(MENAFN - Arab News) Philips has been contributing to the Kingdom's health care program by providing state-of-the-art medical devices and training to the local people to operate those equipment. Saudi Arabia was among the first countries in the world where some Philips devices were installed even before their formal launch in the US, Diederik Zeven, vice president and general manager, Middle East and Turkey, Philips Healthcare, told Arab News.
Zeven said Philips has been training engineers in Riyadh, Hafr Al-Baten and Dammam.
He said the massive allocation in the Kingdom's budget for health care would enable people to get state-of-the-art medical facilities. He, however, suggested that hospitals should be set up in areas other than major cities.
Zeven was speaking on the sidelines of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2013 conference in Chicago, United States, on Dec. 1 where his company launched new imaging products.
Reiner Schlatman, general manager, Gulf, Philips Healthcare, who was also present there, said the company's mission was to save and improve people's lives and provide them better healthcare. He said Philips was playing a major role in healthcare in the Gulf region.
Philips unveiled a PET/CT scanner with new digital detectors, a CT system optimized for spectral imaging, and an ultrasound platform designed for both cardiology and radiology applications at the RSNA event.
The new PET/CT scanner has been designed for full digitization of photon signals replacing the photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) previously used in conventional PET cameras with digital detectors. Digital PET/CT is the first prototype in the world.
According to Philips, this offers twice the sensitivity, volumetric resolution and quantitative accuracy of analogue systems that result in higher image quality and increased diagnostic confidence.
The PET and CT modules are now housed in a single gantry rather than a double gantry, and Vereos also uses other Philips technologies found on its previous PET/CT systems, such as time-of-flight (TOF) PET, iDose4 radiation dose reduction, and iPatient workflow.
Vereos has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Philips plans to begin shipping in 2014.
PET/MRI was a focus in Philips' booth, with the company discussing the capabilities of its Ingenuity TF system, which is based on PET and 3-tesla MRI scanners in tandem mode, with a table that shuttles patients between each scanner.
Philips believes the configuration enables higher performance than systems in which a PET detector ring is located inside the MRI gantry. MR/PET is the first clinical unit in the United States.
On the SPECT side, Philips is highlighting the BrightView XCT gamma camera, in particular its full iterative technology (FIT) feature for better image quality. Concurrent imaging enables multiple image acquisitions without longer exam time, and the company believes that the system's co-planar SPECT/CT technique improves accuracy in cardiac attenuation correction.
The new Philips CT scanner is called IQon Spectral CT, and it represents a new approach to spectral imaging, in which signals from two x-ray energies are analyzed to determine changes in tissue composition.
Philips designed the system with two parallel sets of 4-cm-wide detectors that are capable of distinguishing between x-ray photons of high and low energies simultaneously, and scans are reconstructed in colors that represent the different compositions of tissue and organs in the body. Philips believes its detector-based approach is superior to other techniques based on CT X-ray sources for dual-energy imaging.
After a spectral CT exam, radiologists might review the conventional grayscale image, then consult with the color spectral CT data for additional information that was acquired with the same scan. Spectral CT could be used for all routine imaging, according to Philips. Spectral CT is the First prototype in the US.
Besides these, the new Epiq ultrasound platform was the big highlight in the ultrasound section of Philips' booth. First launched in Europe in September 2013 at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, RSNA 2013 marked the radiology debut for the technology.
On the image management side, images acquired with Epiq can be viewed side by side with MRI and CT studies on the company's IntelliSpace Portal workstation.
Philips has received FDA clearance for Epiq and has begun shipping.
AlluraClarity was also the point of attraction in the interventional imaging section of Philips' RSNA booth. AlluraClarity is the company's next-generation angiography platform.
The system includes ClarityIQ, a hardware and software technology for producing high levels of image quality at ultralow radiation doses, according to Philips. ClarityIQ also includes features for motion compensation and noise reduction.
At the RSNA show, Philips also showcased its next-generation MicroDose unit with single-shot spectral imaging (SI) technology, together with its first clinical application, the work-in-progress Spectral Breast Density Measurement package.
In mobile x-ray, Philips demonstrated SkyFlow, a work-in-progress application for its Mobile Diagnost wDR unit that offers the same image contrast without a grid as with a grid. The company plans to file for 510(k) clearance for the technique soon.
Philips also showcased classic radiography systems during the RSNA event.
The 99th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America was held in Chicago from Dec. 1 to 6 bringing together more than 50,000 attendees. Approximately 5,000 scientific research presentations and education exhibits covered the latest research developments in radiology and related imaging technologies dealing with diagnosis, intervention and therapy.