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PET/CT and CT Technology Designed for Real-Time Collaboration Between Clinicians

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 09 Dec 2013
Image: The Vereos PET/CT fully digital imaging system (Photo courtesy of Philips Healthcare).
Image: The Vereos PET/CT fully digital imaging system (Photo courtesy of Philips Healthcare).
A digital positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging system and spectral detector-based computed tomography (CT) imaging system have been designed to provide optimal image quality, vital data, and connectivity for real-time collaboration among clinicians and fast, effective decision making.

At the 99th annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), held December 1–6, 2013, in Chicago (IL, USA), Philips Healthcare (Best, The Netherlands) presented new medical imaging technology with the introduction of two new developments: its Vereos PET/CT fully digital imaging system, and its IQon Spectral CT1 spectral detector-based CT imaging system.

Philips collaborates with clinicians to enhance the clinical performance and economic cost-effectiveness of its technology to find the shortest path to the best care with the most efficient use of resources. “We work closely with radiologists to understand their biggest challenges, and incorporate these understandings in the development of innovative products like Vereos PET/CT and IQon Spectral CT to meet their complex imaging needs,” said Gene Saragnese, CEO, imaging systems at Philips Healthcare. “These innovations demonstrate how Philips is providing radiologists with exceptional quality and accuracy in imaging at low dose rates, helping clinicians to get answers, the first time around, so that they can deliver accurate and more confident diagnoses to patients.”

“The timing and precision of disease diagnosis are critical to the successful treatment of many diseases,” commented Pablo Ros, MD, chairman of the department of radiology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH, USA). “With that in mind, we are excited to have contributed to the development of Philips’ Vereos digital PET/CT and IQon Spectral CT systems and we will continue to collaborate with Philips to realize the potential of these next generation imaging systems.”

Based on Philips’ proprietary Digital Photon Counting technology, the Vereos PET/CT is the first PET/CT system in the industry to use novel digital silicon photomultiplier detectors instead of standard analog detectors, resulting in better performance, including approximately two-times increase in sensitivity gain, volumetric resolution, and quantitative accuracy when compared to analog systems. These enhancements provide high image quality, increased diagnostic effectiveness, improved treatment planning, and faster workflows.

“Personalized medicine will require a patient-specific picture of the functional processes associated with disease,” added Dr. Ros. “Accurate quantification of processes is therefore an important requirement for functional imaging in diagnosis, therapy, and research. The quantitative accuracy and remarkably clear images that the new digital PET/CT system delivers are a key step forward.”

In a recent survey, 9 out of 10 referring physicians preferred Vereos digital PET/CT images to images taken with an analog system. Philips has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its digital PET/CT system in the United States.

Philips’ IQon Spectral CT system employs color to identify the composition of an image without involving time-consuming protocols. Similar to the way that white light is made up of a spectrum of colors, the X-ray beam used in CT scanners also consists of a spectrum of X-ray energies. With the development of an essentially new spectral detector that can differentiate between X-ray photons of multiple high and low energies simultaneously, Philips’ IQon Spectral CT adds new levels to CT imaging, offering not only anatomic data but also the ability to characterize structures based on their material composition within only one scan.

After a spectral CT examination, clinicians can interpret the conventional grey-scale anatomical images, and if necessary, access the spectral information that was acquired during the same scan. The IQon Spectral CT system’s retrospective on-demand data analysis is possible utilizing the Philips’ iPatient platform, allowing clinicians to easily experience the advantages of spectral CT routinely within traditional radiology workflows.

CT imaging is widely used in the diagnosis of many different diseases and injuries, totaling approximately 450 million imaging procedures globally yearly. Philips has consistently driven innovation in CT, most recently with the introduction of its proprietary iterative model reconstruction (IMR) technology to simultaneously reduce CT radiation dose and enhance image quality for a broad range of applications.

The IQon Spectral CT is pending US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) and is not yet available for sale in the United States. A system with the NanoPanel Prism detector is available for sale in the United States for conventional scanning.

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