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New Siemens CT scanner uses AI to improve patient positioning

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | April 04, 2018
Artificial Intelligence CT Health IT X-Ray
SOMATOM Edge Plus
The FDA has greenlit the SOMATOM Edge Plus CT system from Siemens Healthineers.

The solution incorporates Fully Assisting Scanner Technologies (FAST) Integrated Workflow with the FAST 3D Camera, the first system to utilize AI for the correct positioning of patients, enabling high quality images while minimizing dose exposure and repeat scans.

“If a patient were not properly positioned, it could result in a CT study that has a less than desirable or less than optimal image quality,” Matthew Dedman, CT marketing director for Siemens Healthineers, told HCB News. “With new FAST 3D Camera and automated patient positioning, we can improve the consistency of the image quality delivered to the radiologist so they are more confident in their diagnosis and more consistent in the workflow because they’re getting high quality images every time.”

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The task of positioning patients inside a CT gantry at isocenter has traditionally fallen on the technologist, whose visual interpretation and depth perception is crucial in the matter. If incorrect, positioning can lead to noisy images and unnecessary radiation exposure.

The FAST 3D Camera eliminates this potential by capturing 3-D and infrared images and using AI algorithms to analyze the data, to identify the body contours of the patient and segment out particular regions. The table then aligns to position the patient at true isocenter based on the selected protocol.

“There’s always going to be some variability from patient-to-patient depending on their individual history and condition. What we see a lot of providers focusing on is the unnecessary variability," said Dedman. "That’s really at the core of the value that the new FAST 3D camera and FAST integrated workflow delivers, in that we’re using AI and this smart automated patient positioning system to eliminate unnecessary variabilities in patient positioning when it comes to CT.”

Radiation is also reduced by the system’s tin filter technology, which shields patients from clinically irrelevant radiation. With it, the dose from a lung CT may be reduced to that of a standard X-ray.

SOMATOM Edge Plus also delivers increased diagnostic confidence with TwinBeam Dual Energy, which enables quantitative imaging and improved characterization for precise visualization of iodine uptake in a tumor.

The addition of FAST Integrated Workflow with the FAST 3D Camera was introduced by Siemens at RSNA in November and will be available on its SOMATOM Drive and SOMATOM Force systems pending FDA clearance.

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