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Molecular imaging market expands amid challenges

por Christina Hwang, Contributing Reporter | June 15, 2016
From the June 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

With a standard radiotracer dosage, one could acquire a full study in two minutes, according to UPMC’s Soman, and generally, with the new cameras, most labs are able to reduce acquisition time and tracer dose without compromising image quality or information. “As people are replacing their old cameras, they’re trending more and more toward CZT, and that’s a tremendous growth in the field,” says Soman. He adds that stress imaging, used to diagnose coronary heart disease, can be performed with 5 millicurie (mCi) with a highsensitivity camera, while with sodium iodide, an analog detector, the range is from 24 to 32 mCi.

With the advancements of CZT, scan time can be lowered to three minutes on certain cardiac systems, when it used to take 12 to 15 minutes, according to Nathan Hermony, general manager of nuclear medicine at GE Healthcare. GE has developed a resolution recovery on its system that can cut the scan times in half, so patients do not have to lie still for any longer than necessary. “The recent convergence of digital technology, enabled by CZT, and software development position nuclear medicine for growth and expansion,” says Panagiotelis.

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Since arriving on the market, additional advancements have enhanced the capabilities of PET/CT. “[Manufacturers] want to push the limits of PET/CT a little bit further, and we can already see this now, with the higher resolution PET and being able to pinpoint a disease process much more accurately,” says ECRI’s Launders.

In January, Siemens announced the arrival of the Biograph Horizon, an FDAapproved PET/CT that reduces capital and operational expenses by making it more
energy-efficient without compromising image quality, says Monticeli. Also, since the system has a small footprint, physicians who are looking to replace their current scanner may be able to fit it into their existing exam room.

The system helps providers address clinical applications in oncology, neurology and cardiology, and has automated manual tasks and offers protocol-based exams. One of the features, the Quanti•QC, can run quality control procedures overnight. Scans can be performed in five minutes and radiologists can acquire an image in 30 seconds.

Philips’ Vereos digital PET/CT gives physicians the opportunity to manage dose, reduce scan times and enhance lesion detection, and is also the first PET/CT system in the industry to use digital silicon photomultiplier detectors instead of traditional analog detectors, which results in an increase in quantitative accuracy compared to analog systems.

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