AI comes to the CT market

AI comes to the CT market

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | September 30, 2019
CT X-Ray
From the September 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


The company expects the scanner to be available in the U.S. later in the year.

Siemens Healthineers
At the American College of Cardiology annual meeting this past March, Siemens Healthineers debuted the SOMATOM go.Top Cardiovascular Edition, a new version of the 128-slice CT scanner designed with the necessary hardware and software, as well as a workflow geared specifically toward cardiac imaging.

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The scanner is capable of providing the high-quality coronary CTA (CCTA) images required for the HeartFlow FFRCT Analysis, a cardiac test developed by HeartFlow Inc., that enables clinicians to better evaluate the impact a blockage has on blood flow and determine the best treatment for patients, according to the company.

Research has shown that CT for front line coronary CT imaging has value, said Matthew Dedman, director of marketing for CT at Siemens Healthineers North America.

"With all of the scientific and clinical research proving the value of CCTA, it's now the question of, 'Where can these services be delivered?'" Dedman said. "Historically, a CT scanner capable of high-quality cardiac imaging is installed within a hospital. We're seeing a trend, though, to shift services to the outpatient environment. That's really where the SOMATOM go.Top Cardiovascular Edition is going to be implemented."

Aside from a tablet-based workflow that allows the technologist to stay with the patient for a majority of the exam, the scanner also comes at a price point that's suitable for an outpatient environment, Dedman said.

At last year's RSNA, Siemens unveiled an artificial intelligence platform called AI-RAD Companion, and the first application available on the new platform is for chest CT. The AI-RAD Companion Chest CT application is designed to mark and measure potential abnormalities in the lungs, heart, and aorta to assist the radiologist in their interpretation of chest CT scans.

"The idea is to provide the radiologist with more data-enriched images and allow them to be more efficient and accurate in their interpretation," Dedman said. "The radiology workforce is not growing at the same pace as the exam volume. We feel a tool like the AI-Rad Companion allows us to offload work. We clearly see this as a complement to the radiologist."

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