GE steps up low-dose radiation imaging investment

Single imaging treatments don't harm the patient, but the radiation exposure can add up. GE is looking to balance the risk and rewards in imaging tests.

GE said that its healthcare unit will invest another $300 million in low-dose radiation technologies.

The investment brings GE Healthcare's low-dose radiation investment to more than $800 million over 15 years. GE Healthcare on Monday also rolled out a series of technologies to better manage radiation exposure during CT scans and X-rays.

GE made that announcement at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2011 conference.

The standard unit of measure for radiation absorbed by an individual is called the "Sievert," or Sv (sometimes called the "millisievert," or mSv). Common medical imaging tests such as X-rays or mammograms generally expose patients to a radiation dose of less than 1 mSv. Other procedures using CT, nuclear stress tests, or fluoroscopy-guided exams often involve radiation in the range of 5-40 mSv.

Single treatments don't harm the patient, but the exposure can add up. GE is looking to balance the risk and rewards in imaging tests.

Among the key technologies:

  • DoseWatch (right), which tracks radiation doses and reports them, aims to help facilities analyze patient exposure over time. DoseWatch collects dose information from CT scans, mammography and X-Ray systems manufactured by multiple vendors.
  • Detective Quantum Efficiency (DQE) tools are used in GE's Innova imaging systems to optimize the radiation dose to minimize impact on the patient and get the best image.
  • GE also touted Veo, a CT technology that produces high image quality at low radiation levels.

The company is also offering Webinars on ways to manage the tradeoffs between better images and lower radiation doses.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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