MATER Hospital Brisbane has taken delivery of a computed tomography scanner that provides scans in about a third of a second and delivers significantly less radiation.
The new scanner takes 0.75 seconds to perform a brain scan compared to two to three minutes with previous machines.
This makes a significant difference for patients suffering anxiety or dementia for whom lying perfectly still and repositioning for multiple images is almost impossible.
“Anxious or distressed patients would often need to be sedated to ensure a clear image was taken, however the new technology means if a patient has a moment of stillness, a picture can be taken,” Mater Hospital Brisbane’s medical imaging deputy director Dr Rino Olivotto said.
The Toshiba Aquilion One Genesis machine benefits all patients being scanned but is of particular benefit to cancer, cardiac and orthopaedic patients.
“The clarity of images we’re seeing means we’re getting the results we need the first time,” Dr Olivotto said.
“Patients presenting to the emergency department suffering chest pain are sent to have a chest scan to check the condition of their heart or lungs. With such excellent imaging, any problem present can be identified clearly.
“Cancer patients often require tracking scans during treatment and with this new machine we are able to reduce the amount of radiation the patient is exposed to by 28-56 per cent depending on what part of the body is scanned.”
The scanner has a 16cm detector which not only allows whole-head or heart scans in a single rotation, but it also means patients feel less “stuck inside a machine” – the sides angled out to allow the light in.
The speed with which the machine scans means results are provided much faster.
“Any technology which gives treating doctors the best information and lowers the risk of harm is a welcome addition to the tool kit,” Dr Olivotto said. “When patients have the scan, many of them ask ‘Is that it?’ and are genuinely surprised when we say it is!”
The scanner is part of the radiology department at Mater Hospital Brisbane.