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Five big European radiology stories from 2020

February 12, 2021
European News
From the January/February 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
In many ways, radiology in 2020 was the same in Europe as it was in the U.S. There were lockdowns, scan volumes plummeted, the pandemic never gave up center stage. Despite that, there was no shortage of news across the pond.

Here, we share five of the stories that generated the most interest in our Daily News online and in our free European Newsletter.

Philips begins 10-year strategic partnership in Germany
In October, Royal Philips and German hospital Marienhospital Stuttgart have signed a long-term agreement to boost the hospital’s diagnostic imaging equipment and associated IT systems, digitize the pathology department, and enhance its emergency medicine capabilities.

The new venture will commence with an analysis of the hospital’s current treatment structures and pathways, with the goal of improving costs and safeguarding the hospital’s investment security in all areas.

“Due to the long-term nature of our partnership with Philips, our hospital will not only actively participate in future technological advances in healthcare, but also become a leader,” said Markus Mord, managing director of Marienhospital Stuttgart, in a news release. “It will enable us to offer our patients diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that consistently meet the latest standards.”

The new partnership with Marienhospital Stuttgart will redefine the radiology procedures, processes and IT systems, as well as coordinating equipment renewal and expansion. Under the terms of the agreement, Philips will be responsible for the procurement, installation, maintenance (including updates and upgrades) and servicing of all large radiology equipment.

"I am pleased that, under challenging circumstances, we have been able to execute our plans and return to growth and improved profitability for the Group in the third quarter,” said Philips CEO Frans van Houten.

French researchers develop photon counting CT detector module
In September, France’s technology research institute CEA-Leti developed a novel X-ray photon-counting detector module (PCDM) that has shown promise for improving CT scanning.

Integrated in a CT scanner prototype from Siemens Healthineers for clinical trials, the PCDM was found to increase spatial resolution, reduce X-ray exposure to patients, and decrease image noise and artifacts for better image quality, and to distinguish multiple contrast agents from one another.

"The CT scanner required a very high performing detector in terms of spatial resolution, quantum efficiency, count rate, power consumption, linearity and reliability," CEA-Leti researcher Loick Verger, business development manager in technologies for imaging systems, told HCB News. "The detector performance is the result of material properties, an optimize detector geometry and a specific electronic readout and PCB, by considering the system architecture of the CT. The challenge was enormous, no available detector existed at this time. We started with Siemens from scratch."

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