It was a cold and snowy RSNA in Chicago, Illinois, November 29-December 3rd, but Medical Imaging Technologies’ President Rick Player and VP Sarah Lee stayed warm with the energy buzzing around the 101st Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting.
Medical Imaging Technologies, INC. is part of
It was a cold and snowy RSNA in Chicago, Illinois, November 29-December 3rd, but Medical Imaging Technologies’ President Rick Player and VP Sarah Lee stayed warm with the energy buzzing around the 101st Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting.
This year, for example, x-ray phase-contrast CT is being highlighted along with its magician-like ability to detail soft-tissue structures that mere photons couldn’t seem to generate before. Researchers are developing algorithms to extract phase image information more efficiently as well, such as a phase-stepping procedure to efficiently extract signals.
Other quantitative CT techniques are gaining prominence, too. An investigational photon-counting CT scanner has recently taken up residence at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, opening the door to scans that can highlight a single very specific material. Not incidentally, the new scanner has generated a number of studies for this year’s RSNA 2015 meeting, including one presentation on a special iterative reconstruction technique that removes the extra image noise that photon counting adds.
Lung cancer screening with CT is always a big draw at the meeting. A new study from the Netherlands looks at improving the nodule risk-classification schemes such as Lung-RADS with morphological information. Researchers from Boston ponder how lung cancer screening has changed at top academic centers in just two short years. Another study looks at how many people never come back after their first CT scan — and why. Finally, investigators from Japan put contrast-enhanced dual-energy CT (DECT) head to head with PET/CT to distinguish benign from malignant lung nodules.
In the heart, spectral CT is being combined with biomarkers in a bid to determine the composition of coronary artery plaque and to see if it’s possible to predict which lesions are prone to rupture.
In pancreatic cancer, researchers are measuring treatment response based on iodine uptake, not just tumor volume changes, in dual-energy CT.
Another group is using material decomposition CT to distinguish myriad lung abnormalities, while a third group applied a material decomposition algorithm to distinguish hemorrhage from calcifications in small hyperdensities commonly seen on admission CT in stroke patients.
Throughout the body, iterative reconstruction keeps improving its performance in the task of minimizing dose and maximizing image quality in everything from radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation to characterizing hepatic metastases with ever-smaller radiation doses.
Speaking of radiation, size-specific dose estimates have become the dose-optimization method of choice. But do these dose estimates work with tube current modulation? Find out in a CT physics scientific session.
Among the many general topics to be explored at RSNA 2015, Dr. Max Wintermark from Stanford University leads a discussion on stroke triage.
And radiology luminary Dr. James Thrall from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston ties it all in a bow with his plenary talk on Tuesday afternoon on the future of radiology — i.e., the peril and the promise poised to unfold before us.
To view RSNA’s complete listing of abstracts for this year’s scientific and educational program, click here.
Article originally published on 28 September 2015 by Novus Light Technologies Today
The nascent computed tomography (CT) metrology market is rapidly climbing the ranks of the overall dimensional metrology domain, spurred by consistent technical advancements. A number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and research organizations are joining hands to enhance accuracy, scanning speed, capacity to support multi-material complexity and the inspection of large parts. As a result, CT is finding uses in research and development as well as quality control during manufacturing.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of Computed Tomography Technology in the Dimensional Metrology Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $85.2 million USD in 2014. Increasing awareness on the importance of quality safety-critical parts is sustaining the deployment of CT systems in the automotive, medical and aerospace sectors.
Reaching the best feature recognition possible in the examination process of industrial parts has become a high priority, driving the need for CT metrology systems. Through the use of multiple rotary positions, CT can deliver relevant dimensions of parts regardless of complexity. Moreover, end-users are turning to flexible CT solutions that can scan any type of surface topology and reach components not visible from outside.
While CT has the potential to become a game-changing technology in the metrology market, high costs curb uptake in certain applications. Providers that raise awareness on CT benefits and offer comprehensive technical customer service will be well-positioned to grow given the huge market scope.
Future market opportunities will also ride on technology developments. Improvements in the accuracy of dimensional measurements will be critical to quicken adoption. In several cases, inaccuracies remain unidentified since CT systems are multi-purpose measuring devices, and therefore measurement traceability cannot be assured.
These advancements will push CT to completely replace conventional technologies such as coordinate measuring machines and traditional 3D scanners, thus revolutionizing the dimensional metrology space.
- See more at: http://www.novuslight.com/ct-applications-in-manufacturing-shift-to-include-quality-control_N4703.html#sthash.9P1NvE1N.dpuf
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At the end of 2014, Medical Imaging Technologies (M.I.T.) was selected as a provider of medical imaging equipment and service of that equipment for new GuideWell clinics opening throughout Florida. The first of these locations was the GuideWell Emergency Medicine Doctors clinic in Winter Park, Fla., which opened December 2014. Now, GuideWell has announced the opening of their second urgent-care clinic.
The new location will be at 1706 N. Semoran Blvd. in Orlando, Fla., and will be nearly identical to GuideWell’s first Central Florida location. When interviewed in December 2014, M.I.T. CEO Rick Player said being selected to provide imaging equipment and service to the clinic goes along with the company’s desire to provide great service and promote quality patient care. Player said, “Being selected to provide the imaging needs for the GuideWell clinics is, of course, a financial boost to MIT. But it allows MIT to showcase its ability to perform to a new customer, GuideWell.”Read More »
Diagnostic imaging equipment is primarily used for imaging the human body with the help of various imaging technologies. These devices are used to monitor, diagnose, screen, and treat various medical conditions for effective medical intervention. It has also improved the ability of doctors to treat, diagnose, and detect an injury or disease precisely at an initial stage. In addition, these devices are used to provide information associated with a specific area of the body to be treated or studied. Various advancements in imaging techniques in the field of modern medicine have facilitated the acquisition of information related to the human body for clinical interventions. In addition, advancement in imaging provides practitioners with new tools to improve care in innovative ways. Similarly, widening application of imaging technology led to wide availability of high-tech imaging forms such as computed tomography angiography (CTA), single positron emission computed tomography (SPECT), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), imaging tests, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
North America dominates the global market for diagnostic imaging devices due to rising prevalence of chronic diseases and injuries, and rise with the geriatric population in the region. Asia-Pacific is expected to show high growth rates in the next five years in global diagnostic imaging devices market, with China and India being the fastest growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The key driving forces for the diagnostic imaging devices market in developing countries are the large pool of patients, increasing awareness about the disease, improving healthcare infrastructure and rising government funding in the region.
Growing geriatric population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and injuries, rising awareness about benefits of early diagnosis of diseases among individuals, technological advancement and widening application of diagnostic imaging devices and increasing funding from government bodies are fuelling the growth of the market. On the other hand, heightened risk of cancer owing to exposure to radiation, shortage of helium for magnetic resonance imaging systems and strict regulatory requirements are major concerns for the market.
This report provides in-depth analysis and estimation of the diagnostic imaging devices market for the period 2014 to 2020, considering 2013 as the base year for calculation. In addition, data pertaining to current market dynamics, including market drivers, restraints, trends, and recent developments, has been provided in the report.
The diagnostic imaging devices market is categorized on the basis of the type of diagnostic imaging devices, and geography. Based on the type of diagnostic imaging devices, the market comprises of x-rays, ultrasound system, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scanner, nuclear imaging system and others. X-ray diagnostic imaging devices and ultrasound systems are further segmented on the basis of technology and portability. In addition, magnetic resonance imaging devices are further segmented on the basis of architecture. Similarly, computed tomography scanners are further on the type of slice. On the basis of geography, the report identifies and analyses the market size and predictions for North America, Europe, Asia and Rest of the World (RoW). North America is further segmented into the U.S. and Canada. Similarly, Europe is further segmented into Germany, France, U.K. and Italy. Asia-Pacific is further segmented into Japan, China and India.
Some of the major players in the diagnostic imaging devices market are Siemens Healthcare, Hitachi, Ltd., Carestream Health, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Toshiba Corporation, Koninklijke Philips N.V., and General Electric Company. These key market players have been profiled on the basis of attributes such as company overview, recent developments, growth strategies, sustainability, and financial overview.
This month TechNation reaches out to CT experts to find out the latest about this medical imaging technology, including some of the challenges the industry is facing in 2015. Our panel includes Scott Anderson, Director, Technical Operations, Ed Sloan and Associates; Paul M Fernandez III, Regional Service Manager, Consensys Imaging Service; Leon Gugel, President, Metropolis International LLC; Sarah Lee, Vice President of Sales, Medical Imaging Technologies Inc. (M.I.T.); Jeremy R. Probst, Chief Operating Officer, Technical Prospects; Nathan Struiksma, Field Service Manager, Southwest Medical Resources; and Randal Walker, Vice President CT and MR, BC Technical.
Q: What are some of the latest advancements in CT equipment and how will they impact the market?
Anderson: Dose reduction awareness is one advancement that has been in the spotlight lately. Throughout my career this has been a hot-button issue for me. In my travels, I was always amazed at the wide range of techniques used for the same protocol, even on the same model of scanner. When the high power systems became the norm, the techniques rose to match the systems capabilities but didn’t necessary improve image quality which led to over exposing patients. The pros for dose reduction is obvious, the cons are that some older mulitslice scanners won’t be retrofitted and will get pulled from service even though they are still fully functional and viable scanners if they were used correctly.
Fernandez: Low dose options in the hardware and post image processing are reducing patient exposure to ionizing radiation. XR29 has generated focus on radiation dose reduction while maintaining image quality. Some methods include increasing the slice count and reducing scan times. Other improvements include advanced reconstruction, improved time-saving workflow enhancements and advanced detector technology. The result is improved patient care.
Struiksma: One of the latest advancement in CT equipment has been dose-tracking software to accurately calculate patient dosing during a CT exam. The OEMs have also started to release their own dose-tracking software on their latest versions of equipment.
Walker: Low dose will impact CT over the next few years. NEMA, The Joint Commission and ACR are all weighing in on the responsibilities of the technologist, doctor and hospital in minimizing the radiation the patient is exposed to while still providing good early detection/diagnosis.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges of purchasing and maintaining CT equipment today?
Anderson: When buying any expensive piece of medical equipment you should do your homework. Before you sign on the dotted line, have an expert inspect the system. You wouldn’t buy a used $200,000 car without getting it checked by an expert. Use a reputable vendor that stands by what they sell, if possible get a warranty. It is always a good idea to check for parts (tubes included) and service cost and availability. What may seem like a good price for a scanner today may cost you in the long run if operation costs are high. Cavet emptor.
Fernandez: The obvious challenge is budgeted funds which dictates whether to purchase new from the OEM or a used/refurbished scanner. If purchasing new, remember to account for the cost to repair after the warranty period ends. Many new systems will not have the option to be serviced by most third-party organizations so the OEM may be the only option for service and parts (premium cost.) If purchasing a refurbished unit, be sure to do your homework on:
Maintaining the equipment comes down to negotiating a reputable, affordable and FDA-compliant service agreement. Obtaining an equipment uptime of 95 percent or better, with adequate on-site response times as well as high Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) to help ensure high patient throughput, are all critical factors to consider.
Gugel: The high cost of tubes and certain other specific parts, especially when systems are not properly maintained in the first place, are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to CTequipment.
Lee: Government regulations like XR-29. If you don’t want reimbursements to be cut you have to comply and some people are having to buy new CTs altogether or having to pay a lot to get the software to make it compliant. They could come out with new regulations at any time that cost more money.
Probst: Today’s high-tech CT scanners require expensive X-ray tubes and service contracts. The cost of service (OEM, in-house, alternative) and availability of X-ray tubes, parts and technical training are among the challenges health care facilities face. In an effort to lower cost, you are seeing a shift away from OEM service contracts. If a facility understands the risk factor, they will make an educated decision to assume more risk and – in most cases – save money over time.
Struiksma: One of the biggest challenges in servicing CT equipment would be parts availability, cost and reliability.
Walker: The balance between the price of the equipment and the technology that is being acquired versus the reimbursement for the clinical studies that can be accomplished is the issue in purchasing CT. The challenge in maintaining the CT is two-fold: 1. Getting the best cost to value you can get from a service provider. 2. Maintaining the equipment as long as possible before changes in regulation or technology hamper your ability to get reimbursed or to maintain your patient base. In the cost to value proposition, each facility has to measure its ability to deal with risk (i.e. tube replacement or equipment failure) to the cost to mitigate that risk by signing a service agreement.
Q: What are the most important things to look for in a reputable third-party CT equipment provider?
Anderson: The easy answer is reputation, the third-party industry is relatively small and with a few phone calls one can usually find a provider that will suit their needs. One of the biggest things people look at today is the field service engineerer’s training, while this is important it shouldn’t be the only question. Training is great mind you but if you haven’t worked on the system you were trained on in four years, experience trumps training. I also ask for insurance verification from vendors.
Fernandez: At minimum, they should have a documented quality management system in place. If possible seek-out organizations that have taken the additional steps to become and maintain certification to ISO 9001:2008 and/or ISO 13485:2003. This will ensure the organization has well-defined processes and procedures for consistently servicing and obtaining parts that meet various regulatory requirements governing medical devices. Are the Field Service Engineers certified to install, PM and maintain your equipment? If FSEs are certified, how do they maintain this certification? Does the company have a service escalation process? What is the company’s on-time PM completion percentage? Check references and be sure to inquire about reliability.
Gugel: Service and the ability to work with software systems, not just the mechanical components is important.
Lee: Make sure you call multiple references. Some people are one-man shows and that is fine if they know what they are doing and only have a couple of customers, but you don’t want your CT to break and them be on another site and not have someone to send to fix yours. Also, some people say they refurbish CT and all they do is paint the covers. Then, if it starts breaking a lot they give the rest of the third-party companies a bad name. So just make sure they have a good reputation
Probst: I would look for a provider with processes that are tried and true. If they refurbish equipment take a tour and evaluate the people, facility and processes as you are making a large investment. If you are buying used equipment with a turn-key installation review the company’s project management program and ensure they have seasoned engineers, room planning drawings and a contract that protects both parties. Reputable companies stand behind the equipment that they sell with either a warranty or service contracts.
Struiksma: One of the most important things to look for when choosing a third-party provider is, can they deliver what they offer? There are a lot of options to choose from and some of those options look great on paper but you need to do some investigation and see what resources they have in place in order to accomplish the job.
Walker: Three things highlight a quality, independent CT equipment provider. One, the facility and the and staff to do a quality remanufacture of the CT. Two, the ability for the customer to see and scan on the system during refurbishment and prior to delivery of the scanner that they purchased. Three, a field service team that can properly support the warranty and the unit for service after warranty.
Q: What else do you think TechNation readers need to know about purchasing and servicing CT?
Anderson: Reputation is the biggest key for me. It doesn’t matter how big or small the provider is, to me it’s can I count on them to be fair and reliable? Cost shouldn’t be the sole determining factor for service or procurement, sometimes you do get what you pay for. An example would be if I could get a tube changed for $3,500 and it gets done right in seven hours versus two days for $2,000, I am paying the extra $1,500.
Fernandez: Truly get an overall understanding of the department’s needs prior to making a purchase. Knowing what is important to them will help steer the purchase including their post install service requirements. If buying a used unit is a viable option, do your homework and you can save a lot of money using a reputable third-party provider. Also focus on maximizing your productivity by identifying proven legacy CT systems which have reliably provided high image quality and don’t just assume “more slices” is better for your needs.
Gugel: Price, capability and expected life usage are all things to consider.
Lee: Use a third-party if the company has a good reputation. It will save you a lot of money purchasing equipment and service from them. Also, third-party companies are not huge like the OEM so they still care about the customer. Usually when you call they will be on the way immediately to check it out instead of pushing you to the back burner for a little while.
Probst: If you are buying pre-owned or refurbished equipment you have the luxury of looking for models that have excellent after sales support by the third-party market. Many times the most cost-effective equipment up front is not the most cost-effective to support. There are many differences in a “refurbishment” or “reconditioned” piece of imaging equipment. Make sure to do your homework and ask the key questions that will set one vendor apart from another.
Struiksma: Realistic needs versus the latest and greatest. In purchasing and servicing you need to evaluate your needs and get what fits your needs best. Much like shopping for a used car you can get a brand new, big impressive car that may feel great but in the long run it may be better to get the less impressive car with better reliability. They both of drive down the road, but do it in a different way.
Walker: Seeing and scanning on the unit you are purchasing assures you and your staff are getting the system that meets your needs. Purchasing from someone who won’t or can’t let you see your system can be problematic at the time of installation completion and system turnover. It is better to have the chance to get all of your concerns addressed prior to paying the final payment.
Q: What else would you like to add or do you think is important for biomeds to know about CT equipment?
Anderson: If you’re serious about servicing CT scanners, I would suggest the following steps. 1. Thoroughly read the safety section of that system’s service manual. 2. Find an experienced mentor and tag along on some PMs, even if it’s on your own time, it will pay dividends later. 3. Read, read and then read some more, start with the theory. 4. Once you have some exposure and feel comfortable, book a class with a company with trainers who have real experience on that system, you don’t want a lesson plan reader.
Fernandez: One critical factor in properly maintaining CT systems is to complete comprehensive PMs per manufacturer’s recommended schedule and checklist. A CT combines ionizing radiation, sensitive imaging detection circuitry, high torque motion assemblies and, in some cases, liquid cooling plumbing. It’s very important to remember personal safety, including radiation hazards and compliance with all state and federal regulations (state registration, timely submission of 2579 Forms, etc). Depending on whether the unit is air or water cooled, there will be different preventative maintenance requirements. Know your torque specs. Over/under-tightening can lead to metal strain, loose assemblies and equipment failure. Also, another very important tool you have is your ears – listen to the pitch, oscillation, and rhythm during high speed rotations. An experienced ear can identify problems not found in other test results.
Gugel: Systems must be able to be easily serviced and maintained with parts – not just purchased from a cost-only basis.
Lee: It helps save the department time and money if one of the biomed personnel can learn to do first call that way when they call the service engineer they can already have an idea of what the problem is and have the parts to fix it when they come.
Probst: It is important to be aware of third-party companies providing specific technical training on many manufactures CTs. Along with training having access to X-ray tubes (alternative/new/pre-owned), quality-tested parts and technical support will help lower the overall service cost significantly. Our company focuses specifically on Siemens however there are many others offering GE, Toshiba and Philips support.
Walker: Like all electronic systems it is important to have the most reliable system you can get. Partnering with a company that will let you see your system prior to delivery and one that is flexible in providing the biomed staff training for first response on repair should be deal breaker for those that can’t meet the grade.
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Neusoft Medical produces continuously innovative medical imaging equipment technology and is a leader in the production of high-end medical equipment in China. Their products are exported to more than 90 countries and regions. In the video below, Discovery and Beyond explores Neusoft Medical Systems future of success.
To learn more on Neusoft Medical products and services available from M.I.T. you can click here or call 800.729.4776.
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Earlier this year M.I.T. was thrilled to announce that they were a new contact for sales and service of Neusoft Medical equipment. Since this announcement, Neusoft Medical has added the NeuViz 128-Slice CT Scanner System to their line of diagnostic imaging products which are exported to more than 90 countries and regions.
Neusoft Medical Systems Co., Ltd. (Neusoft Medical), a leading manufacturer of medical equipment and service, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Neusoft Corporation, which is the largest IT solutions & services provider in China.
Founded in 1998, Neusoft Medical is the support organization for National Digital Imaging Research Center. Software development is a core competency of Neusoft. Neusoft’s leadership in software development has led to Neusoft Medical becoming China’s uncontested market leader in medical equipment and service. Neusoft Medical has expanded its leadership with the establishment of international subsidiaries in the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, Peru, and Vietnam.
Medical Equipment includes a wide portfolio, including CT, MRI, X-ray, Ultrasound, PET (Positron Emission Tomography), Linear Accelerator, and Biochemistry Analyzer. Currently, Neusoft Medical’s products have been exported to over 90 countries and regions around the world, serving more than 5,000 renowned customers.
To learn more on Neusoft Medical products and services available from M.I.T. you can click here or call 800.729.4776.Read More »
AAMI 2015 brought together thousands of healthcare technology management professionals from across the nation and around the world. These professionals descending on Denver for four days full of learning opportunities and networking. M.I.T.’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing Sarah Lee, joined by company representative Brett Lee, attended this year’s conference and expo, taking advantage of product demos, educational sessions and the exhibit hall.
Highlights of this year’s trip to AAMI included attending the TechNation’s 7th annual VIP Readership Party at Rock Bottom Brewery on Sunday, June 7th; sitting in on educational classes related to medical imaging equipment, as well as the latest advancements in medical imaging technology; and taking in this sites of Denver by attending a Colorado Rockies baseball game at Coors Field.Read More »
Published on May 10, 2015 at 12:02 PM
Today, Neusoft Medical Systems Co., Ltd. (“Neusoft Medical Systems”) officially launched the NeuViz 128 CT for the global markets, and the new products are being exported to South Asia, North Africa and other international markets. Neusoft Medical Systems’ CE certified NeuViz 128 CT combines the leading-edge technologies and innovations to create super-fine and low dose images, which can provide more accurate diagnostic information. The NeuViz 128 CT has become China’s first 128-slice CT being exported to the international markets with independent intellectual property rights, and its launch demonstrates the company’s determination to explore the global high-end CT markets.
Neusoft Medical Systems successfully developed China’s first CT prototype in 1994, and made it industrialized in 1998, which made China the world’s 5th largest CT machine manufacturer and exporter, following the United States, Japan, Germany and the Netherlands. Now, Neusoft Medical Systems’ wide range of products have been sold to more than 100 countries and regions, serving over 9,000 healthcare institutions worldwide.
Mr. Jiang Genmiao, Vice President of Neusoft Corporation and President of Neusoft Medical Systems said at the launch ceremony, “As a medical equipment provider, Neusoft Medical Systems set software technology as our core. We have been committed to software and product engineering innovation, and continuously contributing to China’s CT industry in the past years. Looking forward, we will make great efforts in innovation and operational excellence, and offer high-quality medical products and services to more people in the world.”Read More »