CHICAGO -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today at RSNA 2012, GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) continued to lead the way in dose-reduction offerings with the announcement of a first-of-its-kind agreement with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health with the purpose of providing physicians with more tools to optimize radiation dose, take clinically-useful images, and potentially reduce the frequency of repeat Computed Tomography (CT) scans. Clinical professionals at the School of Medicine and Public Health, a recognized leader in lower-dose CT imaging, will develop a suite of protocols, which will be regularly updated and improved, and GE Healthcare will make them available, along with GE Healthcare reference protocols, to better serve its customers. GE Healthcare and the University of Wisconsin also plan to make these protocols available to users of many of GE Healthcare’s current CT systems.
“We are excited to share our protocols with current and future GE Healthcare CT users,” said Dr. Myron Pozniak, Professor of Radiology and Chief of the Section of Abdominal CT, UW-Madison. “At the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, we’ve built a rigorous process for protocol development and quality control, and these protocols will be the result of that process.”
The protocols are being designed and optimized for multiple, very specific, clinical applications. Within each clinical application, the UW team plans to develop several protocols for patients of different sizes ranging from small children to large adults. The agreement also calls for the School of Medicine and Public Health to continue to develop and improve the protocols so that end users would receive regular updates as improvements are made.
“We see this agreement as providing the option for our customers to have another comprehensive, robust set of protocols, which are developed by a recognized clinical leader in lower-dose CT imaging, available when their new GE Healthcare CT system is delivered,” said Steve Gray, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare’s CT and Advantage Workstation businesses. “To know that these new protocols are being developed by a top-notch CT imaging program, and that they can expect to receive updates as the University of Wisconsin continuously improves them, we think is a big advantage and potential time saver for our customers.”
In addition to clinical and lower dose opportunities of these protocols, there is a potential real savings to end-users. According to a presentation from the William W. Backus hospital at the 2011 annual meeting of the RSNA, the cost of reviewing and modifying 30 protocols for dose optimization is approximately $165,050 a year. Each site would still be ultimately responsible for any protocol implemented in their program, but they may be able to leverage the foundational ground work UW-Madison has laid.
Patient Care Update
Customers around the U.S. continue to show substantial interest in GE Healthcare’s Blueprint for Lower Dose Benchmark program, which was launched in June 2012. GE worked with four leading health systems to pilot the program for CT. A number of health systems have requested the Benchmark and GE has begun working with these systems to schedule a CT Benchmark at their facilities.
Through its GE Blueprint initiative, GE Healthcare supports healthcare providers’ goals of a comprehensive, programmatic approach to radiation dose management. The Blueprint Benchmark can help a healthcare provider understand the strengths and opportunities within its CT imaging program as compared to industry guidelines and best and better practices. Based on information provided by the healthcare provider, GE’s Low Dose Architects provide a report that can serve as a “blueprint” for the healthcare provider as it works to put in place the people, processes and technology to define and enhance their radiation dose management goals.
In addition to the Blueprint, GE Healthcare’s lower-dose vision builds on its decades-long leadership in equipping radiologists and radiographers with technologies that can help them reduce patient dose and improve image quality. These solutions include: ASiR*, a lower dose image reconstruction technology enabler, installed on more than 1,800 GE CT systems worldwide that has provided more than 20 million scans to date†.; Veo*, the world’s first ever model based iterative reconstruction that enables CT imaging under 1 millisievert with profound clarity†; CT Dose Check, a feature that helps users manage exposure pre-scan through notifications and alerts to operators; free radiation safety iPad apps and lower-dose webinars offering education and CE credits to healthcare professionals globally; DoseWatch*, a multi-modality dose tracking and reporting tool; and Innova* interventional imaging systems designed to maximize dose efficiency, reduce quantity and simplify dose management.
Further, the potential ability to reduce iodine concentration with lower radiation dose CT technologies and new contrast agents are some of the many possibilities being studied by GE Healthcare. With expanding applications for contrast-enhanced CT in vulnerable patients, contrast agent dose is also an important clinical topic.
Low Dose Image Contest
CT imaging is a critical tool in helping physicians diagnose disease and CT imaging has positively impacted millions of adults and children. Traditionally in CT, doctors have had to balance the need for diagnostic image quality and low radiation dose levels. If high levels of image quality were clinically needed, it often meant greater patient exposure to radiation, whereas simply lowering radiation dose for exams, may have sacrificed image clarity, potentially impacting diagnostic quality.
However, with GE Healthcare’s Veo technology, doctors have achieved profoundly clear chest CT images in some cases with less than one millisievert of dose. In that spirit, GE Healthcare has launched a “one millisievert low dose challenge” to showcase the high-level diagnostic quality images taken at previously unthinkable low dose levels. The winners will be announced early in 2013.
* Trademark of General Electric Company.
GE Healthcare at RSNA 2012
Each year in Chicago, the conference of the Radiological Association of North America (RSNA) provides a forum for showcasing the latest innovations in medical imaging. If you are attending the conference, please visit GE Healthcare at booth number 5433 in McCormick Place south hall. Throughout the week of the event, GE Healthcare will distribute news and information using these digital platforms:
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on increasing access and improving quality and affordability around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com. For our latest news, please visit http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com.