Siemens Healthineers brings head CT scanner to the patient bedside

Not for publication in the USA

  • Staff can stay in the ICU with the patient because the patient no longer has to be transferred to the radiology department
  • Lower risk of complications: Patient stays connected to fixed devices on the ward
  • Somatom delivers the same image quality as permanently installed scanners

At RSNA 2019, Siemens Healthineers is presenting its new mobile head CT scanner, Somatom On.site1. Instead of patients having to be transferred to the radiology department for a CT scan, the new mobile system from Siemens Healthineers now allows the scanner to be taken to the ICU so that patients can be examined from their bedside. This removes the need for complicated patient transportation that involves multiple staff members and a high risk for the patient. “For us, Somatom is a fundamentally new approach to performing CT head scans for patients in intensive care. The combination of mobility, user-friendliness, and consistent image quality enables unprecedented levels of patient safety. At the same time, healthcare providers can make even more optimal use of their staff and CT fleet,” says Philipp Fischer, Head of Computed Tomography at Siemens Healthineers.

Using the system is extremely easy. The headboard of the bed is removed, and the patient remains in bed and connected to all the necessary devices. The positioning aids, such as the integrated shoulder board and head holder, guarantee that the patient is comfortably and stably positioned at the isocenter. This enables consistent image quality. After image acquisition, the patient is removed from the head holder and returned to the original position. The diagnostic data is sent directly to the radiology department’s Picture Archiving and Control System (PACS). The entire process requires very little staff involvement and only takes a few minutes. It can also considerably reduce the risk to patients: Staff no longer have to swap patients from fixed devices (such as ventilators) to portable ones, then transport and scan the patient, then reattach the fixed devices. Siemens Healthineers is therefore revolutionizing scanning for intensive-care patients with skull and brain disorders. The scanner’s mobile concept includes a camera that displays the area in front of the device in real time on the integrated touchscreen. Users are supported by a motorized scanner trolley that enables intuitive and precise deployment in small spaces. The revolutionary telescopic gantry helps to make scanning in patient rooms safe: The gantry itself is self-shielded; and the telescopic design means that, during the scan, the tube and detector move away from the patient bore at the front, which further reduces scatter radiation. Moreover, attachable radiation shields covering the front and back bore openings complete the radiation-protection concept and significantly reduce radiation exposure for nearby patients and staff.

During the scan itself, the front gantry cover stays still while the inner gantry element moves on the fixed scanner trolley. The patient is not affected by the movement at all, which also protects the tubes (e.g., intravenous catheters) to which he or she is connected. The scanner trolley also does not move during imaging, which prevents motion-induced image artifacts. The combination of this design and a specially developed X-ray tube help to deliver consistent image quality. The scanner also features a revolutionary usability concept: myExam Companion guides users of all levels of experience through neuro exams and helps them achieve consistent results for diagnosis.

January 22, 2020 CT SCANNER, Siemens, Somatom
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