Art and culture have a long tradition in Vienna. The city is home to some of the finest opera houses, art galleries, museums and architecture in the Western world. Composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms produced their finest work there.
In radiology, art and science coexist in harmony, as the images produced by radiologists can be as visually arresting as they are medically important. Be it a traditional X-ray or a more advanced three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance (MR) scan, radiologists are perpetually refining the art of looking deep into the human body, helping to make healthcare more precise and effective for all.
The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) is the annual meeting held by the European Society of Radiology. There, the most advanced medical imaging techniques in the world are presented and the future of the discipline is revealed. It is a trend-setting, dynamic congress, well-known as one of the most innovative meetings in the medical world.
This year’s meeting will be held from March 4th to 8th, and GE Healthcare will be hosting a series of forums discussing the impact of the cutting edge of imaging on diagnostics and healthcare. They will be taking place throughout ECR 2015 to educate and inform practitioners about the benefits of lowering radiation dose.
This year’s meeting will also be about the future for machines and technologies that are rapidly getting old and falling behind in terms of efficacy and capacity.
Consider the ubiquity of surfing the web and checking emails on your mobile phone. For many people these are essential activities for work. But just a decade ago, using a mobile phone for email was seen as unnecessary and even gimmicky. The same can be said for imaging technology. Scanners, machines and software from decades past are simply not capable of the impressive number crunching feats and hi-definition image quality that are fast becoming the new gold standard. What’s more, they are simply getting too old to keep up with growing demand. In Spain, for instance, it has been found that one in ten MRI scanners is over ten years old.1
Speaking to The Pulse, Jean Michel Malbrancq, President & CEO of GE Healthcare Europe, said that new technology opens new possibilities for better healthcare. “There is more and more pressure on healthcare systems to cope with the ageing population and the increased prevalence of chronic disease. Yet, much of Europe is persisting with old equipment that simply cannot offer the same benefits to patients in terms of diagnostic quality, reliability and speed. In addition, every year sees incremental improvements in technology which allow breakthroughs like low-dose Computed Tomography (CT). Advances like these are not so readily available in an old installed base.”
Of all the incremental improvements Malbrancq mentions, low-dose CT is arguably one of the most important. CT works by passing X-rays through the body from several angles, then composing an image of the inside of the body. The trouble is, X-rays can be harmful if one is exposed to them for too long. What GE Healthcare have managed to achieve with the Revolution CT* scanner is to lower the dose of X-rays passed through the patient and simultaneously increase the quality of the images obtained.
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*Trademark of General Electric Company