GE introduces multiple system upgrades, new systems, FDA clearance at ACC
GE Healthcare — as with many of the big vendors at ACC06 in Atlanta this week — showcased its huge expanse of systems and applications driven towards aiding cardiology departments with treatment, diagnosis, and practice management.
The company announced at the meeting the FDA 510(k) clearance for the Innova 3131IQ and 2121IQ digital flat-panel biplane imaging systems. These systems cover the full size of the patient’s lateral and frontal anatomy simultaneously for a variety of cardiovascular and neurovascular image guided interventional procedures.

The Innova IQ platform is capable of imaging the finest vessels and cardiovascular anatomy based on the GE’s digital flat-panel technology. The image quality advantages of the GE panel also enable it to perform high quality 3D Flat Panel Rotational Imaging to produce three-dimensional images of the vascular system, bone and soft tissue in the body, GE said. Over 1,200 Innova-family systems are installed worldwide, according to the company.

Also highlighted at ACC was the company’s new series of system control features now available on the Innova cardiovascular and interventional imaging systems.  Available on the Innova 2100 IQ, 3100 IQ and 4100 IQ, these new features include a new touch screen and tableside controls that are designed to enhance productivity and ease of use for cardiologists and an integrated UPS to continue fluoroscopy in the event of power interruption.

Advancements of the company’s LightSpeed VCT were also showcased, with the addition of the CardIQ Xpress workflow system for CT angiography studies. CardIQ Xpress provides efficient review of cardiovascular anatomy by providing flexible reading styles. From 2D review to vessel analysis to save state the cardiologist has may options depending on the clinical need. A key aspect of the software, with 2D review, is the inclusion of predefined reading steps to view coronary vessels in a systematic fashion. With a dual monitor, two opposing angles are created from the oblique review tool to review areas on abnormal anatomy for confirmation of disease. Clinical use indicates CardIQ Express enables normal CTA studies to be read in less than three minutes.

GE Healthcare gave attendees a look at its latest nuclear cardiology imaging system, the Ventri at ACC. Though compact, Ventri provides high image quality of nuclear studies and is built for patient comfort with new padded arm and head supports. Also, GE’s Elite digital detector technology (the same one used in the top of the line Hawkeye unit) boasts one ADC per PMT, providing the information clinicians use to assess the location, extent and severity of myocardial damage caused by coronary artery disease. In addition, the system’s ring gantry design features a high precision center-of-rotation, which maximizes tomographic image quality for the clinician.

Other features of Ventri include the ability to accept an optional integrated x-ray tube and CT detector to create high-quality attenuation maps that correct for attenuation artifacts; a thin, carbon-fiber low-attenuation tabletop is enhanced by the patented ergonomically designed VentriCare accessories greatly improving image quality; and VentriCam is a wall-mounted camera to monitor a patient’s position, an ECG trigger conveniently mounted on the table and an easy access, low table height with convenient patient handles. The table capacity is 440 pounds and the gantry measures 70 cm.

GE was also keen to point out that its lightweight portable Vivid i cardiovascular ultrasound system – introduced in September 2004 – has sold over 1,000 units since its introduction.