Mayo Clinic and IBM announced today the establishment of a collaborative research facility that will work toward developing advances in medical imaging.

As an extension of the companies’ partnership announced in 2007, the Medical Imaging Informatics Innovation Center (MI3C) and its team of researchers will develop technologies that enable physicians to register medical images up to 50-times quicker and provide critical diagnosis, such as the growth or shrinkage of tumors, in seconds instead of hours.

A full-time staff of Mayo and IBM researchers plan to take on a long list of patient-centered projects, including maximum-resolution organ imaging, image-guided tumor ablation, “video swallow analysis” for stroke patients and automated change detection and analysis. They also hope to create potential new graphics tools for visualization and a software library for advanced medical imaging on high-end computer systems.

High-end imaging platforms and computational hardware, including IBM’s breakthrough computing system based on the Cell Broadband Engine™ and blade technology, will be utilized at the MI3C, which will be located on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minn.

Under mutual agreement, third parties will be permitted to collaborate with IBM and Mayo in the facility. The MI3C also hopes to attract research grants for future investigations.