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Worldwide Imaging Reports
TOSHIBA MEDICAL PLANS FOR BUSY RSNA
TUSTIN, CA — A flurry of new product introductions amid a sea of technology improvement signals Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.'s plans for a very busy RSNA (December 1-6, 2002, in McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois). Although new enhancements to such fundamental modalities as CT and MRI are expected from the industry leaders, Toshiba can claim that the technology advances are a result of internal development. For example, the Aquilon16 CT imaging system has a 40-row quantum detector capable of generating 16 simultaneous slices of 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 mm. The detector extends a full 32 mm along the patient axis to allow extended anatomical imaging for whole-body studies. What's more, the scanner can be used for such advanced applications as cerebral perfusion measurements. The Aquilion is targeted for cardiac, trauma, lung scanning, pediatrics and CT flouro. Another addition is the Opart/Ultra MRI that reportedly features a gradient system with 25mT/m amplitude and 100mT/m sec slew rate for high-resolution imaging on a mid-field open system. One of the key applications is expected to be visualizing slow fluid flow without contrast for urography studies.
Another technology that Toshiba is applying to their Ultimax X-ray imaging system is 14-inch flat panel detector technology featuring direct dynamic image capture to aid in diagnostic capabilities. These all-digital multi-purpose systems are expected to be used for both vascular and non-vascular intervention.
Higher quality patient care is being delivered through advanced visualization and quantification. Cathy Wolfe, Director of Marketing Services at Toshiba, claims the purchasing of these high-end scanners has been changing as more capabilities have been added.
She cites that although overall hospital spending is in a decline, the major surge in purchasing is coming from specialists who have their own diagnostic imaging practices. The average time to buy a new CT scanner has actually dropped from 7.7 years down to three years. What's more, the enhanced capabilities are being focussed for applications in trauma centers, pediatrics and orthopedics. In many cases, the payback period is shortened with 7-day-per-week usage. The pricing for these advanced applications has been receding as the advanced visualization and 3D imaging software has become more of a required feature.
For example, the Infinix
I series provides streamlined workflow with both multitasking and 3D Angio
capabilities for diagnostic and intervention procedures. What's more,
the series platform is field-upgradeable to direct conversion dynamic
flat panel detector technology