At the RSNA 2012 conference this year several vendors, GE, Hitachi, Toshiba, Philips, Siemens and NeuroLogica, all introduced new CT technologiesinto the market.
GE – CT
GE introduced the Optima CT540 and CT520 CT scanners. These CT products include an updated user interface, GE’s ASiR dose reduction technology and their Xtream workflow management tools to optimize workflow and productivity. Both are 16 slice CT scanners. The Optima 540 emphasis is focused on the ED where one can pull the RIS list at the gantry. The LCD touch screen does what the operator’s console can do with the exception of modifying the protocols. The Optima CT520 is geared to interventional applications enabling physicians to view the patient’s anatomy and lesions with increased clarity and enable them to review the patient’s diagnostic landscape, anatomy, more thoroughly at optimized dose. Both are presently available in the U.S. and will replace the BrightSpeed 16 slice CT family.
Also new CT introductions included the Optima CT660 FREEdom Edition and the Discovery CT750 HD FREEdom Edition. GE’s offers the Motion FREEdom package that addresses coronary motion, high heart rates, calcium blooming, plaque composition and accurate perfusion. Motion FREEdom is GE’s Fast Registered Energies & ECG that may freeze any coronary motion used for CTA exams with its SnapShot Freeze software. SnapShot Freeze has the ability to detect vessel motion and velocity, determining actual vessel position can automatically corrects the effects of coronary motion during the cardiac CT procedure. GE has begun actively marketing this option with delivery by the end of December 2012.
GE’s Dexus platform enables the user to link all of the imaging devices, clinical apps and IT and access any advanced visualization tool across all modalities.
GE’s also highlighted its Blueprint for Lower Dose Benchmark program which supports a comprehensive, programmatic approach to radiation dose management. The Blueprint Benchmark is a CT imaging program that puts in place the people, processes and technology to define and enhance their radiation dose management goals.
GE also offers CT DoseCheck which is a feature that helps users manage patient radiation exposure pre-scan through notifications and alerts to the system operators; free radiation safety iPad apps and lower-dose webinars offering education and CE credits to healthcare professionals. GE’s DoseWatch package is a multi-modality dose tracking and reporting tool.
Hitachi – CT
Hitachi announced a big brother to its Scenaria 64-slice CT, the Advanced 128 which is a 128 slice CT scanner and a scalable solution. The Advanced 128 has similar technology to its competitors offering 64- detector row technology and 128 slice reconstruction and covers 40 mm detector area. The Advanced 128 is pending FDA clearance.
Hitachi also showcased its second generation radiation dose reduction iterative reconstruction software, Intelli IP (Advanced). Intelli IP (Advanced) features an updated recon engine that doubles the recon speed from 18 to 35 images per second. This will also be available to its Scenaria 64 CT as a field upgrade.
Other announcements include Simplified Dose Report where users can send their radiation dose data to a dose registry and embedded in the images is the dose report. Exam-Split enables users to split different or multiple studies, based on the patient’s anatomy and send to different clinical specialist.
Hitachi’s CORE 3D image recon algorithm reduces cone beam artifacts that results in a narrower effective cone angle. This feature allows for higher pitch scanning, a reduction in radiation, and shorter exam times.
NeuroLogica – CT
NeuroLogica featured their mobile CT scanners the BodyTom and CereTom. NeuroLogica announced its partnership with Pathfinder Therapeutics for its computer assisted surgical navigation product, Explorer. The Explorer features real-time tracking capabilities that will improve visualization for exams such as liver procedures. With this partnership, surgeons will have the ability to navigate in real-time for precise surgical accuracy and a higher success rate to eradicate all of a cancerous tumor. NeuroLogica will couple the Explorer with the BodyTom mobile CT that offers whole body imaging at 32 slices.
Philips – CT
Philips introduced the Ingenuity CT at the 32 –slice level. The Ingenuity CT system is designed to provide equivalent diagnostic image quality following the footsteps of the Ingenutiy CT family of CT scanners. It is FDA cleared with delivery expected in Q1/Q2 2013.
The Brilliance iCT TVI is being replaced with the Brilliance iCT Elite. The Elite will feature Philips’ iPatient. Delivery of iPatient began December 2012, if purchasing an Ingenuity CT scanner today, iPatient will be included in the configuration at no additional cost. Philips emphasized that iPatient achieves consistent image quality and dose management appropriately for each study the delivery of appropriate contrast media dose and consistent image quality with SyncRight. Philips’ SyncRight option features synchronization with the CT system and the injector in order to deliver the right amount of contrast dose.
Philips also showcased the iDose4 Premium Package that builds upon Philips’ radiation dose reduction iterative reconstruction technique. The iDose4 Premium Package features iDose4 and O-MAR, a metal artifact reduction technique utilized for orthopedic implants such as hip replacements. According to Philips, O-MAR provides up to 57% improvement in spatial resolution at low dose and that the majority of iDose4 reference protocols are reconstructed in less than 60 seconds.
Works-in-Progress (WIPs) – is Philips’ IMR – Iterative Model Reconstruction which promises to show almost noise free imaging at 2.7x with present iDose4. Delivery is expected for Q4 2013.
Siemens – CT
Siemens introduced its Somatom Perspective economical version of its 128-slice CT with the Perspective 64-slice configuration. The 64-slice Somatom Perspective is appropriate for use in outpatient environments and small to medium-sized hospitals where CT tasks focus on routine applications. The eMode feature, as featured with the Perspective 128-slice model, automatically optimizes the scanning parameters to run the equipment more efficiently, increase the life of the systems, and lower maintenance costs. Patients benefit from Safire, a solution to generate CT images using raw data based iterative reconstruction that can reduce radiation doses up to 60% or improve image quality. With Somatom Perspective 64-slice, a field upgrade is offered to the 128-slice configuration.
Siemens also introduced an entry-level solution for 3D routine and advanced image reading, syngo.via Element. This software package is based on the latest version of the advanced multi-modality imaging software, syngo.via, and includes applications and functionalities specifically designed for reading CT studies, for example neurology and oncology. Syngo.via Element is designed to meet the needs of specialized practices and community hospitals. In many cases, a practice may need to rely on some high-quality 3D visualization software applications, but may not require a full suite of syngo.via applications. Syngo.via Element is available with the Somatom Perspective and Somatom Emotion CT scanners.
Toshiba – CT
Toshiba introduced its Aquilion ONE ViSION Edition CT scanner. This system offers a 78 cm bore; 0.275 gantry rotation; 100 kW generator; 320 detector rows with 640 slice capability; 16 cm coverage per rotation, and 0.5 mm slices. The Aquilion ONE ViSION Edition also includes AIDR 3D (3rd generation), as a standard feature, which is Toshiba’s radiation dose reduction iterative reconstruction package.
Toshiba also introduced it PROTECT program. This includes a three (3) year commitment for a comprehensive CT radiation dose management program similar to its competitors. Toshiba will have experts review the data, including the hardware and software and consider additional dose reduction technologies implementations through its partnership with Radimetrics and Phoenix Technology Corporation. This education and training will have facilities maximize their dose reduction in order to maintain diagnostic image quality with a reduction in radiation exposure.