At the RSNA in Chicago this week, GE Healthcare is showing off technology that will soon find its way into a production CT scanner. Promising greater resolution and lower exposure dosage thanks to a new detector material, and judging by what’s being released by the competition, it looks like GE has decided to take a different research approach from the others, perhaps choosing not to compete on slice numbers and focusing more on detection.
In this case, said Gene Saragnese, GE’s vice president of molecular imaging and computed tomography, researchers have found a way to boost image clarity while reducing the dose of X-ray radiation a patient experiences.
The key to this magic lies in a new material the company has developed that serves as a detector of the X-rays after they pass through a patient’s organs.
GE describes its gemstone detector as a “4,600-karat megagarnet,” but it is a synthetic creation rather than a decorative gem.
“It’s the first new detector material in 20 years,” said Saragnese. “We anticipate it will mean a 50 percent radiation dose reduction for patients.”
The new scanner is a work in progress that has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Saragnese said, but the company hopes it will whet the appetites of the docs and technicians kicking the tires at McCormick Place.