Philips logoRoyal Philips Electronics have introduced two new tools to aid the radiologists to efficiently enhance a patient’s diagnosis. They are; first, closed imaging loop to increase efficiency in scanning; and second, MRI scanner with patient adaptive technology.

Philips has joined hands with the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC), in order to design a never-before-designed closed loop imaging research trial. The process of imaging starts with the physician’s order to undergo an imaging exam and comes to an end with the disclosure of its results. The aim of this research trial was to completely analyze the workflow of radiology and put together information and imaging systems, in order to have an efficient imaging loop.

This team was led by Paul J. Chang, M.D., medical director in the Enterprise Imaging for University of Chicago Hospitals. UCMC instigated this study with the purpose of giving a more accurate, efficient and an enhanced result. Philips and UCMC are together striving to achieve an imaging procedure which will save minutes during the entire imaging loop. This process may be beneficial for UCMC in reducing the waiting period for patients, repeat scans and also the time required for appointments.

Dr. Chang says that, “To stay relevant in healthcare, we simply can’t keep using the same workflow model. Radiologists need to provide the highest quality diagnostic results to the patient’s physician while obtaining the best images on the first scan, every time, without compromising patient care. This requires an orchestrated workflow that can only be achieved if all systems used in the imaging loop are integrated and provide an interface allowing information to flow seamlessly from one step to the next, minimizing inefficient and potentially distracting busy work for the radiologists and technicians.”

The CEO of Philips Healthcare, Steve Rusckowski, says that, “Any imaging company can provide clinicians with a scanner or technology to store and distribute images. But at Philips, we strive to offer a range of meaningful innovations that can work together to help physicians, nurses and technologists provide the best possible patient care and further improve healthcare. Evident from our comprehensive healthcare portfolio, Philips offers customers an intelligent and integrated platform, that will help hospitals solve workflow problems and improve patient care.”

UCMC and Philips have zeroed in on a few hurdles that are not required steps in the imaging loop. During this period, UCMC replaced the presently used paper-based CT protocol system with an automated electronic patient protocol system. The previous protocol system consisted of a manual entry of a list of the requested images, and contrast and dose requirements. The new protocol system makes use of Philips tablet PC for a wireless access to the patient’s and scans their protocol information as well. The protocol settings, on its own, communicate to the CT scanner. This process makes the CT scanners work easier. It does not require a manual entry; it directly sends all the required clinical data and protocol definition. There are also, event driven alerts. They give updates of the imaging process, and let’s the radiology staff know when the images are ready for processing.

The second tool introduced is a new 3.0T MRI scanner with patient-adaptive technology. The Achieva 3.0T TX gives an increased 40 percent scanning speed and improves the image quality and also through increased image uniformity ensures lesser retakes. Its ability to capture correct information in a short time on the first scan itself reduces the patient’s inconvenience.

Earlier on, 3.0T imaging had been a difficult task for some clinical procedures, due to its dielectric shading effects and local specific absorption rates (SAR). Philips proprietary MultiTransmit technology comes to the rescue with multiple RF transmission signals that automatically adapt to each patients unique anatomy.

To sum it up, through the innovation of the imaging loop, a lot of additional un-required paper work has been reduced. More upcoming projects will aim to introduce additional and customized solutions that dissolve the hurdles and un-required steps in the imaging process. And it is also stated that Philips new MRI scanner gives out excellent diagnostic images, even in very demanding high field applications like in breast and liver imaging.

These innovations were presented at the 94th annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago.