by Lisa Chamoff
, Contributing Reporter | November 22, 2016
From the November 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
The new releases in radiography and fluoroscopy over the last year have lined up with key trends in health care.
All-in-one systems are meant to increase utilization, while automation and in-room displays are part of an effort to improve workflow and allow technologists to have more face time with patients.
At the same time, OEMs continue to release larger flat-panel detectors and create budget-friendly products for the growing market of outpatient clinics and urgent care centers, while also keeping their eye on the growth of tomosynthesis for general radiography, not just for breast imaging. The following are products from several OEMs that are new to the market.
Siemens Healthineers launched a highly automated robotic X-ray scanner called the Multitom Rax, which is designed to move around the patient. The multimodality system also allows for fluoroscopy as well as angiography applications. One area the product is meant for is in the emergency and trauma environment, where it can be difficult for the patient to move, says Viola Fernandes, the X-ray product manager for Siemens Healthineers.
The Multitom Rax also allows for X-rays while sitting and standing, so imaging can be done on the ankles, knees, hips and spine when the patient feels pain in certain positions. “The joints and the cavities look very different in their natural weight-bearing position,” Fernandes says. University of Utah Hospital, the first facility in the U.S. to install the Multitom Rax, takes advantage of the ability to do a multitude of exams in the room, and its automation.
“The room in there before didn’t have a wireless detector,” says Matt Harris, supervising technologist at the hospital, which is part of University of Utah Health Care. “This limited what you could do in the room. Without the wireless digital detector, you couldn’t really do extremity work like hands and feet. You could do some body parts and not others. In this one, you can do any possible X-ray that is ordered for any patient, plus most of our fluoroscopy examinations. “With the previous system we also couldn’t move the system in a way to accommodate the limited mobility of trauma patients. In the current room, the machine can move around them.” The company is also marketing the Multitom Rax for the value-based reimbursement era.
“The focus was a system with a high degree of utilization as the health care environment is moving to do more with less, and toward quality-based reimbursement,” says Joe D’Antonio, director of radiography, fluoroscopy, mobile and twin robotic X-ray products for Siemens Healthineers. “Now you’re going to get greater utilization out of that room, rather than have a patient go in a dedicated CT or angiography suite for certain procedures. That’s not to say we’re replacing CT, but there are a multitude of exams we can do within the Multitom Rax that are basic procedures for CT. Why tie up [the] angiography suite’s schedule when you can do PICC lines and injections in this room?”