Toshiba emphasizes protocol development at AquilionOne beta sites

May 15, 2008

Plans are on track for Toshiba America Medical Systems to begin routine shipments by summer’s end of its AquilionOne, featuring the industry’s only wide area detector, spanning 320 detector rows.

Plans are on track for Toshiba America Medical Systems to begin routine shipments by summer's end of its AquilionOne, featuring the industry's only wide area detector, spanning 320 detector rows.

Johns Hopkins and Brigham and Women's Hospital have each been running one of the scanners since last October, focusing on the development of brain perfusion and cardiac protocols. A third U.S. site, Nevada Imaging Centers in Las Vegas, became operational just weeks before the May 13 opening of the International Symposium on Multidetector-Row CT, 10 miles away. Whereas Hopkins and Brigham radiologists are looking at advanced imaging applications, the Las Vegas center is looking into how to streamline patient and data handling in a high-throughput environment.

"They're developing a workflow model - how to get the data off, how to manage those data, how physicians can interact with those data to make a timely diagnosis," said Doug Ryan, senior director of Toshiba's CT business unit. "We want to be sure we can do large number of patients on a continuous basis."

The idea is to develop a range of protocols, Ryan said. The growing list of luminary sites will look into protocols not only for brain, heart, and high throughput, but lung and pediatrics as well. With these, customers taking delivery in late summer and beyond will be able to get the most out of the system from the outset.

"We spent $500 million and 10 years developing this technology," he said. "The time we are spending developing the protocols is really very short."

About 10 AquilionOne units are installed around the world, he said. Another 50 are on order. Among the sites scheduled to take delivery soon are the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, University of Florida Shands in Jacksonville, and Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.

Minimizing dose is a key component of all the protocols in development. Early users of the system have documented a 75% drop in dose for heart studies and 20% reduction elsewhere in the body. The gains, according to Ryan, come from leveraging the wide area detector to eliminate the need for overlapping helical scans.

"We can give you a much lower dose with much bigger clinical utility," he said.