by Lisa Chamoff
, Contributing Reporter | June 05, 2017
From the June 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Within the nuclear imaging space, manufacturers are seeing tremendous growth in the PET market, a mainstay imaging modality for oncology, with new frontiers in neurology and cardiology.
As for SPECT, facilities are migrating from SPECT-only systems to SPECT/CT, with the ability for the machines to do double duty and act as a CT backup.
Here’s what’s new from several companies.
In September 2016, Digirad introduced its Cardius X-ACT+, a refresh of its dedicated SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) system first launched in 2009.
“The new system is more ergonomically friendly, based on feedback from clinicians and patients,” says Jessica Schwarz, the director of commercial operations at Digirad.
For the new model, the company changed the design of the chair and footrest for better patient comfort and to make it easier for the technologist to use. It incorporates a new handrail and lower step to get up to the platform, and adjustable footrests at three different levels to cater to each patient’s height. The system can also accommodate patients up to 500 pounds.
“With our upright imaging, the chair moves, keeping the heart in the center of the field of view throughout the entire scan,” Schwarz says.
The X-ACT+ has an advantage over other systems with its fully integrated low-dose fluorescence attenuation correction, which Schwarz says provides a better image of the heart without using higher-dose CT.
“The X-ACT will do the nuclear emission scan first, then another one-minute transmission scan, without moving the patient,” Schwarz says. “The images are fused together.”
Last year, Digirad also became a dealer of products from Danish company DDD Diagnostic, including the CorCam, a dedicated cardiac SPECT camera, and QuantumCam, a small, general-purpose nuclear medicine camera that can fit in a room as small as 10 feet by 10 feet. This allows Digirad to offer a full line of nuclear medicine products, says Virgil Lott, the company’s president of diagnostic imaging.
“In the past, we were very niche oriented in dedicated cardiac and portable planar imaging,” Lott says. “We wanted to add variable angle cameras so we could offer a full line of products to our customers. This allows us to be able to do all nuclear studies.”
Last June, GE Healthcare announced two molecular imaging systems: the Discovery MI platform, a premium PET/CT scanner with a high-end diagnostic CT, and the Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT, a SPECT/CT system.
The company says the Discovery MI, which received FDA clearance in October 2016, has the potential to help in the early diagnosis of cancers.