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Rad rooms get more complex while detectors lighten up

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | November 19, 2018
Agfa DR 800
From the November 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

While the fluoroscopy market has continued to remain flat, some manufacturers in the radiography space are doubling down – in the sense that they’re focusing on multipurpose radiography and fluoroscopy systems that allow facilities to increase room utilization in the era of value-based care.

On the flip side, OEMs are also focusing on the growing urgent care market, with products that bridge the gap between portable systems and fixed rooms.

In the detector market, the newer releases are consistently wireless, lighter and easy to grip while ensuring the highest-quality images.
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Here’s a look at what’s new.

Agfa HealthCare
Agfa HealthCare has started installation of the new multipurpose DR 800 X-ray room that received FDA clearance in April of this year. The system combines radiography and fluoroscopy and uses Agfa’s Dynamic MUSICA (Multi-Scale Image Contrast Amplification) software, the first time the software has been used for fluoroscopy.

The company continued doing research and development and delayed the release “until we were confident we could meet customer needs,” said George Curley, director of marketing and communications for Agfa HealthCare’s North American imaging business.

The DR 800 also has a new workstation with tools to help increase efficiency before, during and after exams, including personalized dose settings, intelligent collimation control, intelligent automated exposure control and automated positioning. Automated image rotation and alert triggering are works-in-progress.

At this year’s RSNA, the company will be introducing digital X-ray tomosynthesis as a future option for the DR 800.

“Some sites demand it,” Curley said. “Tomosynthesis gives you a volume rendering of a skeletal structure or organ. It’s not going to replace CT, but I think it’s going to help ER physicians further evaluate fractures.”

In May, Agfa began the release of a complete product line of X-ray detectors for the retrofit market.

The 17-inch-by-17-inch detector and 14-inch-by-17-inch detectors were released in May and a 10-inch-by-12-inch detector is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year.

The detectors themselves are rugged and operate either wirelessly or tethered, Curley said.

The detectors are cleared to work with Agfa’s entire portfolio.

“Initially we came out with the 14-by-17 and realized the demand is there,” Curley said. “This year we focused on the new sizes as well as getting everything validated to work with the entire portfolio except for the DR 800. I think it has wider appeal for customers.”

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