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Philips deploys mobile CT imaging in three new ventures

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 27, 2023
CT Mobile Imaging X-Ray
Philips has embarked on mobile imaging projects in the U.S., Australia, and at sea.
Over the last year, Philips has developed and deployed mobile CT units in three different ventures worldwide to bring screening to smaller, rural, and underserved populations.

Working with different organizations in the U.S., Australia, and on a boat, the company has developed and deployed trucks equipped with its Incisive CT scanner, which is designed to support mobile imaging and screening, to screen for lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses. Here is a breakdown of all three endeavors:

Screening in Buffalo
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While proven to be effective in reducing mortality in high-risk patients, few of these individuals participate in lung cancer screenings, with less than 6% using them in the U.S. This is primarily due to inaccessibility, especially in remote and rural communities.

In 2022, Philips and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Buffalo, New York, created a mobile CT truck to perform screenings around the city, which has had the highest rate of lung cancer incidence in the entire state for over a decade. The collaboration is part of Roswell Park’s Project Eddy (Early Detection Driven to You) for increasing screenings.

“More than 36% of New York state residents have to drive at least an hour to access a CT scan. We needed to move screening outside of institutions and hospitals and offer it in the neighborhood where people will get used to seeing it,” said Dr. Mary Reid, chief of cancer screening, survivorship, and mentorship at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Diagnosing Aussie miners
In the Australian outback, mining workers and their families are at greater risk for pneumoconiosis (black lung disease), silicosis, asbestosis, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.

With Heart of Australia, a front-line specialist medical service provider, Philips developed a ruggedized 26 meter B-double truck with its Incisive CT and AI-based Precise Image software, for lowering dose while maintaining image quality. It contains the world’s first solar and battery-powered low-dose CT scanner for use in off-road locations that lack stable electricity supplies.

With five currently on the road in its first year, the program has seen over 2,500 patients and performed over 2,500 X-rays and over 500 CT scans, and diagnosed 159 respiratory cases. They also perform cardiac stress tests, ECGs, and echocardiograms with Philips ultrasound equipment, and provide services for ten other medical specialties.

“Miners now get much more than just a CT chest scan. They get a comprehensive health assessment including lung function, occupational health checks, and hearing tests,” said professor Catherine Jones, lead radiologist at Heart of Australia.

Imaging at sea
Over the past 10 months, the world's largest civilian hospital ship, the Global Mercy, operated by the international Mercy Ships charity, has scanned people from the poorest parts of the world for free with Philips’ Incisive CT, and with it, performed 2,500 to 3,000 operations onboard.

“With its short scanning times, it reduces breath-hold time, decreasing patient anxiety. We can obtain diagnostic-quality imaging by prioritizing patient safety and minimizing radiation dose without compromising scan quality. The CT scanner also provides emergency imaging for the 500-plus crew on board the vessel,” said Martha Henderson, the Global Mercy’s onboard radiology technologist.

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