At the 102nd Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Nov. 27 to Dec. 2 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, the separately managed healthcare business of Siemens AG is presenting itself for the first time under its new brand name, Siemens Healthineers. The new name underlines the company’s pioneering spirit and its engineering expertise in the healthcare industry. With a new strategic direction, Siemens Healthineers aims to enable healthcare providers around the world to meet their current challenges and to excel in their respective environments. Through products and solutions designed to increase efficiency and to reduce costs, Siemens Healthineers is setting new trends in healthcare together with its customers – working under the motto “Engineering Success. Pioneering Healthcare. Together.”
Based on key requirements expressed by its main customer groups in radiology, Siemens Healthineers has developed an entirely new platform for computed tomography (CT) that responds to diverse user needs. The SOMATOM go. platform with the SOMATOM go.Now and SOMATOM go.Up scanners offers automated, standardized workflows that help users achieve profound clinical results. In addition, the multi-year service packages and corresponding high financial reliability help enable users to run their business successfully. The innovative usage concept facilitates more comprehensive patient care and offers radiology providers the option of using a cost-efficient single-room concept for the first time.
The 32-slice SOMATOM go.Now is particularly suited to radiology providers who want to establish a new CT department. SOMATOM go.Up is equipped with a wider detector providing up to 64 slices. Among other benefits, it offers faster scanning, which is especially important for lung imaging – e.g., to screen for lung cancer. This model is therefore suited for radiologists who want to expand an already successful portfolio.
Co-developed with users
Siemens Healthineers held interviews and workshops with over 500 radiologists, radiology assistants, chief financial officers (CFOs), patients, and referring physicians from various countries to collaboratively identify key characteristics of an ideal CT scanner. The result, says André Hartung, Head of Computed Tomography at Siemens Healthineers, “is a platform that offers high quality standards and responds to current needs for efficient workflows, and to clinical and financial requirements – whether the users are based in institutes in rural regions of newly industrialized countries, or in radiology centers with a branch network in North America and Europe.”
The workflow of the SOMATOM go. platform can be controlled via tablet, which paves the way for a new, mobile workflow. Users can control all routine examinations using just the tablet. The standardized work steps enable users to run the scan with just a few inputs. Automated postprocessing facilitates scanner operation, enabling staff with less training to perform examinations, i.e., night shift emergencies. The standardization also gives radiologists additional assurance with regard to the diagnostic quality of the images. It helps avoid errors, the need for repeat scans, and thus unnecessary wait times.
At the patient’s side
The new usage concept at the heart of SOMATOM go.Now and SOMATOM go.Up also offers other advantages. Since the scanner workflow can be controlled via tablet, medical staffers no longer need to move between the scanner and the control room. Radiographers can remain with patients while preparing the scan, which can make the examination experience more pleasant for patients, particularly children.
The scanners can be controlled on the move since all computer hardware formerly located in the control room is now integrated into the scanner gantry. This way, institutions can benefit from a flexible room concept. Instead of requiring two or three rooms for the scanner, the control unit, and possibly additional technology, SOMATOM go. scanners can be installed in a single room with a minimum size requirement. With this setup, a shielded niche is enough to protect the radiology staff. This room concept drastically reduces installation costs.
An all-in-one service package
Beyond the warranty period, the SOMATOM go. platform has a service package – the Siemens Healthineers Connect Plan – that extends for an additional two years, covers many replacement parts, and includes user training. Additionally, the new Chronon X-ray tube is designed for a long lifespan to relieve customers’ financial burden. Innovative remote service also significantly reduces system downtimes, and many upgrades can be installed during normal scanner operation.
Aside from the economic benefits of the SOMATOM go. platform, Siemens Healthineers focused on clinically relevant features that are particularly important for many routine applications – and in this case, allow users to expand their radiological portfolio. A brand-new detector based on the company’s proven Stellar technology and spectral tin filters, which were previously available only on high-end Siemens Healthineers scanners, allow users to perform lung imaging at extremely low radiation doses. Regarding vascular imaging, High Power 80 – another feature migrated from the premium CT segment – keeps tube voltages extremely low, which helps reduce dose and minimize iodine contrast.