Hologic, Siemens to show full-field mammo, tomosynthesis at RSNA 2004

November 22, 2004

Full-field digital mammography and advanced digital applications will dominate this year’s mammography offerings on the RSNA exhibit floor.

Full-field digital mammography and advanced digital applications will dominate this year's mammography offerings on the RSNA exhibit floor.

Three months after receiving FDA premarket approval, Siemens Medical Solutions is poised to make a splash when it shows its Mammomat Novation full-field digital mammography system during the 2004 RSNA scientific meeting. The system is billed as capable of meeting all the demands of modern mammography practices by providing digital screening, diagnosis, and stereotactic biopsy capabilities - all with one system. Since the Mammomat Novation's approval in August, 10 systems have been shipped, and Siemens expects to install another 20 by year end.

"The marketplace was waiting for this system and this technology, and there's been great acceptance so far," said Erica Rouleau, national sales director for the company's Women's Health Division.

Joanne Scott-Santos, product manager for the Siemens division, said key features of the Novation include a tungsten tube, which the company said facilitates optimal image quality with 60% dose reduction, and its seamless interface with the MammoReport Plus dedicated mammography reading station, which also was introduced in August and will be shown during the meeting. She touted its versatility as a screening, diagnostic, and interventional tool.

"The mammography market as a whole, much less full-field digital, is constantly changing," Rouleau said. "The full-field market is very strong. We've taken that step forward with digital imaging, and I don't think we're going to be going backwards anytime soon."

Heading into the meeting, Scott-Santos suggested some trends may be emerging that figure to play out on the exhibit floor.

"There's a lot of interest in advanced applications," she said. "Tomosynthesis and contrast enhancement are two things we expect to see."

Jack Cumming, chairman and CEO of Hologic, agreed. For the second year in a row, the company will show its full-field digital breast tomosynthesis system as a work-in-progress. The company will file an application next year with the FDA to begin selling the product, possibly as early as 2006.

"We think it has significant potential to redefine digital mammography. I'm sure our competitors would echo that, since they're also working on it," he said.

Last year, Hologic became the first company to bring a full-field digital breast tomosynthesis system to the RSNA. It returns this year with modifications resulting from clinical feedback.

"This year, you'll see a little different system," Cumming said. "We've made some changes and are continuing to do so."

With tomosynthesis, a series of images are acquired and reconstructed for 3D viewing. Tomo has the potential to eliminate overlapping tissue, which can obscure lesions, and may provide more complete diagnostic information. Cumming predicted a bright market for the technology one to two years out.

"The adoption curve will be faster than it was for digital mammography," he said. "The market is still evaluating digital mammography. We believe our Selenia is an ideal platform to watch other technologies, such as tomosynthesis."

Hologic also plans to show its SecureView breast imaging workstation, which was cleared by the FDA in August. SecureView is a dedicated multimodality workstation for displaying and interpreting screening and diagnostic digital mammograms. SecureView also can accommodate MR, CT, PET, and ultrasound images.