by Lisa Chamoff
, Contributing Reporter | October 22, 2014
From the September 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Contrast can also be better visualized at a lower kV, Mochon says, meaning there is a potential to use less contrast media as well as a lower concentration of the contrast, which can reduce the risk of conditions like contrast-induced nephropathy.
This year, Toshiba launched its second generation Aquilion ONE platform, which includes a 320-slice scanner configuration, and two 640-slice scanner configurations. The Aquilion ONE ViSION Edition includes all the capabilities of the Aquilion ONE 640 along with a faster 0.275 second rotation and a more powerful 100 kW generator. Last year, it introduced the second generation Aquilion PRIME, a scalable system capable of going from 40 to 80 to 160 slices without replacing hardware. Both the Aquilion ONE and Aquilion PRIME platforms have been optimized for ease of use, patient experience and safety, according to the company.
Misra says the company’s advanced dose reduction technology, AIDR 3D, is available in all its scanners, even the entry level machines, something unique among manufacturers. Toshiba also built in dose reduction technologies and started the upgrade process very early on, Misra says. Today, 90 percent of Toshiba’s installed base can be upgraded without having to get new equipment.
“That’s a Toshiba difference,” Misra says. “We saw this coming and we had this built into our design. We had things like automatic exposure control built into our system many years back. “It’s a far smaller challenge for Toshiba than it is for any other competing system.”
At RSNA last year, Philips debuted its IQon Spectral CT, the first spectral detectorbased CT, which the company billed as a breakthrough invention that allows you to use color to identify the composition of what you see. The machine, which includes Philips IMR, or Iterative Model Reconstruction, is pending 510(k) approval.
While the big OEMs have been showcasing high-end scanners at trade shows, Hitachi, which previously manufactured CT scanners for Philips as well as for themselves, has a relatively new entry into the market as of 2013 and is focusing on value. Hitachi received FDA clearance in early 2013 for its SCENARIA 128-slice scanner, and also offers 16- and 64-slice machines.
“We’re not really dueling with Siemens and GE for who has the largest slice,” says Mark Silverman, manager of CT marketing for Hitachi. “Now we live in the land of affordable care, and in the land of affordable care, hospitals are making value-based purchasing decisions.”
Late last year, Hitachi provided all customers under warranty with a software upgrade for all 16-slice machines, which have been on the market for about five years, so the company doesn’t have to worry much, like the bigger OEMs do, about an older installed base that can’t be upgraded.