Siemens Medical Solutions on 17 November unveiled the world's first dual source computed tomography (CT) system, a breakthrough that will redefine the role of CT. Siemens has pushed the technical and clinical boundaries of CT with this latest innovation, the Somatom Definition, which is faster than every beating heart and capable of imaging full cardiac detail with as much as 50 percent less radiation exposure compared to traditional CT scans.
Setting new standards in cardiac diagnosis, the Somatom Definition will image patients with high or irregular heart rates, or even arrhythmia, without beta blocker medications that have been previously needed to slow a patient’s heart. The system also enables physicians to better identify and characterize plaque, an early indicator of heart disease.
Siemens’ newest CT innovation is an ideal tool for one-stop diagnosis in acute care imaging, including the assessment of patients with acute chest pain, abdominal pain, and suspicion of stroke. The system enables faster and earlier diagnosis in acute care patients while maintaining the highest image quality, independent of patient size and condition.
The Somatom Definition has enhanced capabilities not previously available from any type of diagnostic imaging technology, which are expected to lead to new breakthroughs in clinical research. These capabilities include scanning with two different X-ray energies simultaneously, which allow physicians to better differentiate, characterize, isolate and distinguish bone, soft tissue and fluid.
“Siemens has long been committed to creating products that will shape the future of healthcare. With today’s announcement, we are truly redefining what CT can do and are setting a new benchmark for the industry to follow,” said Erich Reinhardt, president and Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Medical Solutions. “With more than 55 million procedures conducted in the United States each year, CT already has a tremendous impact on detecting disease. The Siemens Somatom Definition will allow physicians to utilize CT technology in new areas of research, bring the benefits of CT to more patients, and enable physicians to diagnose disease earlier and more cost effectively.”
The Somatom Definition is faster than any existing CT technology. This dual source CT system uses two X-ray sources and two detectors at the same time, compared to all other CT systems that use only one source and detector. With 0.33 seconds per rotation, electrocardiogram- (ECG) synchronized imaging can be performed with 83-millisecond temporal resolution, independent of the heart rate, resulting in motion free cardiac images.
Featuring a 31-inch (78-cm) bore opening and a 79-inch (200-cm) scan range, the Somatom Definition increases patient comfort and access, allowing clinicians to image more of the body in less time. Equipped with z-Sharp Technology, the Straton X-ray tube and CARE solutions, the Somatom Definition has all the tools necessary to enable a new gold standard in earlier detection, faster evaluation, and more precise follow-up of disease states for CT imaging.
The close cooperation between Siemens and leading healthcare institutions around the world has ensured that the Somatom Definition will meet today’s and tomorrow’s clinical needs. The first Somatom Definition was installed at the University of Erlangen (Germany) in October 2005 and is being used for technical and clinical research as well as regular patient care.
“Siemens’ newest CT system provides very valuable clinical information for patients presenting in our department with acute chest pain and suspicion of coronary artery disease,” said Dr. Stephan Achenbach, associate professor of Cardiology, University of Erlangen. “We expect that the Somatom Definition will have a significant role in even the most demanding environments, such as emergency departments,” added Prof. Werner Bautz, chairman of Radiology, University of Erlangen, Germany.
The first U.S. installations will take place in early 2006 at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio; and New York University Medical Center.
“That the top healthcare institutions across the world have responded so quickly to the Somatom Definition confirms that Siemens continues to be the innovation leader in diagnostic technology.” said Klaus Kleinfeld, president and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG. “Siemens is committed to be the pacesetter for healthcare innovation in the 21st Century.”
Siemens Medical Solutions is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. From imaging systems for diagnosis, to therapy equipment for treatment, to patient monitors to hearing instruments and beyond, Siemens innovations contribute to the health and well-being of people across the globe, while improving operational efficiencies and optimizing workflow in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, and doctors' offices. Employing approximately 33.000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7.6 billion EUR, orders of 8.6 billion EUR and group profit of about 1 billion EUR for fiscal 2005 (preliminary figures). Further information can be found under: www.siemens.com/medical