Carestream debuts mobile digital X-ray

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | September 13, 2011
The DRX-Revolution (Credit: Carestream)
In building 214 on Carestream Health's Rochester, N.Y. campus, health care providers recently toured through a mock ICU, complete with three hospital beds and patient set-ups. They were there to test out the medical imaging company's latest product: a mobile digital X-ray system.

On Tuesday, Carestream revealed plans to launch the new portable DR system, the DRX-Revolution, next year.

The company hopes its new system will take full advantage of digital technology while also allowing better maneuverability: it features two monitors for syncing up images, and a collapsible column for easier navigation of hospital corridors. It also boasts dual drive and the ability to make 360-degree turns in tight spaces.
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The device integrates Carestream's DRX-1 and DRX-1C wireless detectors.

Jimmy Ogle, product line manager for digital radiography at Carestream, who originally trained as a radiologic technologist, said a problem with many current portable digital X-ray units is they aren't much different from analog ones.

"If you stick one of the carts beside one I trained on in 1980, they would look the same except for the color scheme," he told DOTmed News by phone last week.

One of the ways the new unit is meant to take advantage of going digital is through the two touch screens, a 19-inch monitor and an 8-inch tube head monitor.

Technologists can use one touch screen to wirelessly connect to the hospital's image archives and pull up a previous image of the patient. With the old image, they can then exactly replicate its technical parameters. This way, doctors don't have to worry that the parameters to capture the image might be different, Ogle said.

The demand for digital seems to be growing. According to Ogle's estimates, portables are replaced every 10 or 15 years or so, and about a quarter of the replacement market is for digital.

Providers will be able to see, and possibly "test drive," the device at its public showing at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago this November. For now, Carestream expects to release it by the middle of 2012, and will likely file the Food and Drug Administration 510(k) application by year's end.

"We just completed our engineering models, and we're using those to acquire images for the 510 (k)," Ogle said.

As for price, the company said it expects the unit to be in the same range as other mobile X-ray systems that have just come out to the market. "I want this to be the easiest decision a radiology director has to make next year," Ogle said.

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