Siemens AG, Medical Solutions

The digital mammography system of the future: Siemens presents Mammomat Inspiration

Siemens' mammomat
The mammography-platform Mammomat Inspiration - Siemens Medical Solutions’ latest innovation in digital mammography - is now in use. The first system in Germany has been installed in a radiology practice in Dortmund. A set of innovative features make the full-field system an ideal screening device for early breast cancer detection. Ease of use –for example via“One-click-to-image” functionality - as well as high patient comfort provided by a special MoodLight feature, greatly optimize patient examinations. The screening configuration of the device can be upgraded later with all functions for stereotactic biopsy. In the near future, the system can also be expanded to provide three-dimensional (3D) imaging using tomosynthesis. High image quality and an adaptive technology for dose computation complete the advantages of Mammomat Inspiration.

One of the first Mammomat Inspiration systems was installed in the radiology practice of Professor Dr. Detlev Uhlenbrock in Dortmund, Germany. Prof. Dr. Uhlenbrock said he is particularly impressed by the excellent image quality provided by the system: “It is astonishing how even an established exposure technique such as mammography can continue to be improved. Even patients recognize that the image quality in mammography has improved over the years when they see older images in comparison.”

Fast and accurate examinations are the prerequisites for successful breast cancer screening. Mammomat Inspiration offers both through time-saving workflow functions. The system “thinks ahead” so-to-speak and is capable of screening more than 15 patients per hour. Dr. Jochen Dick, head of the Special Systems Division (SP) of Siemens Medical Solutions explained that the “One-click-to-image” functionality is an important example of the focus set by his research team and designers when it comes to user-friendliness.
“In an environment with large screening volumes such as mammography, many patients have to be examined, and some of them are very nervous about the procedure,” explained Dick. “That’s why the entire procedure has to be as fast and as comfortable as possible for the patient while speed, efficiency, and accuracy are the deciding factors for the hospital.“ For this reason, every work step, starting with the examination and ending in data distribution – has to be optimized so that more patients can be examined and diagnosed in a far shorter time than in the past.
The well-being of the patient is of highest concern. Mammomat Inspiration is the first mammography system with LED panels that glow in different colors. The colors are freely selectable with the MoodLight feature. The result is a soothing, calming effect on both patients and operating personnel.

Additionally many functions and technical features provide for low radiation dose. These include a special X-ray tube with a tungsten anode and new AEC algorithms that individually compute the dose according to the size of the breast and the type of tissue.

Tomosynthesis combines mammography with an exposure technique similar to computed tomography (CT). The X-ray tube takes several exposures of the breast from different projections. The software computes a set of slice images from these projections. The three-dimensional data resulting from this procedure provide the radiologist with considerably improved information as compared to previous methods. The exposures show better contrast with more clearly delineated tissue structures. This technology is currently still under development.

With Mammomat Inspiration, screening, diagnosis, and in future tomosynthesis are based on a uniform digital platform for the first time. Depending on his/her needs, the customer can purchase a screening system which can be expanded later by a biopsy system or a 3D tomosynthesis.

Siemens Medical Solutions is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is a renowned medical solutions provider with core competence and innovative strength in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as in knowledge engineering, including information technology and system integration. With its laboratory diagnostics acquisitions, Siemens Medical Solutions will be the first fully integrated diagnostics company, bringing together imaging and lab diagnostics, therapy, and healthcare information technology solutions, supplemented by consulting and support services. The company delivers solutions across the entire continuum of care -- from prevention and early detection, to diagnosis, therapy and care. Siemens Medical Solutions employs more than 49,000 people worldwide and operates in 130 countries. According to IFRS, in the fiscal year 2007 (Sept. 30), Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of €9.85 billion, orders of €10.27 billion, and group profit of €1.32 billion (preliminary figures, unaudited). Further information can be found by visiting www.siemens.com/medical