by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | May 30, 2023
Regional nonprofit St. Luke’s University Health Network has pledged $30 million for 21 AI-powered CT systems that it will install across its hospitals and care sites over the next four years, making it the largest CT order to date in the U.S. and Canada for GE HealthCare and the most expansive for St. Luke’s.
The fleet of CTs, ordered to meet growing demands for cardiac imaging, include GE Revolution Apex 8 and GE Revolution Apex 16 with 8-cm and 16-cm detector width, respectively, and provide new capabilities for stroke, pediatric, and trauma care. Most are replacements for older scanners, but approximately five are new and will be used for both inpatient and outpatient imaging.
The first set will be installed at St. Luke’s Upper Bucks Campus, which already has the building infrastructure to physically support the new equipment.
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The healthcare system has spent 18 months bringing in these systems, which will facilitate faster scanning and sharper images; reduce doses using adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) algorithms; better detect lesions and tissue abnormalities and map vascular structures; and capture fine details of the head and neck for diagnosing strokes.
Additionally, the scanners can image the heart at any rate in just one beat using GE HealthCare’s SnapShot Freeze Technology, reducing motion artifacts and in doing so, the chances of having to rescan patients.
"By improving image quality, it allows radiologists to detect more subtle abnormalities, hopefully allowing for earlier more effective treatments. It decreases the amount of radiation necessary to achieve an accurate diagnosis," St. Luke’s told HCB News.
In addition to caring for patients, the healthcare system will use the scanners to educate its residency students on up-to-date AI technologies in CT imaging. AI and software updates for the fleet will be applied as they become available through GE HealthCare’s Smart Subscription, seamlessly connecting and integrating with St. Luke’s existing network.
“These updates will enable greater standardized care for their patients using the latest capabilities available without having to invest in additional new equipment to keep pace with the latest technology,” said Catherine Estrampes, president and CEO of the U.S. and Canada division at GE HealthCare, in a statement.
The healthcare system, which has a 30-year relationship with GE HealthCare, previously paid $11 million
to install its LOGIQ E10 for General Imaging and Vivid E95 ultrasound systems for echocardiography systemwide, along with the company’s automated reporting and post-processing system, Viewpoint 6, and Vscan Extend, a handheld ultrasound device to be used for cardiology.
St. Luke’s is made up of 14 hospitals and over 300 outpatient sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and has an annual revenue of $3.2 billion.