The Paediatric Radiology Department at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospital Trust, recently installed a Canon Medical Systems Aplio i-800 ultrasound system in a purpose-built second paediatric room, with space to allow patients to be transported in their beds or cots, directly into the room for their scans.  The first Aplio i-series system to be installed at the Trust, its new Canon matrix abdominal transducer permits all age groups to be scanned quickly without having to change transducers.  Providing exceptional image quality, the ergonomic design of the system allows for different scan positions, to ensure the child is at ease at all times.

The hospital is looking to raise money for future development of a children’s hospital, with the funding for the new scanner coming from the Trust’s capital.  Commenting on the decision to opt for Canon Medical Systems equipment, Dr. Nigel Broderick, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, says; “The new system achieves better image quality for general abdominal and renal imaging across all age groups, with less need to use several probes to obtain high quality images, compared to other suppliers’ equipment.  We have increased our overall capacity, allowing sonographers to gain competencies in acute and more complex cases.”

Dr. Katharine Halliday, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, adds; “We tried a few machines and the images obtained from the Canon scanner were the best.  The image is lovely and the system is easy to use.  We get much better image quality now and it is particularly good for bowel studies.  We are hoping to have a new department by 2021 and would certainly consider getting more of this particular model.”    

Dr. Joyce Sande, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, also comments, saying; “The equipment has a high standard of quality, which has enhanced diagnostic capability.  It is easy to use and this has enabled us to achieve shorter scanning times, which allows us more time for the scans to be prepared and also indirectly has a positive effect on patient waiting times.  The time spent by the Canon applications specialist with our unit was invaluable and the continued support by Canon has also been appreciated.”   

The new scanner has been delivered with Canon Medical System’s panoramic view for continuous image acquisition and SMI technology, which offers colour flow imaging with unmatched detail and definition.  It expands the range of visible blood flow to visualise low-velocity micro-vascular flow as never seen before with diagnostic ultrasound. The Aplio-i series ultra-wideband transducers cover the same bandwidth as two conventional transducers, providing superior sensitivity and resolution for both near and far fields.  As well as helping to reduce costs, the new transducer design can also provide better imaging regardless of the patient condition.

Photo line up left to right: Jackie Chambers, Ultrasound Applications Specialist, Canon Medical Systems; Paediatric Radiographers, Angela Staley and Vanessa Waspe; Dr. Katharine Halliday, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist and Paediatric Radiographers Lauren Padgett and Clare Cormell.

New survey from Canon Medical Systems UK takes the temperature of diagnostic imaging community

The pace of innovation in medical imaging and the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an enabler for improving radiological diagnosis and reporting are the most exciting opportunities in the UK radiology market right now illustrates a recent survey* by Canon Medical Systems UK. Over half of respondents (52%) cited innovation and AI as what enthuses them most, followed by imaging improving patient outcomes (27%) and the use of diagnostic imaging replacing invasive clinical procedures (21%).

The greatest challenges currently facing radiologists and radiographers were cited as staffing and resource shortages (37%), investment pressures (26%), increasing patient workloads (23%) and ageing equipment (14%).

The values that the UK radiology community placed on working with commercial partners for technology and imaging services were also extracted from the survey. Beyond price and product specifications, respondents highlighted that a strong R&D focus (32%) was a key consideration, followed by an ongoing education commitment (28%). Over a quarter of respondents (25%) also consider organisations having environmental sustainability / green credentials and links to charities as a positive partnership value.

“The UK radiological community feels anxious about staffing shortages and investment pressures yet are excited by the acceleration of medical technology innovation as a panacea for the future of the imaging department,” states Mark Hitchman, Managing Director of Canon Medical Systems UK. “By taking the temperature of the UK radiological market we can ensure that we keep in tune with fears and hopes of our customer community to ensure we continue working in partnership. This is especially important to us with our renewed R&D focus transitioning from Toshiba Medical Systems to Canon Medical Systems this year.

“We feel confident that innovation in new imaging techniques and applications alongside a flexible approach to capital investment financing solutions, will help with patient demand and department resource pressures to drive the future of modern imaging services. At UKRCO, we unveiled our Vantage Orian 1.5T MRI system, this is an example where an innovative focus on developing quick scanning speeds will power productivity and optimise workflow.”

Gill Harrison, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director for the Medical Ultrasound programmes at City, University of London gave her views as part of the survey, she states, “Innovation in AI is an exciting advancement and could make some ultrasound examinations more automated, for example screening, which would free up sonographer time for more complex cases. This would certainly complement the development of a National Career Framework for Ultrasound that is work in progress. Also, further developments in the innovation area of ultrasound ergonomics will support UK ultrasound practitioners. Although much work has been done in improving ultrasound systems and probes to enhance ergonomics and transducer grip for sonographers, there is still more to be done in alleviating work-related musculoskeletal disorders.”

Photo caption: Pace of innovation in medical imaging and emergence of AI are the most exciting opportunities in UK Radiology right now illustrates Canon Medical Systems UK survey.

* Image credit: Dr Jon Bell, Consultant Interventional Radiologist at The Christie Hospital