Ever since the discovery of X-rays, developments in fundamental physics have found their way into medical applications. From advanced imaging technologies to dedicated accelerators for cancer therapy and nuclear medicine, simulations, and data analytics, state-of-the-art techniques derived from particle accelerators, detectors, and physics computing are routinely used in clinical practice and medical research centres. This issue opens with a new CERN project to expand the use of hadron therapy, from which upwards of 170,000 cancer patients have already benefitted at almost 100 centres worldwide, and describes how technology developed for a linear electron–positron collider at CERN is enabling a paradigm-shifting radiotherapy technique called FLASH. Accelerators are also rapidly growing in importance for the production of radioisotopes, as demonstrated by CERN’s MEDICIS facility, while recent articles from the Courier’s archive demonstrate the role of particle accelerator and detector expertise in the fight against COVID-19. We hope you enjoy this “med-tech” snapshot, which demonstrates the broad societal impact of fundamental research.
All of the articles from the print edition are available online, or alternatively you can download a PDF version.