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August 08, 2011

GE Healthcare Mobile X-Ray Takes Fast, Low-Dose Images For Patient Safety and Care

As radiography – and patients’ needs – get ever more sophisticated, GE Healthcare has announced new user-friendly, mobile X-ray systems to help X-Ray technicians provide fast, low-dose, high-quality images for accurate, earlier diagnoses, when illnesses have a better chance of good outcomes, according to a story by writers.

GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK) announced this week that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its Optima XR220amx, Optima XR200amx, and Brivo XR285amx.

“This new mobile platform represents yet another step toward more patient-centered, user-friendly medical imaging” said Anne LeGrand, vice president and general manager for GE Healthcare’s X-ray business, in the press release. “In listening to our customers across the globe, we believe a one-size-fits-all approach to X-ray no longer fully satisfies users or best serves patients. These next generation systems are designed to offer new levels of agility, reliability, and access--all in an effort to improve quality of care by bringing X-ray directly to the patient.” Healthcare professionals will appreciate that the digital Optima XR220amx, digital-ready Optima XR200amx, and Brivo XR285amx take up much less space and are more powerful than their earlier counterparts, according to the press release, which also notes that they include, “intuitive touch screens, immediate start-up capability, more storage, and the high image quality required in the current radiographic environment.” Mobile X-Ray is used when it’s not safe or practical to move a patient from his or her bed to the radiology department, the press release explains. GE Healthcare’s Optima XR220amx is expressly built to “bring digital X-ray directly to the patient in the emergency room, intensive care unit and other clinical settings,” while also streamlining transport and patient positioning. Optima XR220amx can be integrated with GE’s FlashPad digital wireless detector.

Putting FlashPad together with GE’s new line of mobile X-Ray products are intended to allow diagnosis, “while maintaining high image quality at low-dose levels.” FlashPad also operates on a dedicated frequency spectrum, which helps it to avoid the congestion and high use found on many busy hospital wi-fi networks.

Even dentists are jumping into the market. According to the official homepage of the U.S. Army, dentists in Afghanistan are now using mobile X-Rays to capture dental images. In a story by Jonathan M. Thomas, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, dentists overseas are using mobile platforms that weigh a little over five pounds and can develop images without a darkroom to treat the military’s teeth.

"A lot of the dentists in [Afghanistan] are not working in a fixed facility, they don't have the luxury of mounting an X-ray system to the wall because they're in a tent," Col. Chris Evanov, general dentist with the 257th Dental Company, told Thomas.

X-Ray technology itself has been around a long time but it wasn’t until computed tomography (CT, PET, MRI) really took hold in the ‘80s that things really started to explode, according to Diagnostic Imaging Europe.

The story says wireless detectors first appeared without ceremony three years ago, “but not until early this year did the reality of this technology actually sink in.”

Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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