GE Healthcare has released software that eliminates the trade-offs that often characterize MRI scans. It improves contrast, signal-to-noise ratio, and spatial resolution with less scan time.
GE is also showing off its new open 1.5-tesla system, Signa Voyager. Its gradients have higher amplitude and slew rates than those on the company's existing mid-field systems, allowing the new system to scan patients with metal implants.
Upgrades for 9x and 11x Systems
GE has upgraded the 9X, 11X, and 16X systems to allow for better image quality with thinner slices. They also can support a wider range of applications and help your facility avoid the costly expense of replacing the magnet with an HD system.
In addition to enhancing the performance of these older MRI systems, GE has updated its software suite to increase patient comfort and clinical efficiency, as well as improve workflows for radiologists and technologists. The software upgrade is available for both 9X and 11X systems, as well as the newer Excite HD 3T MRI scanner.
The company also showed off its newest ultrasound systems, including Logiq Fortis and the Vivid E95 Ultra Edition 4D cardiovascular scanner. The latter is designed to scale to your department’s needs and has a mini 4D transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) probe for pediatric interventional cardiology, GE said.
GE highlighted its Signa Victor MR system as another product of note at ECR. The 1.5-tesla system features a revamped user interface that makes it easier for beginner and less experienced MR users to operate the scanner, the company said. It also offers MAGiC, which the company says provides multiple image contrasts on a single scan, which can help clinicians enhance diagnostic accuracy and reduce the number of orders for rescans.
Other upgrades include Liver Assist AI, which segments vascular structures to assist in embolization workflow planning and predictive modeling, and the AIR Recon DL sequence, which uses deep learning to speed up cardiac imaging and eliminate the need for 2D images. Other software updates include HyperWorks, ImageWorks, SilentWorks, and ViosWorks.
As the window for OEM service on these systems closes, you may want to consider contacting a service provider like Block Imaging or Signature MRI to learn about upgrading your GE MRI scanner with this powerful software. These companies have a wide variety of MRI repair parts and can install these upgrades to your system in a short amount of time. MRIPETCTSOURCE’s growing library of GE MRI service manuals can help you get the most out of your MRI scanner.
Upgrades for 15x and 16x Systems
GE’s in-field upgrades allow you to upgrade your existing 1.5T MRI magnet without the high costs associated with building a new system. Whether you’re a hospital facing end-of-life for a 9x or 11x GE MRI scanner, or your facility is just looking to expand the kinds of scans that are available to your patients, there’s a lot that you can do with a software update.
Whether you’re scanning for peripheral nerves or cardiac disease, there are new applications that make it easier to diagnose patients. For example, a new software feature called Arterys allows you to get detailed imaging of arterial disease in just 10 minutes. This application uses artificial intelligence to improve the clarity of images and cut down on the time needed for the scans.
Another software update makes it easier for radiologists to work with large, complex datasets. For example, gathering a full-volume dataset of a chest in motion requires a lot of data that can quickly clog the average picture archiving and communication system (PACS). With a new cloud computing service, you can send this data away for processing using remote super-computing power.
In addition to the software updates, GE also showcased several new hardware innovations at RSNA. These include:
One example is a new software program that can automatically remove image artifacts to improve patient comfort during MRI exams. This application is powered by deep learning and can be added to existing GE MRI systems. Another new piece of hardware is a prototype photon-counting CT scanner that has been developed for use in human clinical trials. This technology is expected to significantly reduce radiation exposure and increase scanning efficiency compared with traditional photon-counting CT systems. It’s also expected to deliver image quality comparable to modern 3T MRI systems. GE hopes to commercialize this imaging solution by early next year.
Upgrades for 17x and 18x Systems
GE's upgrade options help hospitals ascend to next-generation systems without the expense of replacing their magnet. For example, the Get The Works option offers new applications, electronics, and hardware built around a facility's existing magnet to provide imaging performance and clinical capabilities of the next generation without requiring a 30-day rig out.
A number of the software upgrades focused on enhancing clinical productivity and patient comfort. For instance, a new tool called AIR Touch simplifies scan setup for technologists by eliminating redundant, manual steps while reducing MRI scan time by up to 37 percent. The system also automatically selects the optimal coil configuration, which helps ensure an excellent image with fewer rescans and increased consistency. Additionally, AIR x automates slice prescriptions to reduce previous redundant, manual steps and improve image quality by up to 20 percent for brain scanning.
Other software features are designed to make the patient experience more pleasant, including a new SilentScan quiet technology that lowers noise levels and scan volume during an exam for patient comfort. Similarly, an upgrade called Mavric SL brings the power of MR imaging to patients with metal implants by enabling the visualization of soft tissue and bone near metallic devices.
A new MAGiC acquisition technique allows clinicians to manipulate MR images retrospectively after an exam, potentially leading to significant time savings and fewer rescans, according to GE. Another newly available application is Embo Assist AI, which automatically segments vascular structures to facilitate embolization workflow planning and improve the likelihood of a successful procedure.
GE also showcased its Logiq Fortis ultrasound scanner, which includes new speckle reduction imaging and an XDclear transducer with a more advanced imageformer that enhances the separation of water and fat based on chemical shifts. South Shore Health in Massachusetts is using the system to assist with its efforts to increase efficiency throughout the department, including a recently installed advanced 3T Ascend CT system.
Upgrades for 20x and 21x Systems
GE Healthcare is offering a program to upgrade the current 1.5T MRI systems to the company’s new Signa Explorer Lift system. The program, which is available worldwide, can help facilities increase productivity by scanning 2-3 more patients per day compared to previous-generation MRI systems, according to the company. The system is designed to use 34 percent less power than previous systems and requires a smaller footprint for installation, which can lead to lower operating costs.
The platform also features new applications that can help daily workflow run smoother. For example, AIR Touch automates scan setup for technologists to reduce set-up time by up to 37 percent. This includes automated coil selection and a landmarking feature that automatically optimizes the location of the patient’s anatomy to improve image quality. In addition, AIR x helps make the diagnosis process more efficient for radiologists by providing automatic slice prescriptions and reducing scan planning steps.
Other upgrades can enhance diagnostic capability by enabling a wider range of applications, such as MAVRIC SL for visualization of MR-conditional metal implants in soft tissue and bone. GE also introduced MAGiC, an MRI acquisition technique that allows clinicians to modify image contrast retrospectively — potentially leading to significant time savings and fewer rescans. Magic works with any MRI system and is cleared by the FDA for clinical studies.
Among the other products showcased by GE at ECR were its Pristina digital mammography scanner and Serena 3D contrast-enhanced breast biopsy system; the iCAD ProFound AI software for breast cancer detection; and Lunar iDXA bone densitometer with enCore version 18 software. The company also highlighted its work-in-progress photon-counting CT technology, which will be used for human imaging next year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For its 20x and 21x systems, GE introduced a cloud-based processing service for the ViosWorks image workstation that can help with data management during high-resolution lung imaging studies. It is based on the supercomputers in its Global Research Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and can handle the massive amount of data that these exams produce. This can reduce a patient’s time in the MRI system and helps the facility keep up with its MRI scanners' capacity to acquire large data sets, which are becoming more common for cardiovascular and neurology studies.
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