The General Electric Medical Systems Company is a notorious developer of medical imaging equipment. The EchoPlus diffusion-weighted imaging software constitutes the latest addition to its product's assortment and has recently been cleared by the American Food and Drug Administration. The package has been designed for the company's Signa Horizon and Signa Horizon LX magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems in order to facilitate the detection and specification of brain tissue changes for particular disease conditions.
The new EchoPlus software is able to generate up to 150 high resolution images of the brain in less than one minute by means of ultra-fast echo-planar imaging capabilities. The system produces single-shot isotropic diffusion-weighted images, using on-line automated synthesis. When coupled with one set of baseline image data such as EPI-FLAIR or T2-weighted image data, the package allows a much quicker and more efficient diagnosis than ever before. The software not only offers a refined sensitivity to acute cerebral ischemia but even supports physicians to differentiate between acute and chronic infarction of the brain.
Dr. Burton Drayer, who is Chairman of Radiology at Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York as well as former president of the American Society of Neuro Radiology, states that the use of diffusion-weighted MRI to identify an acute stroke, permits rapid evaluation of a possibly treatable disease. As a result, the innovative imaging techniques may lead to an important reduction in health care costs. Indeed, diffusion-weighted imaging as one single diagnostic modality clearly distinguishes infarction from other acute and chronic disorders which are very similar to brain infarction.
The EchoPlus package will be integrated within General Electric's NextWave software platform for its Signa Horizon EchoSpeed and Signa Horizon LX EchoSpeed applications. This platform provides significant improvement with regard to image acquisition, quality and contrast as well as to system connectivity. The EchoPlus software will even further optimise the general productivity of the concerned magnetic resonance imaging systems. Sounds very encouraging for both physician and patient, don't you agree?