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30 May 2011 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 34

Macquarie University Hospital and MMI opt for NewTom 5G

By Joseph Allbeury

Digital Imaging Radiography

Macquarie Medical Imaging has become the first site in Australia to install the latest high resolution low dose NewTom 5G cone beam imaging system distributed by Inline Medical + Dental.

Macquarie Medical Imaging operates the radiology department of the new Macquarie University Hospital, Australia's first private hospital owned by a University, that opened less than a year ago in the Sydney suburb of North Ryde. The private enterprise, run by a group of specialist radiologists including Dr John Magnussen, Professor of Radiology at Macquarie University, invested more than $20 million to establish the state-of-the-art imaging centre where nothing but the best was considered.

"When we set up a new facility like this one, we look to incorporate state-of-the-art equipment for each imaging modality," Professor Magnussen said. "We want the most versatile, highest resolution and lowest dose options available for our patients and heavily research the best equipment in each product sector.

"Together with the Alfred Imaging Group, we operate 7 imaging centres and across these, we've seen a growing demand for cone beam imaging. So we've been looking at all the options in cone beam CT for some time as demand has increased both from clinicians and also the public. People are becoming more adverse to radiation exposure based on recent media attention and this has impacted the imaging industry as a result and brought technologies like cone beam to the forefront."

Professor Magnussen said that the brand new NewTom 5G immediately caught his attention when it was released because it was clearly a step above everything else on the market.

"We looked at all the options on the market and kept coming back to the NewTom 5G as it gave us a better combination of a much higher resolution and a lower dose than other cone beam imaging systems. In many cases, dental cone beam systems did no better than the maxillofacial imaging modalities of our conventional CT scanner.

"The new CT Scanner we purchased from GE for the centre has the lowest radiation dose of any conventional CT scanner on the market and it can capture maxillofacial imaging, but the dose it uses and the resolution don't compare to the NewTom 5G. The NewTom is using around a quarter to a 20th of the radiation of the CT scanner and delivering a superior image.

"The NewTom 5G produces beautiful images and a lot of my colleagues are jealous. It produces better images than we have ever seen before. The normal voxel [3 dimensional pixel] size produced by a conventional CT scanner is a 0.5–0.6 mm cube. The CT scanner we have is the best on the market and produces a voxel size of 0.23 mm. The NewTom 5G, however, is creating images with a voxel size of 0.075mm! That is 3 times better than the best CT scanner on the market with less beam hardening artefacts.

"We also particularly like the 5G because it allows the patient to be positioned horizontally which, from a radiologists perspective, greatly increases its versatility. In a hospital environment, not all patients can stand for instance. We also use it to image hands, feet, wrists and other parts of the body. It is very convenient for the patient and the operator and is well tolerated by patients."

The installation of the NewTom 5G at Macquarie Medical Imaging is Inline Medical + Dental's first sale into the specialist radiology market.

"Inline Medical + Dental have been a pleasure to work with," Professor Magnussen said. "They are very knowledgeable about the systems they distribute and provide outstanding service and support. We look forward to continuing our working relationship well into the future."

Dentists and specialists can refer patients to Macquarie Medical Imaging for cone beam scanning bulk billed to Medicare with no gap payment required. Dentists can receive the scan on disk complete with viewing software, through a web portal or MMI will produce hardcopies of the views requested. All scans include a radiologist's report.

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