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Special report: Mobile C-arms

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | April 09, 2014
International Day of Radiology 2012
From the April 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“In order to ensure a maximum level of sterility it is important to keep a safety zone around the site free,” says Herzmann. “OR staff can totally focus on the patient and not on the technological set-up and controlling the arrangement of the equipment.”

Siemens’ Cios Alpha, which just received FDA clearance, also has motorization capabilities, but it uses single-touch positioning. When the surgeon presses a button, the Carm starts to move and it also has the option of storing position settings for quick call-up.

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“If you take an image in a certain position of the C-arm, it will store that position so you can return to that same exact position to do a verification of that image as well as that region of interest with that single touch positioning,” says Parag Patel, product manager for mobile C-arms at Siemens.

Philip’s Veradius Neo also has built-in features to help improve workflow. The C-arm is color-coded so that there are clear visual aids as the system moves, which allows for easier communication between the surgeon and technician. It has a counterbalanced arm so that it won’t start to creep during a procedure and cause the surgeon to lose the position it was in. Also, the startup time has been decreased to just two minutes so if there is an urgent case, surgeons won’t have to wait long for the system to boot up.

FPD takeover?
It’s well-known that it has been a goal in the health care industry to reduce radiation dose while improving image quality for some time. Although C-arms don’t emit as much radiation as a CT, it’s still is a concern.

Fixed C-arms have historically been equipped with FPD and mobile C-arms were equipped with the less-advanced image intensifier technology. That changed when Ziehm introduced flat panel detectors to mobile units in 2006. Now, almost every new mobile unit on the market today uses this type of technology.

“Flat panel technology in the past was only available on fixed and ceiling mounted systems, but now it’s available on the mobile device, which means we can now compare the mobile C-arm image quality-wise to a fixed installed unit,” says Ziehm’s Herzmann.

Ziehm just recently released its new Vision RFD Hybrid Edition and Herzmann says that it can run the same clinical applications as fixed units including transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

Meanwhile, Philips showcased its latest mobile C-arm with FPD at RSNA back in 2011. The Veradius Neo uses a rotating anode along with constant beam filtration in its X-ray generator, which enables more penetration into the patient and minimizes or eliminates the amount of soft radiation.

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