Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands has signed a long-term research partnership agreement with the West China Hospital, an affiliate of the Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

Under the seven-year agreement, Philips will collaborate with West China Hospital to develop new medical imaging procedures for the diagnosis and monitoring of certain types of cardiovascular disease (including coronary artery disease – one of the major diseases in China), cancer and mental diseases.

Philips is consistently strengthening its position in the fast-growing Chinese healthcare market – a key element of the company's increased focus on emerging markets.

Chronic diseases, including those caused by cardiovascular problems, cancer and diabetes, caused 80 per cent of deaths in China during the period 1991 to 2000. The lack of timely medical treatment and efficient prevention measures are the main reasons for the continuing high levels of such diseases. As a leading manufacturer of sophisticated medical equipment for diagnosis and treatment, Philips continually strives to enhance the efficacy of its medical technologies through research conducted with leading medical institutions.

The Philips/West China Hospital collaboration will include eight new research projects involving medical imaging technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT).