Vendors strive to improvepatient care with innovation

December 1, 2008

Biograph mCT adds metabolic informationfrom PET to CT and enables integrateddiagnostic imaging for maximizedworkflow efficiency, according toSiemens Healthcare.

Molecular CT

Biograph mCT adds metabolic information from PET to CT and enables integrated diagnostic imaging for maximized workflow efficiency, according to Siemens Healthcare. It can obtain functional, anatomical, and molecular information from a noninvasive diagnostic examination, and reportedly adapts to virtually any patient and any clinical need with higher resolution, contrast, and speed. The system can be equipped with a high-performance CT generating up to 128 slices. Miniaturization and component integration enhance patient comfort by reducing the tunnel to just a meter long, about two-thirds the size of conventional PET/CTs, and widening the bore to 78 cm.
See www.siemens.com/healthcare

Digital radiography

Carestream Health's wireless digital radiography detector is the size of a standard cassette and can be used with existing wall-stand or table-based bucky systems. The DRX-1 System, currently a work-in-progress, is expected to be available during the first quarter of 2009.
See www.carestreamhealth.com

Image analysis

Definiens and Hamamatsu have signed a partnership agreement for the European market. Definiens' image analysis platforms extract contextbased information from a digital image in any dimension, while Hamamatsu produces optoelectronic components and systems.
See www.definiens.com

PACS in Ireland

The department of health in Northern Ireland plans to implement an integrated PACS for managing radiology information and images provided by Sectra in a 10-year agreement. The contract is valued at £30 million (about €37.5 million), and it will cover 25 hospitals.
See www.sectra.com

Cardiac ultrasound

Toshiba is offering educational workshops about the Artida 3D wall motion tracking technology, which follows tissue movement in 3D space to quantitatively assess myocardial wall motion. The current round of hands-on workshops will run until January 2009.
See www.toshiba-medical.eu/en

Electronic records

Agfa HealthCare has won a contract to install its Orbis IT system at 37 hospitals belonging to the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, a public health organization with more than one million inpatients and five million outpatients per year. The €95 million project will include an integrated electronic patient record that covers clinical information management, scheduling, management of prescriptions, and medical documentation.
See www.agfa.com/healthcare

Emergency ultrasound

The Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, U.K., has acquired a SonoSite MicroMaxx handheld ultrasound device to detect trauma injuries, particularly aortic aneurysms and early bleeding in the abdomen. It is also being used for guiding placement of intravenous lines or central lines.
See www.sonosite.com

PACS software

Barco has introduced a new version of its Voxar 3D visualization tool to be used with Fujifilm's Synapse PACS platform. The 3D 6.3 product can access 3D tools with one click and save and resume advanced visualization.
See www.barco.com and www.fujifilm.eu

Coronary angiography

Philips has developed the XperSwing with dual-axis rotational functionality for coronary angiography. Its fully automated C-arm operates on two axes simultaneously, enabling it to swing in a 3D arc around the patient. Clinical evaluation is taking place at four European centers, and it is scheduled to be available in spring 2009.
See www.philips.com/newscenter

Cancer cooperation

Bayer Schering Pharma and the National University of Singapore have agreed to cooperate in the field of oncology research. Bayer will invest up to €10 million in research and development activities in Singapore over the next five to eight years.
See www.bayerhealthcare.com

Compact ultrasound

The ProSound a7 ultrasound unit, at 49 cm wide and 79 cm deep, can be installed in a small space. Its ergonomic design reportedly reduces user fatigue.
See www.aloka.com

Technology training

Hitachi Medical Systems' European Technology Academy is located in Dusseldorf, Germany. It offers training courses and information services for doctors, health-service employees, scientists, patients, managers, and engineers.
See www.hitachi-medical-systems.eu

Teleradiology deal

Visbion has signed a five-year contract to provide image transfer, image archiving, and display technology to Trans Global Radiology. TGR will use Visbion's web-based and hosted Image World product to facilitate its global teleradiology service.
See www.visbion.com

Surgical planning

TeraRecon has improved the endovascular and interventional planning software in its Aquarius iNtuition device. Multislice CT can now provide high-resolution volumetric data sets that can be rendered with this tool, offering good morphologic and anatomic analysis, according to the vendor.
See www.terarecon.com

Oncology research

Median Technologies has received a grant of €1.5 million from OSEO, a French agency that supports innovation. The funding will enable the company to accelerate the market launch of a platform for oncology imaging, used for the assessment of cancer extension. This platform, LESIO, will allow the interpretation of combined imaging of molecular function and morphology.
See www.mediantechnologies.com

Digital bucky

Oldelft Benelux has installed a digital bucky system in the newly opened Diagnostic Centre Heerhugowaard, which is linked to the Alkmaar Medical Centre in the Netherlands. The Triathlon EVO DR device incorporates the CXDI-60G detector from Canon, which first became available in Europe in August 2008.
See www.oldelftbenelux.nl and www.canon-europe.com

Data processing

Visage Imaging has announced new clinical applications and advanced tools for 2D, 3D, and 4D visualization and postprocessing. The applications include CT and MR angiography, cardiac analysis, perfusion analysis, and oncology.
See www.visageimaging.com

Quality assurance

QA View software from Unfors is designed to help users create quality assurance reports in a fast and uniform way. The drag-and-drop feature makes it possible to adapt reports with specific data such as images, videos, spreadsheets, and PDF information from an examination.
See www.unfors.com

PET/CT

GE Healthcare has unveiled the latest addition to its range of PET/CT scanners. The Discovery 600 system debuted at the October European Association of Nuclear Medicine congress in Munich, Germany. Its main use will be in oncology, which represents about 90% of clinical PET/CT examinations.

"This technology will address the biggest challenge that we have with this modality by minimizing the impact of motion. The movement produced by respiratory and cardiac activity can cause significant blurring of the image, leading to missed tumors," said Henry Hummel, general manager of the company's global PET/CT business.

The new machine will occupy a midrange position within the Discovery family. It has a 70-cm bore and a 225- kg patient table and offers an increased vertical scan range that provides flexibility in radiation treatment planning and patient positioning. Manufactured in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the product received 510(k) authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June. The first systems will be up and running by early 2009.
See www.gehealthcare.com