Feature | June 11, 2013| Raissa Rocha

Mobile C-Arm Market Trends

This article appeared as an introduction to a Comparison Chart on Mobile C-Arms in the June 2013 issue.

The phrase “doing more with less” is becoming more prevalent in tightening economic environments, and the operating room (OR) is one example of where hospitals are looking to maximize savings. Mobile C-arm units are important for maximizing space in the OR and can provide the image quality needed to visualize anatomy and devices during complex surgical procedures. The latest advances in mobile C-arms aim to provide users with the flexibility and ergonomics that can support accomplishing more in the OR with less.

Mobile surgical units have become more attractive to certain healthcare segments, including cardiology and orthopedics, that are looking to perform more minimally invasive procedures outside the OR setting, according to Eric Hudson, senior field marketing manager of mobile surgery at Philips Healthcare. With more such procedures in demand, facilities want to accommodate as many cases as possible in one physical setting. The latest market trends show vendors are focusing on “creating a C-arm with the geometry that can be used in the most number of patient cases, while at the same time minimizing the space it actually takes up in the OR,” Hudson says.

Increasing Integration and Connectivity

One possible growing trend is the ability of mobile C-arms to easily integrate with other systems in the clinical setting, such as information systems or other imaging systems. “I think one of the exciting changes that we see from a technology viewpoint is integration,” says Jon Snyder, chief technology officer for GE Healthcare’s surgery business. “The idea is that integration is saving a couple of things. It’s saving space in the OR, where you can integrate two machines and save floor space. And you can improve productivity because you might not have to go out of the OR to gather another machine.”

At the 2012 meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), GE Healthcare showcased a new “mobile hybrid OR” solution that featured the Venue 40 tablet ultrasound system mounted within the workstation of the OEC 9900 Elite mobile C-arm, a solution that combines fluoroscopy and ultrasound for the OR. This type of integration can be useful for reducing dose, Snyder says, as users can quickly turn to ultrasound for imaging during parts of a procedure where fluoroscopy might not be needed.

Designed for the OEC 9900 Elite, GE Healthcare also offers a Wireless Service Platform (WSP) feature, which allows clinicians to wirelessly transmit the mobile C-arm’s information directly to the healthcare provider’s picture archiving and communications system (PACS). This can greatly reduce the time needed to move X-ray images taken with a mobile C-arm through the hospital network, as the images can be sent almost immediately rather than having to wait to transport the C-arm to a wired connection.

Another new wireless feature of GE’s OEC systems  is the use of  blue-tooth enabled foot switch. 

Dose Management and Image Quality

Philips Healthcare’s Veradius Neo, which was introduced with a flat panel detector during the 2011 RSNA meeting, offers several benefits for clinicians looking to more efficiently manage or reduce radiation dose to patients. The system uses a rotating anode in combination with constant beam filtration in its X-ray generator, allowing a higher level of penetration into the patient without leaving behind soft radiation ramps and trails. “One of the ways we actively manage dose is to minimize or eliminate the amount of soft radiation that essentially penetrates the patient but never hits the detector,” Hudson says. The use of a rotating anode also reduces motion blur, delivering sharp and crisp X-ray images for even fast-moving anatomy that may normally be difficult to image.

What to Watch for in the Future

Ergonomics is another factor to consider when thinking about mobile C-arms in the OR. The Veradius Neo provides about five degrees of extra angulation without consuming more space, says Hudson. And patient tables should be designed for X-ray imaging, allowing more movement and positioning of the C-arm around the patient. In the fall of 2012, Ziehm Imaging announced a distribution agreement with Stille to offer OR tables from the Swedish manufacturer along with the Ziehm Vision RFD mobile C-arm. The combination of the Ziehm Vision RFD and the Stille imagiQ2 OR table for vascular surgery, for instance, offers a hybrid OR solution for those in interventional surgery, among other channels.

At RSNA 2012, Siemens previewed a new mobile C-arm system under development.  The Cios Alpha is designed with full view flat detector technology intended to provide higher image quality as well as a greater field-of-view than conventional systems, even during image rotation.  The system will be water-cooled, so it can be used during longer or more complex procedures. It will also utilize a touchscreen interface that can be mounted on the patient table. The system is currently under development and is not for sale. 

Related Content

News | May 28, 2015
Oxford Instruments plc has acquired Medical Imaging Resources Inc. (MIR). MIR specializes in the build, lease and...
Feature | May 04, 2015 | Dave Fornell
There have been several technology advances in PET/CT (positron emission tomography/computed tomography) systems...
WITS(MD), Image Mover, capture, mobile, HIMSS
Technology | April 17, 2015
WITS(MD), a provider of medical image workflow solutions, announced the introduction of Image Mover, a mobile...
ACR, Appropriateness Criteria, clinical decision support, update, March 2015
Technology | March 02, 2015
New and updated American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria now help healthcare providers choose the...
News | December 29, 2014
Image Wisely.org now offers online educational materials for fluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT) and nuclear medicine...
C-arms, mobile R/F systems, Angiography systems, RSNA 2014

Image courtesy of Ampronix

Technology | December 23, 2014
Ampronix announced the availability of its new LCD retrofit kit for the OEC 9800 mobile C-Arm.
Ziehm Imaging, Vision RFD 3-D, Solo Portable, mobile C-arm

Photo courtesy of Ziehm Imaging

Technology | November 30, 2014
At this year’s RSNA annual meeting, Ziehm Imaging will highlight Ziehm Vision RFD 3-D, a 3-D C-arm with flat-panel...
Technology | October 20, 2014
October 20, 2014 — Sony Electronics’ Medical Systems Division is highlighting four new medical printers at RSNA 2014:...

A nurse treats a pediatric patient using vein illumination technology VeinViewer Vision2 (PRNewsFoto/Christie Medical Holdings, Inc.)

News | August 21, 2014
August 21, 2014 — Christie Medical Holdings and Wolfson Children’s Hospital announced an agreement to replace all...
News | May 27, 2014
May 27, 2014 — New research published in Nature’s Scientific Reports identifies a new type of light sensor that could...
Overlay Init