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GE Healthcare Launches Digital, Next-Generation Molecular Imaging Systems That Can Help Clinicians Advance Quantitative Care and Research

GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) showcased new molecular imaging technologies at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2016 that will enable clinicians to deliver personalized, quantitative results to patients.

The Discovery MI system and Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT will help clinicians guide treatment, support patients with sensitive care and create an environment for compelling research. Both systems feature state-of-the-art, groundbreaking digital detectors that represent the next generation of molecular imaging systems. XelerisTM 4.0 is the new nuclear medicine workstation supporting Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT and other nuclear medicine systems; its quantitative applications help clinicians achieve greater confidence in customizable, easy-to-read reports across multiple care areas.

Discovery MI was created to help clinicians continue efforts to diagnose and stage disease earlier and better guide treatment strategies while also enabling more compelling research with more novel, faster decaying tracers. Discovery MI is the industry’s only PET/CT system that brings together the sensitivity of digital detection, with the most innovative reconstruction technology available: the combination of Time-of-Flight (TOF) and Q.Clear. The result is outstanding resolution to improve the detection of small lesions.

This system will enable clinicians to conduct more compelling research, such as quantitative brain studies, facilitated by an expanded field-of-view (FOV). Discovery MI may also expand clinicians’ diagnostic service offerings by enhancing their clinical excellence in oncology or by pushing the boundaries of PET in neurology, cardiology and beyond. These expanded capabilities are enabled by the ability to increase low-yield tracer capability with protocols that reduce dose by up to 50 percent; this will allow clinicians to pursue groundbreaking research without impacting image quality.

Discovery MI’s new LightBurst Digital Detector represents the next-generation for GE Healthcare’s vision for a digital future for PET. With this new detector, the system delivers up to two times improvement in volumetric resolution[ii] enabling small lesion detectability and has the highest NEMA sensitivity of any TOF/PET system in the industry. This system also features the latest diagnostic CT innovations with 100 percent better spatial resolution, with no increase in image noise with ASiR-VTM[v]. And Smart Metal Artifact Reduction (MAR) virtually eliminates streaks and shadows from metal artifacts, saving valuable time previously spent correcting images, increasing the number of successful scans for patients.

Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT was engineered to deliver improvements in lesion detection[iv], image quality and patient comfort and combined with advanced quantitative applications provided through Xeleris 4.0, it can help clinicians better diagnose and monitor diseases earlier. The new SPECT/CT is the world’s first general purpose SPECT/CT imaging system with a new digital detector powered by cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. This enables direct conversion of photons into a digital signal that eliminates the signal loss and noise inherent in conventional SPECT/CT detection technology, therefore making the technology more efficient. Until now, CZT technology has been limited to organ-dedicated devices, whereas Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT is the first to allow doctors to perform exams on every organ, including whole-body exams.

This system is intended to help improve the clinicians’ confidence and patient experience. The combined capabilities will allow clinicians to detect smaller lesions[iv] and quantify them more accurately[iii] due to the increased spatial and contrast resolution. This may have a significant role in assessing and monitoring responses to therapies. Having the ability to complete multiple scans in a single visit and reduce the injected dose or the scan time by 50 percent[vi] will improve patient experience. Optimizing the duration of the exams or the injected dose represents not only an improvement for the patient experience, but also could provide economic and clinical benefits.

Researchers have identified clinical scenarios where the combination of multiple SPECT tracers could aid physicians in diagnosing and giving much better and more specific reports in difficult patient conditions. However, performing such multi-isotope exams is quite challenging on conventional cameras. Multiple isotope exams could offer a greater insight into the diagnosis and monitoring responses to treatments. With GE’s new Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT, clinicians will be able to simultaneously visualize and analyse multiple physiological processes in a patient, gaining insights into multiple dimensions of the patient’s anatomy and physiology at the same time.

The Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT is powered by the new Xeleris 4.0 workstation. In the past, Xeleris led the way with mobilized applications that gave you accessible, easy-to-use tools to enhance productivity. Now, Xeleris 4.0 is leading the way with modern, quantitative applications for nuclear medicine. For example, Q.Brain can accurately diagnose neurodegenerative diseases, Q.Lung enables the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism by identifying V/Q mismatch, Q.Lung can also confidently classify patients eligible for lung resection surgeries, and Q.Metrix can quantify tracer uptake across any lesion or organ.

[i]Discovery MI is 510(k) pending at FDA. Not available for sale in the United States. Not yet CE marked. Cannot be placed on the market or put into service until it has been made to comply with CE Marking or otherwise obtained all required regulatory authorizations.

[ii]Improved detectability as demonstrated in phantom testing.

[iii]In clinical practice, the use of Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT may improve quantification of lesions larger than 5.5mL, depending on the clinical task, patient size, anatomical location and clinical practice. A consultation with a radiologist and a physicist should be made to determine the appropriate dose or scan time to obtain the claimed quantification accuracy for the particular clinical task.

[iv]In clinical practice, the use of Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT may improve lesions detectability depending on the clinical task, patient size, anatomical location and clinical practice. A consultation with a radiologist and a physicist should be made to determine the appropriate dose or scan time to obtain diagnostic image quality for the particular clinical task.

[v]In clinical practice, the use of ASiR-V may reduce CT patient dose depending on the clinical task, patient size, anatomical location, and clinical practice. A consultation with a radiologist and a physicist should be made to determine the appropriate dose to obtain diagnostic image quality for the particular clinical task. Low Contrast Detectability (LCD), Image Noise, Spatial Resolution and Artifact were assessed using reference factory protocols comparing ASiR-V and FBP. The LCD measured in 0.625 mm slices and tested for both head and body modes using the MITA CT IQ Phantom (CCT183, The Phantom Laboratory), using model observer method.

[vi]Together with Evolution technology*.

*In clinical practice, Evolution options6a (Evolution for Bone, Evolution for Cardiac, Evolution for Bone Planar) and Evolution Toolkit6b are recommended for use following consultation of a Nuclear Medicine physician, physicist and/or application specialist to determine the appropriate dose or scan time reduction to obtain diagnostic image quality for a particular clinical task, depending on the protocol adopted by the clinical site.

6aEvolution Options – Evolution claims are supported by simulation of count statistics using default factory protocols and imaging of 99mTc based radiotracers with LEHR collimator on anthropomorphic phantom or realistic NCAT – SIMSET phantom followed by quantitative and qualitative images comparison.
6bEvolution Toolkit – Evolution Toolkit claims are supported by simulation of full count statistics using lesion simulation phantom images based on various radiotracers and collimators and by showing that SPECT image quality reconstructed with Evolution Toolkit provide equivalent clinical information but have better signal-to-noise, contrast, and lesion resolution compare to the images reconstructed with FBP / OSEM.

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