Philips shows new cardiac PET/CT, MR systems and improved IT systems
Philips Medical Systems this week showcased its comprehensive cardiology systems focused on advanced diagnostic technologies, strengthened information management capabilities, at ACC06 in Atlanta.

Last week, Philips announced it will acquire Witt Biomedical. With the growing digitization of hospitals, cardiologists are increasingly demanding that cath labs be fully integrated into a hospital’s IT infrastructure. Witt Biomedical is one of the leading suppliers of hemodynamic monitoring and clinical reporting systems. At the meeting Philips indicated it plans to add Witt’s hemodynamic capabilities to its Xcelera Cardiology Information system. This is just one case of how Witt’s systems will be integrated with Philips’. Philips also indicated that all Witt customers would continue to be supported, though the company obviously would like to see customers install the full integrated systems that will be down the road.

Speaking of Xcelera, Philips Healthcare Informatics group highlighted two new components of the system’s portfolio. First, the upgraded Philips Xcelera Cath Lab Management module features productivity tools such as procedure logging and clinical documentation support to enable fast report generation via point-and-click pick lists. The enhancements help create smooth integration between Xcelera Cath Lab Management and hemodynamic monitoring systems for clinical data exchange, improving workflow and user interaction between the two systems.

Additionally, a new version of Philips Xcelera WebForum allows physicians to view images and echocardiography reports via the internet — be it in the ICU, exam room, their office or even on a home computer. Helping improve workflow and care, Xcelera WebForum provides a tool for physicians to distribute vital multi-modality images across their healthcare enterprise. Patients will now have their diagnostic scans more accessible at different stops along the care cycle, which could translate into quicker, more informed care and treatment.

Philips showed some work-in-progress capabilities of the Xcelera, such as new modalities it will soon support such as cardiac CT, MR and nuclear medicine. Expect these functionalities by June 2006. The company also discussed new quantitative tools which will also be unveiled this summer.

Philips also showed its PET/CT Viewer for the Extended Brilliance Workspace (EBW). The Philips EBW with PET/CT Viewer provides PET, CT and PET/CT review, display and analysis in a single, integrated user environment. The PET/CT Viewer is adaptable to the workflow needs of physicians and substantially improves workflow and efficiency for routine clinical review, while allowing more time to focus on patient care. In addition, physicians have access to the full suite of cardiac PET and CT applications, including Emory Cardiac Toolbox, Heart Fusion, and Comprehensive Cardiac Analysis. These quantitative applications provide myocardial perfusion and viability analysis as well as CTA and PET myocardial image fusion for multi-modality assessment of the heart.

For MR, the company showcased for the first time its k-t BLAST (k-space time Broad-use Linear Acquisition Speed-up Technique), a tool designed to significantly increase the speed of cardiac MR making it up to five times faster than current methods. k-t BLAST enables cine cardiac MR, the ability to view a sequence of cardiac images in a movie format, and in single breath hold while still maintaining quality images.

In addition, Philips 4D-TRAK MR Angiography (4D Time-Resolved Angiography using Keyhole) enables MR angiography up to 60 times faster for patients with suspected vascular disease.

Also shown at ACC was the new Philips Spirometry Module for continuous respiratory mechanics measurement. Continuous Spirometry has numerous clinical applications both in the operating room and intensive care units.

Lastly, Philips showed the latest version of its iE33 echocardiography system that provides cardiologists with accurate and reproducible EF (ejection fraction) readings and measure the wall motion and synchronicity of 17 different segments of the heart. The latest Vision 2005 enhancements including a new pediatric Multiplane TEE (transesophageal echo) transducer; enhanced vascular capabilities; and new 3D synchronicity indices that help physicians determine which patients will best benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).