By Kurt Woock

Together, a handful of new CR/DR products on the market represent a certain kind of progress. None of the products makes a radical leap in fundamental technological capability, but all make a steady push forward on a variety of fronts, most notably imaging flexibility and patient comfort. These improvements—a few inches of extra space here, a smaller footprint there, no wires anywhere—seek to make the imaging process as crisp as the image themselves. An easier patient experience leads to quicker throughput, a reduction in the need to reimage: in other words, better workflow. What follows is a roundup of some of the most recent upgrades, enhancements, and new CR/DR arrivals.

Viztek’s Dynamic System  

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The Dynamic system from Viztek is a multipurpose digital radiography and fluoroscopy solution that produces high-quality static mode DR images in as little as 5 seconds. It offers a 17-inch by 17-inch panel that eliminates the need for rotation. The unit supports patients up to 584 pounds. It can be lowered to an 18.9-inch horizontal tabletop height and offers 79 inches of patient coverage, minimizing patient repositioning, while accommodating long-leg imaging through auto movement and positioning.

The Dynamic system manages a variety of fluoroscopy subtypes, including gastrointestinal, pediatrics, injections, tomography, arthrography, interventional radiography, urogenital, and digital subtraction angiography.

Del Medical OTC12D Series Radiographic Suites

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Del Medical has released two units in the OTC12 Series, which joins Del Medical’s other scalable, overhead tube crane digital imaging suites. Designed to improve patient care and workflow efficiency, the OTC12D-M and OTC12D-A offer exam versatility, high quality, and reliability at a low total cost of ownership.

The OTC12D-M incorporates tube-side, touchscreen generator, and positioning controls, giving technologists the ability to focus more on the patient. It is accompanied by the EV800 elevating table, with an 800-pound patient load capacity, and four-way float top. Standard features of the EV800 include a newly designed flat tabletop, recessed foot treadles, and tableside hand controls for table elevation and float.

The OTC12D-A includes automatic collimation and tube-side, touchscreen generator, and positioning controls. Like the M model, the OTC12D-A comes with the EV800 elevating four-way float top table and the VS300 wall stand. Del Medical will offer vertical tube tracking to the VS300 with the OTC12D-A in early 2013. Standard features on Del’s 300 Series wall stands include overhead and side mount PA positioning handgrips.

Del Medical DR Mobile Unit

Del Medical also has added the DR Mobile. The DelWorks DR Mobile is a compact, mobile x-ray system that can fit in diverse hospital environments, such as the operating room, emergency department, and patient bedside exams.

The DelWorks DR Mobile can be equipped with a wired or a wireless detector. The unit comes with a 19-inch touchscreen display utilizing the latest version of the DelWorks DR workstation software. Users can preview images within seconds after exposure and transfer them to the hospital network.

The DelWorks DR Mobile’s 32 kW output allows for fast exposure times, reduced motion artifact, and optimized penetration of dense anatomy. The unit’s maneuverable telescopic tube arm with collimator handle has inching controls for precise tube positioning. Dual-mode operation allows for easy switching between the built-in DR and CR.

Toshiba RADREX-i Wireless DR

Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc introduced the RADREX-i Wireless DR x-ray system in November. RADREX-i Wireless includes the automated RexSpeed features and RexView with image preview from the original RADREX-i, plus a new lightweight, cableless 14-inch by17-inch panel. Ideal for out-of-bucky work, including tabletop imaging of extremities such as hands, wrists, forearms, and feet, and wheelchair and gurney patient imaging, the wireless detector provides technologists with added flexibility while improving workflow. The wireless panel also improves image quality, as it can be positioned more closely to the anatomy when performing out-of-bucky work. The system can accommodate virtually all patient types and makes imaging safer with its RexProtect dose saving features

Konica Minolta Aero DR 10” x 12”

One of the industry’s lightest, wireless DR flat panel detectors, Konica Minolta’s Aero DR is now available in a plate size perfect for imaging the littlest patients. Thanks to its small size and proven dose efficiency, the recently launched Aero DR 10” x 12” is an ideal solution for pediatric imaging.

Introduced this past November, the 10” x12” plate joins the existing line of Aero DR which includes 14” x 17” and 17” x 17” plates. The flat panel detector incorporates Konica Minolta’s Cesium Iodide (CsI) scintillator that boasts ultra-high detective quantum efficiency (DQE) for high-quality images but with minimum X-ray dose exposure. By combining the CsI panel and Konica Minolta’s image processing technology from its REGIUS systems, the Aero DR delivers consistent and reliable high quality imaging according to the manufacturer.

Agfa DX-D 400

Agfa HealthCare has launched its DX-D 400, a floor-mounted x-ray suite and the newest member of the company’s imaging portfolio. The DX-D 400 is compact and versatile. Combined either with CR technology or with a cassette-sized DX-D detector and the NX workstation, the DX-D 400 offers imaging technology at an affordable cost. The DX-D 400 can be implemented in imaging centers, private practices, and hospitals that are interested in replacing or adding digital x-ray technology. ?

The DX-D 400 is a scalable solution offering options for tube capacity and generator size. Users can order it with or without DR capability. DX-D 400 produces clear, sharp images with multiscale contrast detail enhancement provided by MUSICA software.

Siemens Luminos Agile

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The Luminos Agile fluoroscopy/radiography system from Siemens Healthcare has received 510(k) clearance and is now available in the United States. The Luminos Agile is a patient-side controlled system with dynamic flat-panel detector technology and height-adjustable table, and has dual-use capability for fluoroscopy and radiography.

The Luminos Agile’s 17-inch dynamic flat-panel detector provides an image that is up to 117% larger than a 13-inch image intensifier. This enables users to view objects without repositioning or changing the field of view, reducing overall fluoroscopy time and dose.

The Agile’s table height adjusts from 25 to 44 inches. With its horizontal and vertical transfer positions, the system accommodates a wide range of patients, including children and those with mobility challenges. The Agile’s 600-pound table weight capacity and 24-inch-wide opening provide easy access for bariatric and immobile patients, and the space-saving open design enables easy access from all sides of the table. These features help to dramatically improve the patient experience.

The fully motorized tower, and synchronized table and wall Bucky tracking, allow for improved radiography workflow and increased patient throughput. The OPTI Grip handle provides ergonomic tableside operation for left- and right-handed users, and the Fluorospot Compact digital imaging system for both fluoroscopy and radiography helps improve workflow efficiency. Advanced postprocessing further enhances image quality to support more accurate diagnosis.

The Siemens Combined Applications to Reduce Exposure (CARE) dose reduction program for the Agile decreases radiation exposure for patients and staff without compromising image quality, while the unique DiamondView Plus imaging chain allows for significantly better image quality and noise reduction. Digital Density Optimization improves image contrast and detail recognition for critical regions of fluoroscopic images.

Siemens Mobilett Mira Mobile Digital X-ray System

Siemens Healthcare has another new product—the company’s first mobile digital x-ray system with a wireless detector, the Siemens Mira. Its wireless capability facilitates examinations of patients with limited mobility, and its unique rotating swivel arm helps increase ease of use for clinical staff.

 The x-ray detectors on mobile units are often connected to the system via a data cable. With the Mobilett Mira, Siemens combines the advantages of mobile x-ray imaging with the flexibility of a wireless detector. Mobilett Mira’s integrated drive allows users to navigate it through small spaces such as elevators. With a resolution of more than 7 million pixels, the detector delivers image quality comparable to that of high-resolution systems. The system works with very short exposure times beyond 1 millisecond, reducing patient radiation exposure. In addition, Siemens has redeveloped its mobile x-ray swivel arm system for the Mobilett Mira so that it moves vertically and also rotates up to 90 degrees. The swivel arm integrates all electric connection cables that conventional mobile x-ray systems often carry externally, making it easy to use and easy to clean.