Digital fluoroscopy need not include flat detectors, a fact demonstrated by continued progress in conventional radiography/fluoroscopy systems. But solid-state detectors took important steps in 2003 toward becoming the engines for driving future high-end
Digital fluoroscopy need not include flat detectors, a fact demonstrated by continued progress in conventional radiography/fluoroscopy systems. But solid-state detectors took important steps in 2003 toward becoming the engines for driving future high-end applications.
Shimadzu showed it was a player in the new digital age, exhibiting an amorphous selenium flat detector scheduled for release in the first half of 2004. Toshiba talked up its work-in-progress flat detector for the second year. And component supplier Thales Electron Devices introduced a large-field-of-view dynamic detector scheduled for beta testing early this year.
Siemens and Philips gave meeting-goers a feeling for how Thales' new detector might be integrated into high-performance end-user systems, while GE showcased a previously launched large flat-detector system, as well as CCD-based solutions.
GE Medical Systems
Cost-efficiency, performance, and dose reduction are key design elements in GE's digital R/F products. Development has focused on advancing the art of conventional image intensifier technology, such as the 12-bit CCD-based camera developed for its Precision platform, while establishing a position in flat-detector technology with the Innova 4100 (radiology) and Innova 2000 (cardiology).
The company specializes in providing advanced digital x-ray acquisition, processing, and review solutions for radiography (Stingray DR), as well as fluoroscopy, angiography, and cardiac cath (PlatinumOne). Digital systems can be applied either as retrofits to update existing rooms or for integration into new or refurbished rooms.
Philips Medical Systems
Film-based and digital systems offer a range of price points and capabilities in Philips' R/F portfolio. The Allura XperFD family characterizes the high end with a flat detector (FD) in place of an image intensifier and x-ray personalized (Xper) technology that customizes workflow with user-programmable settings. The Eleva family offers multifunctional R/F systems that combine conventional imaging chains with electronic workflow tools.
Siemens Medical Solutions
Advanced development efforts in R/F have focused on the Siemens Axiom Artis platform for interventional angiography and cardiology. Products feature application-specific acquisition protocols called organ programs. Their preprogrammed settings automate operator-intensive actions, with the goal of simplifying routine work.
Shimadzu Medical Systems
The Japanese company has returned to its century-old roots with an emphasis on x-ray systems. Shimadzu shone the spotlight on high-end R/F products at the RSNA meeting, while exhibiting a work-in-progress dynamic flat detector.
Thales Electron Devices
Long-time components supplier Thales began exploring flat detectors in 1986. The company entered into a joint venture with Siemens and Philips in 1997 to create Trixell, which two years later began producing a radiographic flat detector based on amorphous silicon. In 2000, the company delivered flat detectors for testing in cardiac cath units. Trixell is now the principal supplier of flat detectors to Siemens and Philips.
Toshiba America Medical Systems
The pioneer of high-performance CCD technology in R/F is maneuvering for a piece of the new digital pie with a large-FOV flat detector. Software programmers are also advancing the company's 3D agenda in vascular imaging.