December 10, 2013 — GE Healthcare showcased several new offerings that enable low-dose imaging procedures and help clinicians track and measure dose at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA 2013).
Smart Technologies and ASiR-V
Smart Technologies is a suite of intelligent computed tomography (CT) tools designed to help GE Healthcare clinicians deliver diagnostic confidence with lower patient dose levels. The Smart Technologies suite includes tools to help improve productivity (Smart Flow), increase cardiac imaging reliability and repeatability (Smart Cardiac), make spectral imaging routine (Smart Spectral) and acquire high-quality images at lower dose (Smart Dose).
The latest in this suite, ASiR–V, is the next iteration of GE Healthcare's iterative reconstruction CT technology, which already has 3,600 installations worldwide and has provided more than 31 million patient scans to date. ASiR-V combines the speed of ASiR with the capabilities of Veo full model-based iterative reconstruction. Designed to significantly reduce dose relative to filtered back-projection (FBP) for both body and head modes, ASiR-V improves low contrast detectability, spatial resolution and image noise, and has the capability to reduce low signal artifacts such as streak artifacts when compared to FBP.
ASiR-V is U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k)-pending and not available for sale.
New CT Protocols Developed by University of Wisconsin
GE Healthcare and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UW) announced that the university developed validated protocols soon to be available for GE Healthcare CT systems. The protocols were designed and optimized for multiple, very specific, clinical applications. Within each clinical application, the UW team developed and tested multiple versions for patients of different sizes ranging from small children to large adults.
As an approved quality supplier to GE Healthcare, believed to be the first non-commercial organization to meet this rigorous standard, UW will continue to develop and improve the protocols and end users will receive regular updates as improvements are made.
“The scanner user interface presents the operator with the different clinical protocols,” said Myron Pozniak, M.D., professor of radiology and chief of the Section of Abdominal CT, UW. “Once selected and the scout image is obtained, the technologist selects the body size-specific protocol based on patient measurements and runs with it. No time is wasted experimenting with the settings, and they are done right.”
DoseWatch Delivers Effective Dose Management
GE Healthcare Services is showcasing the latest version of its DoseWatch software, which delivers a brand-new, intuitive and modern user interface; a dose comparison analysis tool where users can efficiently compare doses between facilities, across systems and among protocols; a handful of IT enhancements where customers can take advantage of new log capabilities that can reduce bandwidth requirement across the hospital network and more.
“I believe that many would be surprised to see the impact that an effective dose management tool can have,” said Jan Casselman, M.D., St. John’s Hospital, Belgium. “Since implementing a dose management program, including DoseWatch, St. John's has seen a 30-40 percent reduction in CT dose compared with the dose used on CT before the implementation. The system means that we are not only increasing awareness, but we are also starting to drive behavioral change. Going forward, all hospital personnel know that when they administer an exam, it is being monitored and that adopting low dose behavior is now the rule, not the exception.”
DoseWatch retrieves, tracks and reports the radiation dose administered to patients during medical exams and automatically organizes the data for hospital leaders so they can easily and effectively monitor dose delivery in their institution. The system collects data in different ways — including by imaging device and by the individual operator or by protocol — so it can compare and contrast the dose being administered in one exam to another.
Training Focuses on Getting Right Image at the Right Dose
C-arm users are becoming smarter about how to reduce the amount of radiation they receive. In fact, users of OEC C-arms are becoming “brilliant” through a unique and customized training program (the Brilliant program) by GE Healthcare in which OEC-dedicated radiologic technologists do onsite training for their customers.
“While the Brilliant program is focused on multiple aspects of getting the right image at the right dose, the training class has become a measurable part of the job of the 70-plus OEC Clinical Imaging Specialists,” said Carrie Eglinton Manner, CEO, GE Healthcare surgery. “We have a clinical competency model that measures our CIS team on how well they train customers on dose reduction. Our experts are working side-by-side with customers to help them maximize their OEC equipment and be safer in the process.”
For more information: www.gehealthcare.com