The world’s first photon-counting CT scanner, Naeotom Alpha, delivered to a medical center in Târgu Mureș
Siemens Healthineers has delivered for Cardiomed Târgu Mureș, a medical centre specialised in cardiovascular disease diagnosis and treatment, Naeotom Alpha, a CT with cutting edge technology, the first to be used in Romania out of the 60 such equipment that are now in use worldwide.
Photon-counting technology, developed by Siemens Healthineers researchers for Naeotom Alpha, represents the most important discovery since inventing CT imaging, which successfully overcome the limitations of conventional CT scanners. Naeotom Alpha offers high-resolution images, enables clinicians to visualize small lesions and fine details for high diagnostic confidence, at minimal radiation dose. Furthermore, Naeotom Alpha makes it possible to confidently examine previously excluded patients, to perform scans that were not practicable before, and to increase follow‐up frequency if desired.
Naeotom Alpha reinvents computed tomography for a more accurate diagnostic, with low radiation dose
One of the biggest challenges in computed tomography was until recently spatial resolution, the capacity to identify the smallest structures and, at the same time, to identify and separate every two tissues, regardless how insignificant are the differences between them. Photon-counting technology represents a breakthrough, going from detectors that are scintillating and transforming the light in signal to the QuantaMax detector that is counting each quantum, identifies its energy and goes directly to signal, obtaining the highest resolution with the lowest possible radiation dose in the lowest acquisition time.
The 0,2 mm resolution reached now by Naeotom Alpha, (versus 0,4-0,6 mm which is the resolution for conventional CT, and which implied exposing the patient to high radiation dose), although an important breakthrough is limited now only by calculation power, the equipment has the capacity in time to go where CT imaging has never gone before. This opens perspectives for research and diagnostics areas that we can’t even imagine today.
“Naeotom Alpha, due to its one-of-a-kind technology, enables the scanning to the lowest radiation dose ever a CT produce. The radiation dose is so low, that goes almost to the level of a radiological scan, while the patient can go to have the investigation without the fear that this will cause him a radiation issue. Naeotom Alpha is the tool that will enable doctors to deliver diagnostics in the most adverse situations when other investigation was required. By using Naeotom Alpha, clinicians are able to confidently pronounce a diagnostic and the therapy can start right away”, says Florin Preoteasa, MR&CT Portfolio Solution Manager at Siemens Healthineers.
Naeotom Alpha, which is going to be used for the first time in Romania at Cardiomed Medical Centre in Târgu Mureș, is a quick and efficient diagnostic equipment with many applications. For instance, in cardiology, an exam of the heart to highlight coronary arteries will be performed in only a few seconds, at any heart rate, and the image obtained will accurately confirm the presence of stenosis pathology all along the blood vessel. Additionally, the evaluation of the true lumen of a vessel is not impaired by the vascular wall.
As for the oncology practice, Naeotom Alpha is very useful not only for detecting fine structures that can play a crucial role in diagnostic and in treatment protocol, but also for describing different lesions, secondary or primary. As a result, no other radiological tests such as nuclear medicine or puncture/surgery for histopathological examinations will be needed, significantly reducing the patient discomfort.
It took almost 20 years of research and engineering to develop the new technology for Naeotom Alpha. Siemens Healthineers research team is continuously analysing and innovating even for equipment that is already in their portfolio. For instance, today, magnetic resonance benefits from AI reconstruction techniques that will bring this technology to the next level. So, innovation and research never stop, all these efforts are being conducted for the patient’s wellbeing. The patient receives a more accurate diagnostic, in early-stage disease with minimum discomfort, as the scanning process is quick and stress-free.
Unveiled in 2021 at the National Congress of Radiological Society of North America (USA), the world’s leading radiology forum, Naeotom Alpha was already awarded with Aunt Minie distinction for “Best Radiology Image: Photon-counting CT image of coronal 3-mm maximum intensity projection of a cerebrospinal fluid venous fistula” and best technology and design award from Red Dot.