Chinese radiologists adopt Philips Spectral CT 7500

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Beijing Union Medical College, one of the country’s leading institutions, was one of the first sites to adopt the Spectral CT 7500 in 2020. The system provides more information than conventional CT and can be used in a large variety of settings, according to Professor Zhengyu Jin, head of the department of imaging medicine and nuclear medicine at Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing.


“We used to only see anatomy, but now we have more morphological information that we can use to better care for our patients,” he said.


The new detector in the Spectral CT 7500 improves image resolution, allowing users to diagnose diseases much earlier, Jin explained.


“In traditional CT, the imaging isn’t always so clear and we can miss some lesions. But with dual-energy CT, we can find them much easier,” he said.


The system is particularly effective at performing myocardial perfusion, as well as pancreatic and hepatic perfusion, he noted. Vascular reconstruction and other applications such as plaque analysis or tumor differentiation are also easily performed with the Philips scanner, his team found.



Cardiac CT angiography performed on Spectral CT 7500 using only 44 ml of contrast showing improved appearance of bloom artifact on 150 keV MonoE and better visualization of in-stent restenosis on waterless iodine. Images courtesy of Philips.


The equipment is ideal for diagnosing and performing interventional procedures on the spot, such as in the event of emergency bleeding from the gastrointestinal vessels, he explained.


“We can use the CT scan for the first diagnosis to find out the source of the bleeding and to guide us, to help us put the catheter into the special branch of the vessel,” Jin said. “It allows us to work much faster.”


Spectral technology allows radiologists to provide multi-parameter diagnosis that can be very useful in cardiovascular and tumor imaging, according to Bill Chen, senior vice president for Greater China market at Philips.


“With this technology, we can provide very accurate diagnosis for radiation therapy and even quantitative parameters and tumor cell data,” Chen said. “For the heart, the system provides much better morphological imaging to describe cardiac function.”


Customers are very fond of spectral CT.


“It helps them improve many abilities to a level they’ve never seen before,” Chen said. “Whether for screening, diagnosis, treatment or follow-up, spectral computed tomography helps improve radiology services to set quality standards.”


Impact of the pandemic


Philips’ Spectral CT 7500 was installed in Beijing Union Medical College in 2020, but Jin and his team started using the system only a few months ago.


“The COVID-19 pandemic continues in China and it has limited our ability to conduct some clinical trials with the system,” he said. “But we hope to get very good results soon.”


The pandemic started two and a half years ago in Wuhan and changed the Chinese market landscape, Chen said.



Bariatric patient scanned on Spectral CT 7500 demonstrating excellent image quality and better visualization of this inoperable cholangiocarcinoma with fused iodine result review

Bariatric patient scanned on Spectral CT 7500 demonstrating excellent image quality and better visualization of this inoperable cholangiocarcinoma through examination of the fused iodine result.


“As COVID-19 cases piled up, there was a sudden search for CT scanners. The government is building screening and diagnostic infrastructure across the country,” he said. “The market for high-end CT scanners slowed down a bit in 2020, but when the pandemic stabilized last year, demand picked up as top institutions want the newest technology to do more research on precision diagnosis and treatment.”


The Spectral CT 7500 campaign was launched in China in late 2021, and the system was installed at six first-in-class (FOK) sites before receiving approval from the China Food and Drug Administration. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, Chen said.


“We were able to demonstrate technical capability in oncology and cardiovascular imaging six months before the technology was licensed,” he said.


As the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus hit China earlier this year, the volume of patients in the hospital’s fever clinic increased again. But this time the request was not for 16 but for 64 CT cuts.


“The trend is to increase overall capabilities,” Chen said. “That’s the big dynamic in the market right now.”


A huge market with huge clinical needs


As a country of 1.4 billion people, China faces many health challenges, including high medical care costs, resource disparity between urban and rural areas, and massive patient populations to care for. .


China has one of the largest populations of cancer and cardiovascular disease patients in the world, with 290 million cardiovascular patients in 20181 and more than 4.5 million new cases of cancer in 2020.2


The workload for radiologists is simply overwhelming, Jin explained.


“We treat 15,000 outpatients in our hospital every day,” he said. “Each imaging modality has over 100 cases, and sometimes over 200 cases per day, so we’re very excited to work with any kind of new technology.”


Philips has proven time and time again that it can help radiologists and ease their burden, he added.


“We have a very good relationship with Philips,” Jin said. “Our CT scanner in our ER runs year-round 24/7, non-stop. They just build great, reliable equipment.”


In 2021, China launched a five-year health plan to improve access to care across the country. One of the main objectives of the government is to build up to 300 medical centers around important diseases that will work within hospital networks to provide patients with optimal care.


These centers will need the latest technology available to meet the challenge, believes Chen of Philips.


“Our mission is to help them develop the expertise,” he said. “With spectral technology, we are able to connect the dots along clinical pathways from screening to follow-up. We are providing more accurate insights and personalized data throughout the patient journey and I am quite confident that the technology spectrum will drive the growth of our CT in the future.”


Zhengyu Jin is head of the department of imaging medicine and nuclear medicine and professor of radiology at Beijing Union Medical College Hospital. He is also president of the Chinese Society of Radiology.


Bill Chen is senior vice president for the Greater China market at Philips. He is responsible for the PnL diagnostic imaging, enterprise diagnostic informatics and precision diagnostic solutions (~€1.2 billion) businesses in Greater China.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7008101/

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1042899/china-new-cancer-case-number/

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