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Strategies for Meeting the 2014 ASNC Imaging Guidelines

Posted on: 08.27.14

Changes to patient radiation exposure levels are just around the corner. In 2010, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) issued a goal with a deadline of 2014. The nuclear imaging community is challenged to significantly lower radiation exposure in SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging without sacrificing quality before the end of this year.

The ASNC recommends three combined approaches to lowering radiation exposure:

  • Appropriate selection of patients
  • Creation of protocols that lessen total radiation exposure
  • Use of equipment and processing methods that achieve the best image quality at the lowest possible radiation dose

Click here for more information on these guidelines, including examples of techniques, read the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) article.

How Digirad Can Help

The new guidelines place considerable emphasis on advancing technology through either modification of existing imaging systems or purchase of new equipment. Does your current nuclear imaging equipment allow you to produce high quality images and significantly lower the radiation exposure to your patients?

Digirad is uniquely positioned to help you meet or exceed the ASNC Guidelines with its cutting-edge software, cameras, and diagnostic services programs. As a standard feature, Digirad utilizes High Definition Solid-State detectors which increase count sensitivity and allow you to reduce the injected dose to your patient. In addition, the following software and hardware elements lower patient exposure to radiation and enhance the imaging process.

nSpeed

nSPEED™ is Digirad’s 3D OSEM advanced reconstructive software. It provides superior image quality and reduces acquisition time or patient dose by half compared to standard filtered back projection reconstruction techniques. Most users lower both the patient dose and the scan time to create an optimized protocol that is both faster and lower dose. If desired, you could cut your injected doses in half and still obtain high quality images within normal scan times. The software enables depth-dependent resolution recovery and improved chamber contrast, resulting in better SPECT image resolution. nSPEED is optimized for use with all Digirad cardiac solid-state detector systems.

Triple-Head Camera

Use a triple-head camera in place of a dual-head camera to speed up image acquisition. Both the Cardius® 3 XPO and the Cardius® X-ACT offer a third detector to improve efficiency by 38%. Improved efficiency means faster imaging and smaller dosage for patients of all sizes. A Digirad triple-head camera would allow you the option of injecting about 35% of the typical dose or scanning for 35% of the typical time. Most users cut both dose and scan time. You’ll meet the ASNC Guidelines while improving workflow and patient comfort.

The Cardius® X-ACT combines triple-head hardware with Fluorescence Attenuation Correction for the lowest possible dose and highest quality images of any standard nuclear camera. The advanced features of this compact system offer all of the benefits of the Digirad triple-head camera and add the clinical confidence only found with low dose Attenuation Correction. Lower dose, faster scan, higher clinical confidence.

Diagnostic Services

All Digirad Systems within the Diagnostic Services division are equipped with HD Solid State Detectors and nSPEED™ advanced reconstruction software. Practices and hospitals utilizing Digirad’s Diagnostic Services have been using the tools to meet or exceed the new ASNC standards for dose reduction for the last few years.

Whether you are interested in upgrading your technology through purchase or through signing on as a Diagnostic Services customer, achieving and outperforming the new ASNC reduced radiation dose standards is simple with Digirad’s innovative technology and services.



ASNC Annual Meeting

Posted on: 08.21.14

Visit us at Booth 216!

This fall, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology will host its 19th Annual Scientific Section. This renowned four-day event gathers specialized physicians, scientists, technologists, nurses, and many others from around the world.  The conference will be held September 18-21, 2014, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA.

ASNC 2014 offers opportunities to meet with leading decision-makers in nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular CT, learn from unparalleled educators, and renew your commitment to the profession with various career enhancement opportunities. Alongside lectures, ethics workshops, panel discussions, and presentations on leading research in the field, you will find an exhibition room packed with the latest and finest technology and services.

Digirad is pleased to announce it will be showcasing the Cardius® X-ACT dedicated cardiac SPECT imaging system with Attenuation Correction and our Administrative Services designed to maximize the quality, efficiency and profitability of your Nuclear Cardiology lab. Visit us at Booth 216 in the center of the exhibition hall!  For more information, go to the ASNC website: http://www.asnc.org/asnc2014/index.cfm.

We hope you’ll stop by and say hello!



Getting Started with Mobile Cardiac Telemetry

Posted on: 08.13.14

Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT) is a part of the emerging science of wireless monitoring in the health industry. Typically, MCT is used in the identification and treatment of heart conditions.

Telerhythmics, LLC, established in 1997, is a 24-hour cardiac event monitoring service provider used on an outsourced basis by hospitals and physician offices. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Telerhythmics provides its monitoring services nationwide.

Their goal is to act as an extension of a doctor’s office or hospital system providing top-notch analysis of diagnostic data generated by a patient undergoing MCT monitoring, according to Telerhythmics Vice President and General Manager, Jason Callaway.

Determining the Need

Any patient reporting an abnormal heartbeat or chest pain to his/her physician is an ideal candidate for Ambulatory Cardiac monitoring. Indications for MCT monitoring include: asymptomatic arrhythmias, complete syncope, medication titration, post CABG and post ablation.

In the past, 24-hour monitoring was the industry standard, but with improvements to wireless MCT technology, it is now much easier to monitor patients over a longer period — anywhere from a few days to a month.

“Most arrhythmias that patients have, if they’re transient, don’t occur within a 24-hour or 48-hour period,” said Callaway.

A heart monitor paired with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device is all it takes for Telerhythmics to gather and interpret patient data.

Setting Up

Once a doctor determines a patient would benefit from MCT, setting it up is easy. All relevant patient demographics and insurance information are collected when the heart monitoring device is applied to a patient by the doctor’s staff.

Baseline diagnostics are collected and sent to Telerhythmics to ensure everything is working properly, and then patients are free to go about their daily business until it is time to return to the doctor for their results. The length of monitoring is at the discretion of the doctor.

Monitoring the Patient

Diagnostic data is continuously recorded by the device. When an anomaly is detected, the device sends data from the preceding and following five minutes to the Telerhythmics monitoring center. The data is then interpreted by a qualified, cardiac-trained registered nurse.

Telerhythmics provides 24/7 monitoring and quickly notifies doctors when abnormal patient diagnostics are detected.

Reporting the Data

Through the duration of monitoring Telerhythmics compiles the data and interprets what is most relevant for the doctor to make a diagnosis.

A comprehensive report will show all detected anomalies as well as provide comparative diagnostics with patient data that is automatically collected and stored every ten minutes regardless of whether an anomaly is detected.

The doctor is then free to interpret the data and form a diagnosis as he or she sees fit.

Final Thoughts

Above all else, Telerhymics is committed to facilitating top-of-the-line service from doctors to patients. With experienced cardiac nurses providing around the clock monitoring, physicians and patients receive the highest level of customized patient care.



Digirad — Revolutionary solid-state nuclear cardiology equipment and services.

Making Healthcare Convenient. As Needed. When Needed. Where Needed.