When it comes to patient care, technology is always a priority.
It seems as soon as some new technology comes out, it’s already outdated—just think about that smartphone or digital camera you just bought. In a medical setting, you almost have to be clairvoyant, combining what you want a piece of medical technology to do with what it can do—even while still in development. Couple that with keeping the “latest-and-greatest” technology affordable and the process can be pretty daunting. Healthcare organizations simply can’t buy new equipment every year!
One piece of new technology in which OSF Saint Francis Medical Center did invest is a Revolution CT system from GE Healthcare. OSF Saint Francis is the first facility in Illinois—and third in the country—to install this new CT as part of a continuing effort to provide advanced technologies for the most challenging patients.
The Revolution CT
More than 70 million computed tomography (CT) scans are done every year in the U.S., which help physicians provide fast and definitive diagnoses across a wide range of conditions. CT is a non-invasive and relatively quick way to look inside the body at organs, soft tissues, vascular structures and bones using x-rays to generate high-resolution images of the body. It does this by rotating an x-ray and detector around the patient as the patient is moved through the device.
With the Revolution CT, entire organs such as the brain, heart, liver and pancreas can be scanned in a single rotation—just over a quarter-second long—reducing breath hold times for patients.
“The new technology provided by the GE Revolution CT scanner allows us to significantly improve the quality of images in patients who often have compromised exams due to the patient’s inability to hold still or hold their breath,” says Dr. Kevin Fahey, radiologist with Central Illinois Radiological Associates (CIRA). “Therefore, this technology has markedly reduced the radiation dose in our pediatric population, as well as limited the use of anesthesia in these patients.
“Another patient population that will demonstrate significant benefit in dose reduction and improved image quality include those patients requiring imaging of the cardiovascular system, whose images are often impacted by cardiac motion,” he adds.
An Amazing New Tool
Dr. Fahey and Dr. Matthew Bramlet, pediatric cardiologist with Children’s Hospital of Illinois, teamed up to perform the first scan in the country on a pediatric heart patient in November 2014. “This is an amazing new tool in congenital cardiac analysis because no sedation is required, it’s a very low-radiation dose, and the time it took to complete the scan was very fast,” says Dr. Bramlet.
The radiation dose used by Dr. Fahey for the baby’s scan was one quarter of the most commonly reported low dose for similar cases. It took just 0.14 seconds to complete the scan, about one-third the time required on previous scanners.
“The new GE Revolution CT scanner at OSF Saint Francis has significant radiation dose reduction, which becomes particularly important when scanning patients with complex disease,” Dr. Fahey explains. “These types of patients require complex imaging, which can often result in higher radiation dose. The GE Revolution scanner allows us to image these challenging patients with much less dose, often at levels at or below routine scanning exposure levels.”
It does need to be noted that not every patient is a candidate for this technology. They will need to have that conversation with their physician. But it is comforting to know that such cutting-edge technology is available at OSF Saint Francis, which always looks to do what is best for patients. iBi