to the very best standard of care from the most advanced medical systems on the market at our on-site dedicated Medical Imaging Centre, the Carrington Training Complex. ”

AI-assisted imaging and automation features will help reduce the time required for MRI procedures.

A new MRI system designed to move patients more efficiently through the diagnostic imaging journey, from waiting-room to scan-room to home, has been introduced into the UK healthcare marketplace. The Vantage Fortian MRI scanner from Canon Medical Systems UK features innovative workflow solutions, image enhancement and accelerated scan technology, which together contribute to reducing the time required for procedures.

The Fortian MRI builds on Canon Medical’s range of ‘AI-assisted’ diagnostic imaging solutions. It incorporates machine learning and deep learning technology to enhance image quality by removing noise and restoring SNR, automating many scan procedures, and confirming set-up steps to save time and reduce errors.

Using Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE) technology, it delivers noise-free images, especially when the procedure needs high-resolution images, highly accelerated scan time, and even both at the same time. AiCE is applicable to all anatomies and covers 96% of all MR procedures for 2D and 3D acquisition.

“Vantage Fortian was developed specifically with workflow and productivity in mind,” says Thierry Munier, European Director Magnetic Resonance at Canon Medical Systems Europe. “We have closely observed and listened to radiologists and technologists who face the challenges of ever-increasing patient loads, increasingly complex patient and healthcare system needs, and limited or reduced resources.

Everyone recognises that MRI scans generally take longer and require a more complex workflow than other modalities. So, our engineers have been focused on finding solutions that can meet today’s new demands and ensure that MRI facilities and their patients can move more and wait less.”

Vanessa Ellis, MRI Manager at Canon Medical Systems UK states, “With productivity and workflow features at its core, the Vantage Fortian is a welcome addition to our range of MRI systems. In a climate of quicker, easier and closer-to-home appointments for patients, we believe that the Vantage Fortian will provide greater fortitude for clinics, hospitals and community diagnostic centres looking to provide a high standard of care at the same time as speeding up patient throughput.”

Photo caption: The Vantage Fortian MRI system has been designed to move patients more efficiently through diagnostic imaging appointments, from waiting-room to scan-room to home.