White Paper: DRX Plus Detectors – Going from Good to Great

Carestream’s introduction in 2009 of the world’s first portable, wireless, cassette-sized detector – the CARESTREAM DRX-1 Detector – has fundamentally changed the digital radiography market with a versatile and cost-effective imaging solution. Now available, the third-generation design: the CARESTREAM DRX Plus Detector takes DR to a new level.

This white paper, “DRX Plus Detectors: Going from Good to Great,” was authored by Karin Töpfer, imaging physicist in Carestream’s Research and Innovation Laboratories, and Tim Wojcik, program leader for radiographic image capture in Carestream’s Research and Innovation Laboratories. It describes many of the features and benefits of the DRX Plus at a detailed level to demonstrate that the DRX Plus takes digital radiography with portable wireless detectors from good to great.

Carestream pioneered the concept of portable, wireless, cassette-sized DR detectors and this leadership position allowed the company to witness the benefits of the original DRX-1 while learning about opportunities to improve. The DRX Plus represents Carestream’s 3rd generation detector design, reflecting the integration of its knowledge and experience in the market.

You can click the image below to read or download the white paper, “DRX Plus Detectors: Going from Good to Great.”

Carestream DRX Plus Detector White Paper

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.

[Video] Replacing Analog to Allow for DRX-1 Detector Sharing

Karen Swanson, R.T. (R) (M), Director of Medical Imaging, at Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton, CO, shares her feedback about wireless detector sharing at her facility and the CARESTREAM DRX-Revolution.

The medical center replaced three analog portables with two DRX-Revolution Mobile X-Ray Systems. They share the DRX-1 detector between the portables and the RF room – making the best use of the most expensive piece of the system at peak times.

A Mobile Imaging Efficiency Showdown: CR vs. DR

When it comes to medical imaging it is no secret that every second counts. The modern healthcare environment can be incredibly fast-paced and medical imaging professionals demand, and deserve, the best when it comes to time-saving technologies.

We wanted to compare the efficiency of DR compared to CR using the DRX-1, and with the support of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK we were able to record a speed test. In the video, wireless DR is almost twice as fast as standard CR mobile imaging–an impressive performance that could make a big difference in terms of productivity and patient care.

Why DR is Important for Facilities in India

The benefits of DR have been discussed at great length, but there are regions around the world that have not been able to implement the technology as fast as others.

Dr. Anirudh Kohli, Head of Radiology, Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai says that the turn-around time and ergonomics of using DR have resulted in several benefits including better care and a better patient experience. He mentions that a medical imaging process that used to take 10-15 minutes now takes under 3-4 minutes thanks to DR.

In the video below, Dr. Kohli explains this and more about Breach Candy Hospital’s uses of DR, as well as why more facilities in India should be using DR technologies.

Upgrading Your Portable X-ray Fleet?

Juanita Reader, RT(R), Manager of Diagnostic Radiology In-Patient and Informatics, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

Juanita Reader, RT(R), Manager of Diagnostic Radiology In-Patient and Informatics,
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

The radiology department of our 616-bed hospital conducts 125,000 imaging procedures a year. We have an extensive investment in portable and room-based imaging systems—so finding an affordable way to upgrade to DR was a challenge. We are still in the process of conversion, but we have found that combining new portable systems with retrofitted portable units has enabled us to deliver higher image quality and faster image access while lowering dose.

Initially we were skeptical: Would the image quality of the retrofitted units be acceptable? To find out, we conducted a week of on-site patient imaging with the DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray System and an existing mobile imaging system updated with a CARESTREAM DRX-Mobile Retrofit Kit that includes wireless communication capabilities and a high-resolution detector. When our radiologists reviewed images from both trials, they reported excellent image quality and consistency across both types of systems.

We purchased one DRX-Revolution for general use in the ED and bedside portable exams throughout the hospital and two retrofit kits – one is dedicated to the OR which has 22 suites and the other retrofitted system performs bedside exams. Use of the Carestream DRX-1C detectors on all three systems has reduced patient dose by 20-30 percent for many exams, and up to 50 percent for some exams.

Our OR surgeons are extremely pleased with the performance of their retrofitted portable system. It not only delivers access to high-quality images immediately, but it also offers advanced features offered by Carestream’s specialized imaging software – including enhanced visualization of tube and line placements. The high-resolution images produced by these systems are also important for hardware placements and deliver the detailed imaging required during orthopaedic and spinal surgeries.

Another important feature is that DRX detectors can be moved from one imaging system to another. So if one of our portable systems goes down, we can move the detector to another unit and continue imaging patients.

If your radiology department is evaluating upgrading its portable systems, combining new wireless DR portables with wireless DR retrofits for existing systems is an excellent solution that helps enhance patient care while meeting budget requirements.

RSNA 2013: Right for Today, Ready for Tomorrow Thanks to Modular Solutions

Helen Titus

Helen Titus, Marketing Director, X-ray Solutions, Carestream

As much as we sometimes wish it would, unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Don’t forget to include medical imaging and health IT equipment in that saying too. Technology moves fast. Radiology departments need to be aware of the solutions that are most appropriate for their facilities, both in terms of providing the best care for their patients and for their wallets. X-ray system and health IT solutions are no small purchases, and radiologists and radiographers alike need to be assured that the purchase is worth the investment.

At Carestream, our saying is that our medical imaging solutions are “Right for today. Ready for tomorrow.” We do not want radiology departments to buy a piece of equipment and then need to purchase a new one before its end of life. The facility and vendor should be working together to find the right fit so that the X-ray and IT purchases are future-proofed.  The mission should be to provide facilities with a bridge that appropriately provides the radiology department with the right technology at an affordable price, and also having them prepared for technological needs they will experience down the road. This means that the technologies that acquire and store images will be accessible and relevant in the future, and that the inevitability of changing needs and advancing technologies does not make current investments obsolete.

When implementing modular systems, users can expect to experience three main benefits:

Cost control: Because of modular capabilities, funds are only spent on the technologies needed instead of additional costs spent on hardware or software that is not needed, but cannot be dissociated from the original technology.Digital Continuum

Agility: Efficiency, flexibility—both of these also work as appropriate descriptors of modular solutions. One main purpose behind purchasing modular solutions is that they have the ability to be switched around and used with a variety of systems, no matter the vendor. For example, our DRX-1 wireless digital detectors do not have to be used on only a Carestream DR system. Sure, we’d prefer it that way, but for the sake of agility, the DRX-1 detectors work with the X-ray systems of other vendors. This agile capability means that you can purchase the detectors necessary without having to buy a new X-ray system.

Improved patient care: While the cost control and agility ultimately helps the healthcare facility, the improved customer care experienced through modular solutions is noticeable and vital. With the improved efficiency created thanks to modular systems, healthcare providers are able to capture, collect, analyze and access information much faster without compromising the quality of care. Thanks to the ease of implementation, healthcare providers can effectively install new technologies without breaking the bank. Certainly a win-win situation for the providers and the patients.

On December 2 at RSNA, I will be leading a session that will showcase examples of X-ray and health IT purchases that are modular to enable growth and expansion as technology and clinical needs change. The presentation will include examples illustrating clinical users’ experiences. The systems they use represent next-generation technology that helps avoid major platform upgrades, which are often time consuming and expensive.  Joining me will be Cristine Kao, who is the global marketing manager for our HCIS division. Together we will explain how organizations can set up their imaging departments in a way that makes right for today and ready for tomorrow a reality.

The session is expected to be heavily attended by RSNA attendees looking to gain objective insights on migrating from outdated X-ray and IT systems to powerful modular platforms that easily expand to offer new capabilities and services. Ample opportunity for audience participation will be a featured part of this session.

ECR 2013: Challenges Facing Radiologists and Solution Providers in Europe

Ludovic d’Apréa, Carestream Manager, France-Belgium-Luxembourg Region

Ludovic d’Apréa, Carestream Manager, France-Belgium-Luxembourg Region

With the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in Vienna, Austria, approaching fast in March 2013, it’s appropriate to take a look at the issues and challenges the industry faces, as well as what attendees can expect from Carestream at the show.

Pressing challenges facing radiologists and radiology solution providers in Europe today.

The situation is very difficult at the moment for many of our customers. The UK has recently decided to decrease healthcare expenditure by £20 billion within 5 years. The Italian government has implemented a law that forces hospitals to save EUR 8.5 billion over the next few years. With very few exceptions, unemployment in the Euro 15 zone is high. Many countries are running huge deficits. We’ll see all these healthcare-related austerity programmes gain momentum in 2013.

Parallel to that, a longer-lasting trend, the demographic change, is becoming more serious, which means, for radiology, that the demand for high quality imaging is in fact increasing. But healthcare providers cannot simply invest in imaging in order to meet demand. In countries like the UK, France, Italy and Spain, there are strong regulations in place now that make investments difficult. We have national purchase organisations in many European countries that negotiate prices. All this makes it far from easy for healthcare IT providers in general, be it in imaging or in other fields.

Ways in which Carestream can respond to these challenges.

One of our biggest strengths is our ability to understand the radiology market. The needs of customers and their financial situations are very diverse in Europe. For a company like Carestream, this means that we have to understand diversity and be able to provide solutions that are adaptable to individual needs. On a macro level, we will certainly see a bigger demand for financing through the vendor and for cloud-based services. But on a micro level, we will have to be able to tailor our solutions to all radiologists in all countries, whether they have mature markets or not.

Carestream solutions being presented at the ECR 2013.

A showstopper in the segment of digital capture will be our new DRX 2530C detector*, which will be demonstrated as a work-in-progress. The new caesium iodide detector is being designed to offer high efficiency for dose-sensitive paediatric, orthopaedic and general radiology exams. All part of the DRX-1 system that allows for the easy conversion of existing analogue rooms to digital radiology.

The DRX 2530C will be a wireless, cassette-sized detector that allows fast and easy positioning in paediatric incubator trays and offers higher DQE (detective quantum efficiency), which can lead to lower dose requirements than CR cassettes or gadolinium scintillator detectors. It is also ideal for orthopaedic tabletop imaging, because handling is easy and positioning is highly flexible, aiding exams such as knee, elbow, skull and other exams that require a patient to hold the detector or that require a smaller field of view. Through the whole DRX-1 system we utilise existing equipment and give the customer a chance to go digital without forcing any investment in really big solutions.

Overall, the market will evolve towards cloud-based solutions, especially in the field of picture archiving. With the Vue portfolio, we are well positioned to meet these needs. In Europe, we are certainly one of the leaders in this technology. But again, we don’t force any customer into cloud-based services. It is an option.

At ECR 2013, we will focus on our new MyVue portal that allows Vue customers to securely share images with patients. Through the portal, patients are given the opportunity to download to PCs, laptops, or iPads and share their images with whomever they like. There is no longer any need to burn to a CD. This makes it easier for the patient, and at the same time it means less work for the radiologist.

MyVue is currently available as an option for Vue PACS and Vue Archive users and is now available for order as a Vue Cloud Service. The Vue Cloud Service offers the flexibility of a monthly fee and can accommodate rapid expansion without the need for healthcare facilities to fund and manage network expansions to accommodate additional patient users.

What are you most looking forward to seeing at the ECR 2013? Are there specific products or services that are on your radar this year?

Based on an article originally produced for HealthTechWire.

*Not commercially available


Visit us at booth #211 at ECR 2013 to see the medical imaging and healthcare information technology systems that are at work in 90 percent of hospitals worldwide. We’ll be holding demonstrations of our DRX-Revolution, Mobile X-ray System, Vue Cloud Services and MyVue patient engagement portal.


RSNA 2012 Digital Radiography Discussions: AnMed Health

Kathy Hood, Director of Radiology, AnMed Health in Anderson, S.C, discusses the role of digital radiography in her department. Hood highlights the department’s acquisition of a CARESTREAM DRX-Evolution DR Room and the ability to share DRX wireless DR detectors between equipment. Hood is looking at new technology at RSNA and shares feedback on the DRX-Revolution and how the collapsible column would benefit her technologists. Hood also comments on her vision for the future of imaging sharing in the department:

What technology did you see at RSNA that you can’t wait to show your department?