FDA clears ADAC Skylight gamma camera

May 10, 2000

Six months after ADAC Laboratories unveiled its gantryless, dual-head Skylight gamma camera, the FDA has said the Northern California-based company can start marketing the $1 million product.When ADAC unveiled Skylight at the RSNA meeting last year,

Six months after ADAC Laboratories unveiled its gantryless, dual-head Skylight gamma camera, the FDA has said the Northern California-based company can start marketing the $1 million product.

When ADAC unveiled Skylight at the RSNA meeting last year, company officials estimated the first systems would ship by the end of 2000, said Matthew Murphy, ADAC’s vice president of marketing. ADAC will begin shipping the new systems in the first quarter of 2001.

Hospitals that plan this year to buy ADAC’s Forte gamma camera, which has been on the market for a year and a half, will have the option of swapping it for Skylight, which costs$250,000 more than Forte. Or hospitals that have plans to buy Skylight but need a system immediately can buy and use Forte until Skylight hits the market.

The newly approved camera uses technology developed for Forte, whose open-gantry design allows users to image patients on hospital beds, gurneys, and wheelchairs without detector arms or gantry feet getting in the way. Skylight consists of two Forte detectors that can be installed on tracks directly into a room’s structure—from the ceiling or the walls, for example—or from a four-pole frame ADAC provides.

Skylight can fit in rooms as small as 10 x 12 x 8 feet, and it carries the firm’s CardioTrac and Rembrandt collimators, which allow the detectors to be placed close to the patient (SCAN 12/16/98).

‘It gives you a lot more flexibility in what the gamma camera can do,” Murphy said.

Without a gantry, Skylight can increase a nuclear medicine department’s patient capacity for planar imaging; improve brain SPECT scans by eliminating the positioning restrictions imposed by a patient’s shoulders; allow for total body imaging on any bed or stretcher, as well as upright imaging; and give clinicians increased access to pediatric and claustrophobic patients, as well as the ability to do lymphoscintigraphy procedures, according to the firm (SCAN 12/15/99).

Dr. Hirsch Handmaker, president of Arizona’s Healthcare Technology Group, said he saw the gantryless design about 25 years ago at a nuclear medicine meeting. Dr. John McAfee, a radiologist with the National Institute of Health who also recalls this design, said the prototype was designed by Searle.

At the time, the telescoping ceiling-mounted gamma camera seemed logical but was not commercially adopted, Handmaker said.

ADAC’s Murphy said the company looked at other designs for the gamma cameras, but 25 years ago, there was no such thing as SPECT (single-photon emission), which Skylight will employ.

In the company’s press release on the system, ADAC claims Skylight will expand the field of nuclear medicine because it can be used with ultrasound, CT, and nuclear imaging in surgical and interventional applications.