Toshiba enhances Nemio ultrasound system with 4D imaging and debuts Aplio xV ultrasound system

Chicago 28 November 2004Providing customers with greater access to the latest ultrasound technologies, Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. (TAMS) demonstrated its continued expansion of the Nemio ultrasound's clinical capabilities by incorporating the company's 4D imaging technology into the full-featured, compact system. As one of the best-selling compact ultrasound scanners, the Nemio now enables a wider range of health care providers to acquire 4D imaging technology, making it available to a greater number of patients. The company also introduced the Aplio xV, TAMS' latest all-digital, high-performance ultrasound system. The new Aplio xV is designed to deliver expanded visualization to aid diagnostic confidence and streamline clinical work flow through a combination of key features, including optional imaging software packages for radiology and cardiology, Toshiba's award-winning iASSIST remote technology and a new flat CRT monitor.

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The Nemio featuring 4D imaging and the Aplio xV will be displayed for health care professionals at the 90th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). "As ultrasound imaging continues to advance, Toshiba is committed to helping customers gain better access to technologies with proven clinical benefits and value to improve the overall delivery of health care", stated Gordon Parhar, director, Ultrasound Business Unit, Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. "By bringing 4D imaging capabilities to the Nemio system, we are ensuring that health care providers offer the widest possible range of imaging applications while also protecting their investment with the most current clinical features."

The Nemio's 4D imaging capabilities will include automated 3D volume acquisition, which reduces user dependency and improves imaging accuracy. The system also will perform simultaneous display of real-time 2D images and continuously update 3D volume for studies with greater scanning precision and immediate access to study results. The comprehensive post-processing tools also will allow clinicians to more quickly and easily optimize the 3D volume dataset for the best possible 4D display.

"The Nemio ultrasound system has consistently delivered outstanding image quality, which allows us to visualize even the smallest of details", commented Dr. Raymond C. Lewandowski Jr., Children's Physician Services of South Texas - Genetics, Corpus Christi, Texas. "In performing the 4D acquisition on the Nemio, I am confident that we are capturing images equivalent to those from high-end, more costly systems. We have more options to accurately and confidently perform studies, including closely evaluating foetal anatomy."

The compact, full-featured Nemio delivers a wide range of clinical applications, including comprehensive OB/GYN, oncology and angiography studies, which efficiently provide patients with accurate and reliable diagnostic information about their health condition. The system features Toshiba's latest ultrasound advances, enabling it to deliver sharp, crisp images that improve visualization to capture the smallest details.

The advances for the Nemio include Tissue Harmonic Imaging (THI) for improved spatial resolution and reduced artifact for maximum diagnostic information; Quad Signal Processing (QSP) for four-times more data per transmission signal, which ensures increased processing capabilities and faster frame rates for the visualization of blood flow; Directional Colour Angio that combines the sensitivity of colour angiography with directional flow data to capture a more accurate representation of vascular anatomy; multi-frequency transducers including convex, linear and sector transducer capabilities with the ability to switch between harmonic and fundamental frequencies for optimal penetration; and simPACSUL, a fast and easy image management software package offering high-capacity image storage and processing of single frame or cineloops of digital diagnostic data.

"With the introduction of the Aplio xV, Toshiba is continuing to address our customers' desire for an ultrasound system with value-added features that deliver superior visualization for maximum diagnostic confidence, as well as faster cycle times for increased productivity", stated Gordon Parhar. "Additionally, to ensure that our Aplio customers continue to receive the greatest value possible for their investment, all installed base systems can be upgraded to the Aplio xV."

"The new software packages for the Aplio xV, such as Differential Harmonic Imaging, really do help the physician to see more during examinations and improve our diagnostic confidence", stated Dr. Tom Stavros, medical director of ultrasound, Invision Imaging, Greenwood Village, Colorado. "The most recent software releases for the Aplio xV are merely the latest in a regular string of upgrades that we have received. Coupled with good service and technology support, the Aplio xV has been an affordable and productive ultrasound platform that has staying power."

The Aplio xV features next-generation tissue Doppler and contrast-imaging technology based on Toshiba's Intelligent Component Architecture (ICA) to allow faster processing of more complex data, producing dramatically improved image quality and sensitivity.

Additionally, the Aplio xV features optional software packages for radiology and cardiology designed to meet the specific clinical requirements of each imaging market segment. The software package for radiology includes trapezoid imaging, an extended field of view mode that produces a trapezoid image from a linear or sector transducer; a Differential THI option, Toshiba's patented technology option that provides increased resolution at depth to assess tumours, lesions, cysts and normal tissue with maximum penetration; a Quick Scan option for one-touch image optimization for greater productivity; and an ApliPure option for real-time spatial and frequency compounding. The cardiology package includes a Tissue Doppler Imaging Quantification (TDIQ) option to perform various analyses of TDI images, including measuring myocardial viability; a Stress Echo imaging option; Quick Scan option; and Harmonic Imaging option.

For a limited time, both Aplio xV software packages will include Toshiba's iASSIST remote controller, which was recently honored by Frost & Sullivan with its 2004 Technology Innovation Award for outstanding achievement in diagnostic imaging. Featuring Bluetooth wireless network technology, the iASSIST allows sonographers to achieve improved body positioning and reduce strain for greater comfort during examinations. In addition, iASSIST improves productivity and throughput with the use of protocol-assisted examinations, customized programming, as well as the ability for clinicians to define and activate their own clinical protocols with the touch of a single button. The new Aplio xV system also features a new flat-screen display to enhance image uniformity and clarity with greater dynamic rate and refresh range of a CRT.

In addition, Toshiba has received marketing clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the SUREPlaque cardiac visualization software package. Designed specifically to optimize the clinical performance of the Aquilion CFX series of cardiac CT scanners, the SUREPlaque option identifies and quantifies soft plaque for cardiac and peripheral vessel analysis using a colour-coding system based on tissue density.

"With marketing clearance from the FDA, Toshiba's SUREPlaque technology will promote greater utilization of multi-slice CT in the United States for cardiology, more specifically, in the diagnosis of coronary heart disease", stated Doug Ryan, director, CT Business Unit, Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. "Combined with the low-contrast detectability performance of the Aquilion CFX's Quantum detector, SUREPlaque will improve the visualization of soft plaque in the coronary arteries and enable cardiologists to improve their clinical accuracy on a routine basis."

The SUREPlaque visualization technology takes advantage of the Aquilion CFX's unique multi-row Quantum detector, which enables a combination of 0,5 mm isotropic image slice thickness and outstanding low-contrast detectability, or the ability to detect and differentiate between soft tissues. With the low-contrast detectability performance of the Aquilion CFX, which measures 2 mm at 0,3 percent (26,7 mGy), SUREPlaque allows the visualization of more than just the lumen, or cavity, but also soft plaque and the coronary vessel walls.

Faculty members of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recently demonstrated the clinical validity and low-contrast detectability benefits of utilizing SUREPlaque visualization software during the CME-accredited seminar, "Cardiovascular CT Imaging".

Toshiba's Aquilion CFX series represents a breakthrough that makes noninvasive CT angiography (CTA) a clinical reality. Its revolutionary design integrates Quantum 64-row detector technology, volume imaging capabilities and advanced software to provide the fastest temporal resolution, as low as 40 msec, to cover the entire heart within a 5 to 15 second breath-hold. Additionally the system offers high spatial resolution, up to 0,35 mm detail, to visualize small coronaries and the insides of stents.

With headquarters in Tustin, California, Toshiba America Medical Systems markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging systems, and co-ordinates clinical diagnostic imaging research for all modalities in the United States. Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, an independent group company of Toshiba Corporation, is a global provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, MRI and information systems.


Leslie Versweyveld

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