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Toshiba Now Bundles Advanced Imaging With Infinix-i X-Ray Line

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | September 22, 2009
Sharper images
in the cath lab
To meet demand created by the growing popularity of interventional cardiovascular procedures, Toshiba will now be adding advanced imaging processing (AIP) to its entire Infinix-i line of X-ray systems, according to the company.

The AIP program helps improve device navigation, reduces image lag and lets clinicians explore different anatomical densities in fine detail, according to Toshiba.

"The philosophy used to the create the product is that there is an increase in interventional procedures in the catheter lab," Allan Berthe, product manager of cardiology systems at Toshiba America, Tustin, Calif., tells DOTmed News.
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"Since most of this interventional imaging is done under fluoroscopy," Berthe says, the AIP technology helps give a "nice uniform display image that's very critical" using this modality.

Berthe says the AIP-enhancements can also help by sharpening the overall image, letting users see "fine vessel and device detail."

Lag-free Imaging

Toshiba claims the AIP will help doctors perform delicate vascular procedures by giving them continuous real-time imaging without lag. "While you're putting in stents, you have motion from moving the wire itself, from the heart beating, from panning on the table," Berthe says. "In previous generation systems...[from this motion] you'll get image lag, so it's kind of a ghost view of what you're looking at." With the new product, though, Berthe says, "You can set the system up so you have virtually no lag -- a big benefit while under fluoroscopic guidance to place a stent."

The Infinix line has been around for almost ten years, with a little over 500 installed at hospitals and clinics around the country.

The first factory-produced AIP-equipped Infinix-i system reached Piedmont Hospital this past January. Berthe says the first Infinix-i systems to get AIP were small panel and "oriented toward cardiac procedures." But now with AIP expanding to medium and large panel systems, "it has gone vascular, so we now cover the full cardiovascular" system family, he says.

Upgrade kits for existing machines should be expected late this year or in early 2010. Though the price for the upgrades has yet to be determined, the AIP addition will not raise the cost of new Infinix-i models. "When we developed the technology, there was an internal cost," Berthe says. "But we chose not to raise our list prices in this environment, and we rolled [AIP] in as a value add to our customers."