A Medical Imaging Revolution at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

By Tomoki Oka, Manager, X-ray Systems Business, Japan, Carestream

日本語版はここで読むことができます。

The DRX-Revolution has been visiting and capturing images of some new patients in Japan at Ocean Expo Park, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Ocean Expo Park houses the aquarium and is a national government park located on the site of the Okinawa International  Ocean Exposition held in 1975. The aquarium, located within the park, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Okinawa. It is home to approximately 740 different species and 21,000 marine life that inhabit the sea around Okinawa.

Animal Management Team Sub-Leader Keiichi Ueda, is one of two veterinarians at the aquarium, and is responsible for the health and physical status of the animals. In an interview,  Vet Ueda explains the differences of human care in a hospital versus animal care in the aquarium—particularly that they have to take the animals out of the water for an extended period of time, and in the case of x-rays, the exposure dose is different and time must also be considered.

With some animals being quite large, the facility required x-ray equipment that would be able to capture high-quality images of the animals, capture multiple images without using different cassettes, and also provide enough radiation dose so image quality would not be compromised.

In the interview, Fish Team Chief Technician Makio Yanagisawa, says, “Because the Revolution can be used to expose continuous radiographic images of dolphins without having to place and change the cassettes under them each time, it is much easier to use when compared with the previous types of analog film that had to be developed after each exposure.”

Additionally, their work environment is much different than that of a hospital. There are no hallways, several small hills, and rougher terrain that can make pushing and pulling equipment more difficult.  Vet Yanagisawa found the ease of use with the DRX-Revolution to be valuable in helping to move and maneuver around the facility.

The video below shows the DRX-Revolution in action at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, and includes in-depth interviews with the aquarium’s medical staff.

沖縄美ら海水族館にてRevolution稼働開始

大場拓也/岡知樹

An English version of this post can be read here.

DRX-Revolutionが海洋博公園沖縄美ら海水族館に導入され、イルカなど海洋動物たちの撮影に貢献しています。

ここ海洋博公園は1975年に開催された沖縄国際海洋博覧会跡地に設置された国営公園で、沖縄の観光スポットのひとつとして人気のある沖縄美ら海水族館もこの公園の中にあります。約740種21000点ほどの沖縄近海に生息する生物を飼育しています。

動物管理チームサブリーダーの植田啓一氏は常駐する医師の一人で、動物の健康管理・体調管理を担当しています。インタビューで植田氏は、特に動物を水から出して固定及び拘束時間を考慮しなければならない点や種別に応じて撮影線量を変えなければならない点など、人と動物の撮影方法の違いを述べています。

動物の種別によっては非常に大型になるので、高線量で高画質な画像が確実に取得できること、カセッテを都度交換することなく何枚も撮影できることなどが求められます。

魚類チーム 主任技師の柳澤牧央氏は「Revolutionは、イルカの下に入れたカセッテを一回づつ入れ替えずにそのまま撮り続けることができるのが、今まで現像しないといけなかったものに比べると利点だと思います。」と述べています。

水族館は病院と違って廊下が整備されていなかったり、本体を押したり引いたりすることが困難な場合が多いのですが、DRX-Revolutionは軽い力で簡単に動かすことができ小回りが利くので非常に便利であると述べています。

インタビュービデオではDRX-Revolutionでの撮影の様子やスタッフのインタビュー内容をご覧いただけます。

Veterinary Medical Imaging: Give the Customer a Solution, Not a Problem

La versión española de este post se puede leer aquí.

Davis Sesma, IntechDavid Sesma is the managing director of Intech, company specialized in technical healthcare engineering, both in healthcare radiology and veterinary radiography. Moreover, Sesma has a degree in Physics and is an expert in veterinary clinical software.

Carestream and Intech have developed a system for veterinary radiology exams, with more than 500 veterinarians around Europe using the system. With his experience and knowledge, Sesma is the perfect person to explain the issues we see in veterinary medicine.

How does radiology works in veterinary science? Do you think that in recent years the level of this science has increased through new technological innovations?

Sesma: Currently, the most demanded diagnostic method in veterinary activities is the radiology. This science has become so important to the veterinarian sector that to be approved as a clinic center, they must have surgery and X-ray equipment.
Technological advances in this area in the last 25 years (specifically to veterinary radiology equipment, digital systems adapted to the needs of industry, etc.) have led to growth from 10% to 75% regarding veterinary centers with a registered radiology team. As for digital radiology systems, only 10 years ago, only large referral centers would have the equipment, whereas today over 50% of new businesses are provided with digital radiology systems when first opening.

How does new software affect conventional radiology techniques in the veterinary industry?

Sesma: The development of applications for the collection of radiology images for veterinary activities has significantly helped  to diagnose diseases and the appropriate treatment.  Having specific radiology filters for each animal and anatomical region have contributed to the reduction of repeated exposures, and has also led to reduced radiation dose. On the other side are the measurement tools and veterinary applications that allow for accurate diagnoses as efficiently as possible, while also optimizing cost reduction.

What is the most striking difference between the software for animals versus human beings?

Sesma: A veterinary treatment program is designed by veterinarians and responds to all the demands of the sector. In fact, every six months we incorporate new tools and modify some that have already been made, based on feedback we receive directly from customers

The biggest difference lies in the fact that the veterinary surgeon has a particular expertise. He is part radiologist, part internist, and part cardiologist and psychologist. So what we have always tried, and I think we have achieved, is to implement an intuitive computer program that is easy to use. We have moved away from the complicated PACS platforms for human images, which you have to be an expert to manage.

Our goal has always been very clear: putting the service veterinary diagnostic tools in place, and prevent veterinarians from having to continue to use out-of-date, ineffective software.

Veterinary Imaging from CarestreamCan Intech software also be used with unconventional pets?

Sesma: There are more and more households containing pets other than dogs and cats, resulting in increasingly frequent consultations with birds, rodents, reptiles, ferrets, rabbits, etc. There are already many clinics in Europe (of course in Spain) specializing in “exotic animals.” So in our software, we contemplate different tools and filters for dogs, cats, horses, reptiles, small mammals, rodents, birds, turtles and other reptiles for example.

Incorporating a new technology needs to be accompanied with a training session. Would you say that veterinarians can easily adapt to new technologies?

Sesma: If someone is used to a certain way of doing things, the problem is not for that person, it is for the company–it has failed to adapt to the client. Today, veteran professionals who have never handled a computer, send emails, take pictures, play “Candy Crush” and hold video conferences with their grandchildren. This has been achieved thanks to the new usable software that we find in today’s devices, be it tablet, smartphone, or PC. That’s what developers should do—solutions must answer your questions. Veterinarians who are committed to our company have learned the new technologies, without a doubt.

Is the same security applied to both people and animals, in terms of standard protocol and regulation?

Sesma: There is not a gap in legislation. In fact, the RD 1085/2009 plays under the same heading for veterinary and conventional radiology equipment for humans. So our quality standard and our manufacturing CE markings don’t discriminate in terms of security, whether the use of the equipment is for human or animal patients.

Which would you say are the biggest benefits in the partnership between Intech and Carestream?

Sesma: The win-win relationship. Both companies are in the same line of support and non- interference in each of our tasks. Carestream has given us the green light to carry 100% of the veterinary market and as well as the support of the product, which is considered by many veterinarians to be the best product in its class .

Dar Al Cliente una Solución a sus Necesidades y no un Problema

The English version of this post can be found here.

Davis Sesma, IntechDavid Sesma es  director general de Intech,  empresa especializada en ingeniera  técnica hospitalaria, tanto  en radiología médica  como en radiografía veterinaria. Sesma es licenciado en ciencias físicas y todo un experto en el mundo del software clínico para animales.

Intech y Carestream han desarrollado conjuntamente un sistema para pruebas radiológicas, más de 500 veterinarios ya utilizan estos sistemas .Por todo esto  Sesma se convierte en  la persona perfecta por su experiencia y conocimiento  para  que nos explique las dudas de la medicina veterinaria

¿Como  funciona la radiología en las ciencias veterinarias? ¿Cree usted que en los últimos años  ha aumentado la categoría de esta ciencia gracias a las nuevas innovaciones tecnológicas?

Sesma: Hoy por hoy, el método diagnóstico más demandado en las actividades veterinarias es, sin duda, la radiología. Esta ciencia ha llegado a tal importancia, que para que los colegios profesionales homologuen como clínica un centro veterinario, estas han de contar con quirófano y equipo de Rayos X.

Los avances tecnológicos en esta materia en los últimos 25 años (equipos de radiodiagnóstico específicos de veterinaria, sistemas digitales adaptados a las necesidades del sector, etc.) han llevado a que  se haya pasado de una proporción del 10% al 75% en cuanto a centros veterinarios con un equipo de radiología registrado. En cuanto a los sistemas de radiodiagnóstico digitales, hace tan solo 10 años, se digitalizaban solo los grandes centros de referencia, mientras que hoy, más del 50% de las nuevas empresas se dotan de un sistema de radiología digital al comienzo de su actividad.

¿Los  nuevos softwares alteran las técnicas radiológicas en las ciencias veterinarias convencionales?

Sesma: El avance de los programas de captación y tratamiento de imágenes radiológicas  para cada actividad veterinaria, están ayudando de forma muy significativa al veterinario en el diagnóstico de patologías y su tratamiento. El tener filtros radiológicos concretos para cada animal y zona anatómica, ha contribuido a la reducción de repeticiones de exposiciones, con la consiguiente reducción de dosis al profesional. Por otro lado están las herramientas de medición y de aplicaciones veterinarias que permiten a diagnósticos precisos en un tiempo mínimo, de la manera más eficiente posible con lo  que se optimiza el tiempo y se reducen los costes.

¿Cuál es la diferencia más llamativa entre los sofwares de animales frente a los de seres humanos?

Sesma: El programa de tratamiento veterinario está diseñado por veterinarios y responde todas las demandas del sector. De hecho, cada 6 meses vamos incorporando nuevas herramientas y  modificamos algunas  que ya  se  han hecho, en función de los comentarios de los propios clientes.

Pero quizás la mayor diferencia, radica en el hecho de que el veterinario clínico no tiene una especialización, es en parte radiólogo, es en parte internista, un poco cardiólogo… y un mucho psicólogo. Así que, lo que siempre hemos tratado, y creo que hemos logrado, es realizar un programa informático muy intuitivo (no hace falta tener grandes conocimientos de ofimática) y extremadamente fácil de usar, lejos de los complicados PACS de humana, donde hace falta ser un experto para su manejo.

Nuestro objetivo ha sido siempre muy claro: Poner al servicio del Veterinario herramientas de diagnóstico, y no el contrario, es decir adaptar al veterinario a las herramientas existentes.

Veterinary Imaging from Carestream¿El software de Intech  también puede ser usado con mascotas no  convencionales?

Sesma: Cada vez hay más hogares con otras mascotas que no son perros o gatos. Cada vez son más frecuentes las consultas con aves, roedores, reptiles, hurones, conejos etc. De hecho ya existen muchas clínicas en Europa (y por supuesto en España) especializadas en “animales exóticos”. Por eso en nuestro software, contemplamos diferentes herramientas y filtros para perros, gatos, caballos, reptiles, pequeños mamíferos, roedores, aves, tortugas y demás reptiles por ejemplo.

La incorporación de una tecnología necesita ir acompañada de un sistema de enseñanza. ¿Diría usted que los veterinarios se adaptan fácilmente a las nuevas tecnologías que van apareciendo o se han quedado anclados cada uno en su época?

Sesma: Si alguien se queda anclado en su época, el problema no es de esa persona si no de la empresa que proporciona los servicios, que no ha sabido adaptarlos al cliente. Hoy en día, los mayores profesionales que nunca han manejado un ordenador, mandan correos electrónicos, hacen fotos, juegan al “Candy Crush” y mantienen videoconferencias con sus nietos. Esto se ha conseguido gracias a los nuevos software intuitivos que todos conocemos de las tabletas. Es  lo que debemos hacer los desarrolladores de soluciones informáticas.  Los veterinarios que apuestan por nuestra empresa se han adaptado a esta nueva tecnología,  sin lugar a dudas.

¿Se mantiene la misma seguridad en personas como en animales? A nivel protocolario y de normativa vigente.

Sesma: No hay ninguna diferencia legislativa. De hecho el RD 1085/2009 incluye en el mismo epígrafe a los equipos para prácticas veterinarias y a los equipos de radiodiagnóstico convencionales para humanos. Por eso nuestras normas de calidad de fabricación y nuestros marcados CE no diferencian, a nivel de seguridad, si la práctica a la que se destina el equipo es para un paciente humano o animal.

¿Cual diría usted que son las mayores consecuencias y los mayores beneficios del acuerdo llevado  a cabo entre Intech  y Carestream?

Sesma: La confianza mutua. Ambas empresas estamos en la misma línea de ayuda y no interferencia en cada una de nuestros cometidos. Carestream por su parte nos ha dado luz verde para llevar el 100% del mercado veterinario y el soporte en fábrica del producto, para desarrollar, el que está considerado por muchos veterinarios el mejor producto de su categoría.

The Top 10 Reasons for Veterinarians to go Digital

Heidi McIntosh, Marketing Manager, X-ray Solutions, Carestream

Heidi McIntosh, Marketing Manager, X-ray Solutions, Carestream

Radiography is a jargon-heavy environment filled with terms and acronyms that can be hard for anyone to follow. The last thing you want to worry about is being confused while taking care of your patients. There is no doubt that technology is changing the way we work and many facilities are upgrading from film-based radiography to digital, but some are still on the fence.

A veterinary practice on the coast of Southern England recently showcased the advanced medical care now available for beloved pets and their owners. Raddenstiles Veterinary Surgery upgraded to digital to deliver access and management of high-quality imaging studies for the 3,500 patients the practice sees each month. Going digital has enabled the practice to engage in remote consultations to better treat their patients.

In a recent case, a Jack Russell Terrier fell off a 150-foot seaside cliff and was rescued by the Coast Guard. The veterinarian at the local practice determined the dog had a broken hip and digitally transmitted the images to the on-call vet at the Raddenstiles practice. There, they were able to devise a treatment plan and successfully repair the injury once the dog was stable and fit for surgery.

An Inside Look: A magazine for veterinarians from Carestream about radiology trends.

V-Inside: A magazine from Carestream about veterinary radiology trends.

There are many benefits that come from making the move to digital from both a business and patient-care perspective. Here are 10 of the best ones:

  1. Speed: Imaging exams are faster and smoother than ever before. X-ray images are displayed almost instantly, enabling veterinarians to accept or retake an image if needed, adding up to faster diagnosis and early treatment.
  2. Quality: Digital imaging provides superb quality, which can mean a higher level of confidence in the diagnoses and potentially, an increased standard of care.
  3. Waste: No more film, storage, toxic chemicals, fumes/odors, or long processing times.
  4. Versatility: Flexible and versatile software enables veterinarians to capture both soft tissue and bone detail in the same image, eliminating the need for multiple exposures with film cassettes.
  5. Sharing: Digital imaging supports increased clinical collaboration because images can be quickly and easily shared electronically.
  6. Application: Digitally captured exam images can be enhanced and manipulated to aid in interpretation.
  7. Space: Save valuable floor space since there is no need for a dedicated darkroom or storage for files because all images can be archived digitally.   
  8. Savings: Advancing technology is making the initial cost of digital systems even more affordable. Over time practices can enjoy a lower cost of ownership and operation.
  9. Transition: The transition is smooth and easy with little to no disruption. Digital imaging fits into existing workflow with an easy-to-use interface, minimizing training time.
  10.  Intuitive: This state-of-the-art technology can differentiate practices from the competition and enhance professional image.

The latest edition of An Inside Look magazine further discusses how Raddenstiles Veterinary Surgery benefits from going digital, along with “RAD 101: Know Your Modalities,” and a closer look at the TDR Detector. You can read the latest edition of the magazine here and subscribe to never miss a new version here.

How can going digital help your veterinary clinic be at its very best?