Philips introduces new 4D ultrasound transducer, emphasizes system integration
Royal Philips introduced a new transducer for 4D cardiac ultrasound imaging in infants and children at the American Heart Association (AHA) this week in Chicago. The system is designed to assist cardiologists in accurately viewing a patient’s cardiac structure and blood flow.

The new product, called the Philips X7-2 x-MATRIX, is an array transducer for pediatric and congenital heart disease detection so that clinicians have the same powerful tools (i.e. imaging, quantification and cardiac management) at their disposal for younger patients as those available for adults. The new transducer will help clinicians obtain high-quality images and data quickly and in a fashion less stressful for children. Surgeons will also be able to make use of the pre-operative views of cardiac anatomy and function provided by the system, the company said. 

Additionally, the Philips X7-2 transducer, in conjunction with QLAB quantification software, allows cardiologists to evaluate a pediatric patient’s heart and closely examine structures, blood flow and function for enhanced diagnosis and treatment planning, the company said.

Otherwise, Philips emphasized the importance of integration that is possible through its Xcelera cardiovascular information system which is able to integrate exam results from all cardiology subspecialties– interventional X-ray, cardiovascular ultrasound, electrocardiography (ECG), nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, cardiac MR and electrophysiology. The end goal of the system is to provide a distributed architecture and broad scale quantitative analysis and reporting tools. The systems also allows for access to relevant patient images and information across a hospital from a any workspace as part of the system, according to Philips representatives at the show. The system also includes new results management capabilities, and new or enhanced 2D and 3D clinical tools.

Another part of the system the Xcelera Web Forum acts a remote gateway to the results stored within the main Xcelera system. The benefit of this is that cardiologists have access to the information from anywhere. However, nurses, referring physicians and member of ICU departments, as examples, can also use the clinical results application to get test results around the clock.

Emphasizing the importance of integration – especially in the cath lab space – Maarten Baars, who heads the marketing efforts for the company’s Cardio/Vascular x-ray, Interventional Patient Care areas, said that the important thing to remember is that cath labs are not just a collection of independent computers and operating independently. “It’s not about boxes,” he said, “it’s about workflow.”

To drive this point home, at AHA Philips presented examples of tightly integrated cardiovascular x-ray, physiomonitoring, reporting and cardiovascular information management systems. Cardiologists, clinicians and administrators can benefit from the integrated cath lab’s streamlined data, easy access to precise relevant images and information, and top line diagnostic and therapeutic imaging tools.

The Series IV physiomonitoring and information system, added to the Philips product portfolio through the recent acquisition of Witt Biomedical, is one of the components to the Philips integrated cath lab. Also displayed was the Philips CT’s TrueView technology. This software integrates CT imaging into the cath lab by allowing 3D CT images to be transferred to the Philips Allura Xper FD cardiovascular X-ray system. Uniting the two diagnostic systems can provide clinicians with a more complete view of the anatomy for the treatment planning of invasive procedures involving conditions like ischemia, arrhythmia and heart failure, Philips said.