Elekta opened its state-of-theart learning center at its North American headquarters in Atlanta this week, which is expected to draw clinicians, researchers an health IT professionals to the city from around the world.

Ever since the Swedish neurosurgeon Lars Leksell founded Elekta AB in 1972 after having invented its main product of that time, the “gamma knife,” the company has been focused on innovation.

“Elekta’s 40-year history is built upon innovation,” Tomas Puusepp, the company’s president and CEO, told analysts and investors during the 55th annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) held this week in Atlanta.

Since the invention of the gamma knife in the 1960s that treated brain tumors by external cobalt radiation, the company has developed numerous technologies to aid neurosurgeons in their operations on cancer patients.

For instance, in 1996 Elekta formed an alliance with the Swiss company Leica AG, known for its precision cameras, to further develop its line of surgical microscopes.

Elekta’s ties to Atlanta can be traced back to 1983 when it opened an office here. At this week’s meeting, several of its innovations were described in detail, including its new X-ray volume imaging system that enables real-time X-ray monitoring of internal motion during radiotherapy delivery.

A further indication of its commitment to innovation and Atlanta, Elekta unveiled a state-of-the-art learning center located in its new headquarters at 400 Perimeter Center Terrace.

The center is expected to draw clinicians, researchers and health IT professionals to the city for education, training and collaboration for treating cancer and brain disorders.

“In a single location, we have consolidated a wealth of educational resources that encompasses all of our cancer management competencies,” Mr. Puusepp said.

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, a Republican representing Georgia’s 6th district, said at the center’s opening Sept. 23 that its innovations would make treatment “faster, safer and more targeted.”

“Elekta’s presence strengthens Georgia’s bioscience community,” he added. “…and they bring new resources for two of our key health care industries – medical devices and health care IT.”

He also said that the company would be adding 100 more jobs in the life sciences field and will bring medical professionals to Georgia.

“The company estimates that 10,000 visitors from across the globe will come to this facility for training just in the first year, and that number will grow by 15 percent each year thereafter,” Mr. Price said. 

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