A less powerful version of Toshiba's flagship Aquilion One CT scanner appeared at its first tradeshow this week in Vienna.
A less powerful version of Toshiba's flagship Aquilion One CT scanner appeared at its first tradeshow this week in Vienna. The company is positioning the new scanner, dubbed Aquilion Premium, as a less costly and field upgradeable stepping stone to its 320-channel flagship.
The new release, scheduled to begin shipping next quarter, bears testament to the economic forces buffeting the CT industry. The product, presented at ECR as a posterboard exhibit, was initially slated for release at the Stanford MDCT conference in mid-May, but Toshiba strategists soft launched the product in January to get it in front of customers as soon as possible.
Aquilion Premium is priced at about 70% of the Toshiba flagship CT scanner that provides only half the coverage per rotation. Consequently, its 160-channel detector with an 8 cm width cannot capture an entire organ in a single rotation. This remains a unique attribute of the Aquilion One and its 320-channel, 16 cm detector. Toshiba executives are hoping the ability to upgrade Aquilion Premium in the field to the company’s flagship configuration will attract buyers.
In creating this sidekick to the Aquilion One, Toshiba fills the gap between its Aquilion 64 and top-of-the-line Aquilion One. The company has created similar gap fillers twice before. The first time the positioned an eight-slice Aquilion as a stepping stone to its 16- slice scanner. The second time positioned a 32-row detector as a field upgradeable alternative to 16- and 64-slice versions.