The U.S. Consolidated Appropriations Act: Moving from CR to DR

Rental, retrofit and trade-in are financial options for moving to digital radiographyimage of DR systems and cassettes

The benefits of moving from CR to DR are widely recognized by the medical imaging community. Radiology Today summarizes them as, “the technology is more efficient, quicker, and, most importantly, requires less dose to the patient.”

They also include  a more productive radiology workflow than computed radiography (CR). In fact, WellStar North Fulton Hospital told 24×7 magazine that DR reduces their processing time by 90 to 95%. With fast and efficient DR technology, they can see more patients and gain higher utilization of their assets.

The advantages of DR – along with upcoming reimbursement cuts for film and CR exams as a result of the U.S. Consolidated Appropriations Act (also known as HR 2029) – make a strong case for facilities to transition to digital x-ray. Yet at least 8,000 CR systems are still in use today, according to IMV Medical Information Division’s “2015 X-ray Market Report”.  Why the delay?

Some medical xray facilities are reluctant to make the transition because their CR systems are working reliably. For others, the biggest hurdle is finding a cost-effective path to upgrade their existing technology. Facilities also need to weigh whether they should make the move from CR to DR one room at a time or in one swoop.

Carestream Health recommends that radiology managers consider the age of each existing X-ray system, its current operating condition, and whether it provides all the necessary imaging capabilities. In some cases, the X-ray imaging system might need to be updated to deliver advanced features or enhanced productivity. In other cases, installing a DR detector can deliver a rapid conversion to DR technology that makes high-quality images available in seconds.

Carestream offers three smart options to help customers in the United States move from CR to DR without a large upfront capital investment: rental, retrofit and trade-in. Continue reading

Study: Pediatric Fracture Detection

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As a research scientist at Carestream Health, my recent work has focused on pediatric X-ray imaging – specifically, on the goal of achieving high-quality diagnostic images while minimizing dose. To explore potential solutions to this challenge, I initiated a study in collaboration with Samuel Richard, PhD, a fellow researcher at Carestream, and Sosamma T. Methratta, MD, of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. The study had two specific goals: 1) Determine the impact of a simulated reduced dose rendering on the detection of skeletal fractures in children, and 2) Evaluate the effect of enhanced skeletal processing on the same detection task. The methodology and results of this study were on display at RSNA 2015.

carestream-rsna-2015-pediatric-fracture-detection-study-9-638 Continue reading

How is Carestream Supporting Efficient Utilization of Dose?

Imaging Products and Technologies That Can Help Reduce Dose

How is Carestream Supporting Efficient Utilization of Radiation Dose?

DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray Unit

At Carestream we are doing our part to help minimize radiation dose by delivering high-performance image capture systems and specialized software that can help minimize dose while maintaining high image quality. Here are five of Carestream’s dose-related initiatives:

  • Deliver DR detectors with high detective quantum efficiency

Carestream’s DRX Plus 3543C, DRX-1C and DRX 2530C cesium iodide detectors deliver high detective quantum efficiency (DQE), which can produce a higher quality image (defined in terms of signal-to-noise ratio) than a device with lower DQE. Higher DQE can also deliver the same image quality at a lower exposure, which reduces patient dose. Cesium iodide detectors are particularly important for pediatric imaging applications since children’s sensitivity to dose is substantially higher than adults.

  • Offer systems that help optimize radiation dose efficiency

Carestream products offer sophisticated multi-frequency image processing algorithms as well as the flexibility to adjust image processing techniques through the modality’s Continue reading

Video: Testing the New DRX Plus Detectors

The road to superb durability, reliability, and image quality can be a little bumpy. That is why we do extreme testing with our DRX Plus detectors to ensure that they are durable and able to provide reliable quality in the healthcare environment.

Checks such as the Bump Test, Vibration Test, Load Test, Humidity Test, Drop Test, and Water Resistance Test put the DRX Plus detectors in the most intense conditions. You can watch the video below for more details and see the tests in action.

Video: Introducing the New DRX Plus Detectors

Last week brought about the announcement that we have entered into the third generation of DRX detectors: the DRX Plus 3543 and the DRX Plus 3543C detectors.

With this new generation of detectors, users can expect the following benefits:

  • 79% increase in battery life allows for improved productivity and allows increased imaging between battery changes
  • Higher DQE enables the potential for lower dose and improved image quality
  • Fast calibration time, boot time, preview time, and time to full resolution display

The video below includes more information about the capabilities of the DRX Plus detectors.

Sports Medicine Enhancing Care for Amateur and Professional Athletes

Carestream Sports MedicineMany young football players dream of playing in the NFL. My dream was to work for an NFL team and care for the medical needs of these skilled athletes.

Anyone who has watched an NFL game has seen the elite athleticism—and its potential for injuries. Our job as athletic trainers is to help prevent, evaluate and treat conditions ranging from concussions to soft tissue sprains and strains, fractures/dislocations and internal injuries. We also care for our share of chronic conditions.

A Carestream digital X-ray system at Lambeau Field can deliver excellent images in seconds. Our staff provides these images to our team physicians and other specialists who diagnose the injury and determine whether a player can return to the “action” or is in need of further evaluation or urgent care.

Many spectators don’t realize the medical expertise that is available on the sideline for every game—which includes orthopaedists, internal medicine specialists, neurosurgeons, emergency room physicians and neuropsychologists. These experts can view images on the sideline using their iPads and make critically important medical treatment decisions in seconds.

As athletic trainers, game days are just a small aspect of our weekly routine. We monitor our players’ healthcare all year—from the last whistle of the season through the off-season program and back through another long season. We work closely with our physicians to provide optimal and personalized care for each player. Using baseline concussion testing, body composition and multiple physical exams, we are always on the lookout for conditions and injuries that may not present immediate symptoms.

Every year athletic training and physical therapy professionals are exposed to the latest imaging, diagnostic and treatment technologies that can help enhance patient care. We are seeing a tremendous growth in the number of individuals who pursue these careers, which will help enhance the health of amateur to professional athletes for years to come.

Pepper Burress, Green Bay PackersPepper Burruss was named Director of Sports Medicine Administration for the Green Bay Packers in June. He was the team’s Head Athletic Trainer for 22 years and is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist. He also worked for 16 seasons with the New York Jets as an Assistant Athletic Trainer. Burruss has won several awards during his career, including being honored as the NFL Physicians Society’s Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer for the 2012 season. In 2011, he and his staff were named the NFL’s Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

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。

Climbing to Peak Performance with the DRX-Ascend

The DRX-Ascend has been a popular piece of equipment for Carestream since it was first introduced. The high-end DR system has allowed imaging centers, orthopedic facilities, urgent care clinics and hospital radiology departments to provide high-quality, efficient imaging to patients, while having reduced installation costs.

As the video shows, departments are able to take advantage of the performance, quality, and value that the system offers.