New technology from Siemens could reduce CTA scan risks

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A study that was presented at the sixth annual scientific meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography indicated that new scanner technology from Siemens’ healthcare IT division could reduce the risks associated with scanning patients for coronary and cardiovascular symptoms, according to Information Week.

Siemens’ SOMATOM Definition Flash CT scanner is an advanced computed tomograohy angiography (CTA) system that provides physicians with clearer images from scans and exposes patients to less radiation during the scanning procedure. Increasingly, such systems are connected to medical informatics systems, and physicians who were involved with the study say that this connectivity is helping doctors make diagnoses quicker. Such improvements could result in more effective treatment for patients.

“If a person comes in with chest pain, we would typically require admission to the hospital and then scheduling a tread mill test or a nuclear study, or maybe even a regular invasive cardiac catheterization,” Dr. Donald Rucker, chief medical officer at Siemens Healthcare, told the news source. “Now, in the emergency department, we can order one of these Cardiac CT angiograms and basically know on the spot as soon as the interpretation is back whether the person has any narrowing of coronary arteries and should be admitted.”

According to Siemens’ official website, the SOMATOM scanner utilizes the company’s Dual Source technology to increase the clarity of CT scan imagery, while reducing the patient’s exposure to radiation. Due to the speed at which the machine scans the patient, potential complications, such as a patient’s inability to remain still or hold their breath, are no longer barriers to taking effective scans, meaning a more comfortable experience for the patient and clear, accurate images for doctors.

B. Kelly Han, MD, a pediatric cardiologist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Minneapolis Heart Institute, told Information Week that the technology had the potential to drastically change the way that physicians approached coronary conditions.