Mobile firm builds vans for SPECT

June 19, 1991

Nuclear medicine physician Dr. Werner A. Boade initiated pioneeringmobile single-photon emission computed tomography services in1989, two years after he acquired the mobile gamma camera businessof a pathologists' group in Sioux Falls, SD. His company,

Nuclear medicine physician Dr. Werner A. Boade initiated pioneeringmobile single-photon emission computed tomography services in1989, two years after he acquired the mobile gamma camera businessof a pathologists' group in Sioux Falls, SD.

His company, W.A. Boade MD, placed its fourth mobile SPECTsystem on the road this month, according to Susan Hainje, marketingmanager.

W.A. Boade built its own mobile vans to operate the SPECT units,since existing mobile van manufacturers had nothing suitable atthe time. This led to the spin-off of a separate mobile van manufacturingcompany, called W.A.B., that specializes in building vans forSPECT, Hainje said. Hainje is also marketing manager for W.A.B.

W.A. Boade operates only GE SPECT systems in its mobile business,which serves South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. The van companydesigns coaches for Siemens systems as well, and aims to competewith Ellis & Watts and Calumet Coach on a national basis,she said.

There are advantages to being in both the manufacturing andprofessional services sides of the imaging business, she said.

"The products we sell as a manufacturing company, we haveproven on the professional side. We build (the vans) for ourselvesand are as particular about their use as our (manufacturing) clients,"she said.

W.A.B. had to prove to GE that its vans would not damage theSPECT systems before the vendor would warrantee its cameras onthe road. The firm is the only van manufacturer to have receivedthis SPECT endorsement by GE, she said.

W.A. Boade uses only single-detector SPECT systems. GE, however,introduced Neurocam, a three-detector brain SPECT system, intothe U.S. at the Society of Nuclear Medicine conference in Cincinnatilast week. Neurocam was developed by an independent European supplierand tested first by GE in that regional market (SCAN 8/1/90).

"They (GE) have talked to us about it (Neurocam), butwe have some reservations about putting three-headed systems intoa mobile environment," Hainje said.

Space requirements are one problem. Multidetector systems mayalso be hard to keep stationary on the road, she said.

W.A. Boade is seeing growing demand for SPECT services, fueledin part by new brain and cardiac radiopharmaceuticals. The firmis working with Du Pont in using Cardiolite, a technetium cardiacSPECT agent, in a mobile environment. The agent has an advantageover thallium studies in its speed of use, she said.

"You don't need to wait four hours for redistributionlike you do with thallium," she said.

W.A. Boade is working with a group of Sioux Falls cardiologistswho service several hospitals in the area. Some of these hospitalsare requesting Cardiolite studies, she said.

Although both the mobile services firm and the van companyare presently restricted to nuclear medicine, they are open tobusiness in other modalities, including magnetic resonance imaging,she said. There seems to be little potential in mobile positronemission tomography, however.

"We have looked at PET," Hainje said. "It isdefinitely a modality we would like to see in Sioux Falls, butas far as going mobile at this point, it is too costly."