Medic Vision?s SafeCT is a universal CT image reconstruction add-on system that can connect to multiple CT machines at once.

While dose reduction and radiation awareness have become increasingly important topics in the medical imaging industry recently—even extending to the public consciousness—they are topics that have been in the foreground for Jon M. Robins, MD, chairman and CEO of Imaging Healthcare Specialists, and president of Physicians Radiology Medical Group, for several years. Having already implemented a dose reduction policy at Imaging Healthcare Specialists, Robins always seeks new ways to reduce dose and improve image quality. One of the ways he investigates new technologies is simply by walking the floor at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting—specifically searching out the peripheral companies that may introduce new, innovative technologies. This is where he came across Medic Vision and its SafeCT technology.

“What caught my attention was that this was a third-party, freestanding product that could be used for all of the vendors’ CT scanners,” said Robins. “It didn’t require an equipment change. It looked like it had the flexibility to basically take our installed base and provide us with iterative reconstruction. There’s no question that, going forward, when we buy scanners, it is likely that the iterative reconstruction will eventually be on every scanner and built into the cost. It’ll be constructed in such a way that it’s not an option. As we get new equipment and replace new equipment, it will be part of the equipment, but right now, we’re an enterprise. We do close to 300,000 exams a year and we want a solution now.”

SafeCT is a universal CT image reconstruction add-on system delivering diagnostic image quality to studies. It is capable of functioning with systems from any manufacturer and can connect to multiple CT machines at once. The technology aims to improve the signal to noise ratio of CT images acquired over a wide range of exposure parameters on conventional scanners.

Imaging Healthcare Specialists currently has 10 CT scanners utilizing the SafeCT solution and intends to add others. This solution has allowed the practice to implement iterative reconstruction and reduce dose on a macro level, rather than purchasing multiple new units that each feature similar capabilities. And with redundancies established for the system, Robins can be sure that his facility will be able to maintain its level of performance even if one server goes down.

“This way we handle the movement of data across our enterprises through centralized servers and a co-location, and we have everyone interconnected,” said Robins. “All of these scanners and everything we produce go through a central hub and are available to all of the locations for cross reading and subspecialty distribution of cases.

“We have failover between the three servers. We set up our CT scanners so that each targets specific servers. Let’s say we have three offices that target server 1 because they have high volume and four offices that target server 2. They have the capacity to target all of them so if one of the servers goes down, they fail over to the other servers. All three would have to go down before we were out of business.”

In addition, with the help of the SafeCT system, the practice has been able to further reduce its radiation dose. Robins says that the practice has achieved a 75% to 90% dose reduction over what it achieved when the dose reduction project was started.

“It’s worked great for us and allowed us to do two things that we wanted to do,” said Robins. “One is that we wanted to have our dose as low as it can get. We’re part of the American College of Radiology National Dose Index Registry. We get our first quarter results back and we’re at the lowest end. We got what we wanted in dose reduction from a national standpoint; we are down at the bottom. They compare us to metropolitan areas, imaging centers, and whatnot. We accomplished what we set out to do, which was to get our dose way down. So it’s been a success for us from the standpoint of accomplishing a goal. It’s also been a success for us because we’ve been able to further the success of our business in the community by being a leader in low dose at a time when people are very aware of it.”