RSNA 2012 is coming to a close! The five-day exhibition has been an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the amazing GE Healthcare innovations and share new announcements on the latest healthcare technologies and applications with healthcare professionals, clients and visitors from around the world.
During RSNA this year, GE Healthcare showcased new medical technologies that will help change the way radiology works today and evolves in the future. Here are some of the most significant announcements and medical innovations from this year’s event.
Patients First: Making Better Quality Care a Reality
The most important people in healthcare are patients. RSNA 2012’s ‘Patients First’ theme for has spotlighted patient care, emphasizing new products created to improve the patient imaging experience.
One of the biggest obstacles in radiology in the way of achieving great patient experience is the excessive acoustic noise generated during MR scans. Conventional MR Scanners can generate noise above 110 decibels (like listening to a grating sound at a rock concert). Until now, MR scanner designs have focused on muffling that sound as much as possible instead of treating the noise at its source. The 510(k) pending Silent Scan* technology, showcased by GE Healthcare at RSNA 2012, reduces noise for certain types of scans to a background sound and helps to achieve a better MR exam environment for patients, improving the level of patient care.
This year GE Healthcare also introduced the expansion of the Caring MR Suite for the extremity Optima 430s MR scanner. The equipment transforms the exam room into a relaxing, musical environment for patients, who can choose between 16 combinations of lighting, visual scenery and musical backgrounds to be played during their MR Exam. Not only does this help patients to relax during their exam, it can also improve efficiency for hospitals, reducing the number of scans that have to be redone.
The transformation of the exam room doesn’t stop with MR: The SensorySuite for mammography, showcased by GE Healthcare at RSNA this year, is designed to help improve patients’ experience by providing a customized environment involving sight, smell and hearing during an exam. This can help to reduce anxiety during scans and make patients feel more comfortable.
Clinical Insight within Reach
Recent studies show that up to 2.5 hours in a radiologist’s day wasted because of workflow inefficiencies. GE Healthcare’s new Universal Viewer frees physicians’ time, integrating information across different systems to help make patient diagnosis and treatment more efficient. Rather than creating complexity with multiple logins, tools that behave differently, and separate workstations, Universal Viewer has the potential to provide 5% productivity improvement. It has a unified user interface with a single look and feel that is easy to learn and able to adapt to radiologists’ preferences, automating exam setup. Referring physicians can access the viewer from anywhere and patients can get from the exam to their results in less time, improving patient care, efficiency and information availability in hospitals.
Greater Presence in Ultrasound Detection and Therapy
GE Healthcare recently expanded its portfolio in breast cancer detection. At RSNA 2012, GE Healthcare announced the acquisition of U-Systems, a manufacturer of ultrasound products specifically designed for breast applications, during an event hosted by GE CEO Jeff Immelt on Tuesday.
For GE Healthcare, this means being able to offer an even bigger range of solutions in diagnostics and continuing to provide clinicians and their patients the most innovative solutions possible.
GE Healthcare also highlighted during the event the recent FDA approval of the InSightec’s ExAblate system for ultrasound treatment of painful bone metastases in patients who are not candidates for or refuse to undergo radiation. The equipment, which is compatible with GE Healthcare’s standard bore and wide bore MRI systems, is used for a therapy that combines acoustic ultrasound waves with continuous guidance and treatment monitoring by MRI, which allows physicians to guide and plan the therapy with MRI and destroy the nerves that cause the pain from bone metastases with the focused ultrasound acoustic energy. GE Healthcare is a minority shareholder of InSightec, Ltd., and is a distributor of ExAblate in many countries around the world
*SilentScan is 510(k) pending at the FDA and is not available for sale in the United States. The device is intended to include the features and applications described here, subject to clearance by the FDA