Symposium: Innovations in medical imaging
The Forum Medizintechnik-Pharma - an association that provides a recognised contribution to the development of the co-operative environment in medicine, technology and pharmaceuticals, met for a symposium in Germany this July.
Innovations in X-ray technology focus on digital post-processing of image data and on automation and standardisation of examination workflow. Currently, PET-CT is experiencing a boom. The stand-alone PET (Positron Emission Tomography) has been fully replaced by the combination of PET and CT. In one scan PET-CTs provide images which allow precise interpretation, in terms of morphology as well as metabolism (NB: In our next EH issue we will publish an interview with Dr Thomas Beyer of Philips Medical Systems on this subject).
In ultrasound technology new developments and the two-dimensional Doppler technique provide unmatched spatial resolution. Optimisation of signal reception turned out to be insufficient to realise spatial resolution of less than 5 mm. In previous ultrasound technology the waveform of the pulse depended primarily on the transducer’s crystal properties and its backlash.
In modern compound wave generators, however, an electrical pulse which is adapted to the crystal properties avoids backlash and thus generates short micro pulses with clearer echo signals which significantly improve resolution.
All technological developments are driven by the need to provide the clinical user with high-quality, efficient and patient-friendly diagnostic imaging tools and methods. The symposium offered interesting insights in the state-of-the-art technology but also allowed a glimpse at the next generation of medical technology equipment. Report: Guido Gebhardt
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