Siemens FAST CARE Sets New Standards for Dose Reduction and Efficiency of Patient Care

November 23, 2010

MALVERN, Pa., Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — FAST CARE from Siemens Healthcare is the new technology platform for computed tomography (CT) scanners, which helps hospital staffs to perform CT examinations faster and more efficiently than before, as well as keeping the dose as low as possible. The FAST CARE applications simplify workflows during scanning and in the preparation of image reconstructions. Patients benefit from lower radiation doses and shorter examination times as the system automates many operating procedures, suggests parameter settings for image quality and dose reduction and standardizes processes, which makes results readily reproducible. These enhancements help CT operators and service providers improve their productivity and improve consistency of image quality and dose level.

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FAST CARE will be available on the SOMATOM® Definition AS scanners in March 2011 and on the SOMATOM Definition Flash scanners in May 2011. CT scanners from the SOMATOM Definition product family that are already on the market can be upgraded to the new platform. The FAST CARE platform will be available on all Definition AS configurations from entry level 20-slice to a premium 128-slice AS+. Most importantly, the 64-slice SOMATOM Definition AS with FAST CARE will be field-upgradeable to AS+ FAST CARE, making it the only upgradeable 64-slice scanner on the market.

Two of the current needs in computed tomography for which Siemens has developed FAST CARE are optimization of the processes relating to patient diagnostic examinations and reduction of the dose necessary for such examinations. Therefore, the new technology platform’s applications focus on two aspects: Fully Assisting Scanner Technologies (FAST) support process optimization and Combined Applications to Reduce Exposure (CARE) assist with dose reduction.

“The key innovation of our new FAST CARE platform is that for the first time dose-reducing and process-optimizing functions are operating in tandem. This reflects our aspiration to help our customers to increase their productivity in the clinical environment, while ensuring optimal patient care,” said Dr. Sami Atiya, CEO, Computed Tomography at Siemens Healthcare.

In the fast-paced healthcare environment, CT is at the forefront of care, aiding physicians in diagnosis of the most complex cases. Many of these patients are referred to the CT from the emergency department. This is where speed is of the essence and the answers are needed fast. The FAST technologies simplify and automate time-consuming and complex procedures in computed tomography. This improves not only the workflows, but also the results. The FAST functions support physicians and radiologic technologists at every step of a CT examination, from planning and image acquisition to reconstruction and helps the physician in the diagnosis of the images. The key feature is that the anatomy of the individual patient is automatically taken into account:

  • FAST Planning delivers standardized, anatomical landmark-based determination of the correct scan and reconstruction areas.
  • FAST Cardio Wizard offers step-by-step instructions in the user interface to help operators gain practice in the complex preparations for cardiac examinations.
  • FAST Scan Assistant and FAST Adjust supports the selection of the appropriate parameters for performing CT examinations with the best possible image quality at lowest dose.
  • FAST Spine helps reduce the manual steps of preparing for spine reconstructions, resulting in considerable time savings. This is particularly relevant in spine trauma patients, and can enhance the clinical outcome of interventions.

When used in combination with syngo.via, Siemens’ software platform for diagnosing clinical images, FAST CARE optimizes the entire examination process, as it brings together all the steps involved, from scan preparation and performance through image reconstruction to diagnosis, in a single integrated solution.

Both patients and healthcare providers are increasingly concerned about the level of ionizing radiation delivered by imaging equipment. Siemens is committed to the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle. Along with its FAST applications, Siemens CT delivers a comprehensive range of new CARE applications for dose reduction:

  • CARE Profile provides an automatic display of the dose distribution for the planned examination, visualizing the impact of dose modulation used during the examination.
  • CARE Dashboard shows the operator the activated dose reduction functions, so that they can then further optimize the examination protocols and scan parameters.
  • CARE kV helps reduce dose by up to 60 percent (1) as the scanner for the first time ever can automatically suggest the correct tube voltage (kV) depending on the patient’s anatomy and the organ to be examined. All other parameters are automatically adjusted to suit the selected kV level. This further enhances the low dose acquisition potential that can be achieved with Care Dose4D which modulates the amperage (mA) in real time.
  • CARE Child allows CT examinations to be performed for the first time, using just 70 kV, significantly reducing dose levels.

(1) Results may vary. Data on file.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2010 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.4 billion euros and profit of around 750 million euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.

SOURCE Siemens Healthcare

Source: newswire

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