December 17, 2012 — A Carestream DRX-Transportable System is on its way to Antarctica as part of the latest expedition led by veteran polar explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. One of the last remaining polar challenges, the expedition will attempt to cross Antarctica in winter — the coldest journey on earth — a passage of nearly 4,000 kilometers, mostly in complete darkness and in temperatures as low as -90°C.
The company’s medical imaging system will be on hand to provide fast and easy diagnosis in case of medical emergencies. Part of the DRX family of digital radiography solutions that share the same DRX-1 wireless detector, the DRX-Transportable is a rugged, all-in-one solution specifically designed for use in the field. The system includes the wireless detector, electronics, wireless access point and a tablet PC — all securely packed in a sturdy, portable carrying case. To complete the package, Carestream Health’s distributor in the United Kingdom, BCF Technology, has donated the source generator for X-ray capture.
“For ‘The Coldest Journey’ it was important that we had a digital X-ray system [that] is small, light and easy to use should the worst happen. Carestream's DRX-Transportable System fits our needs perfectly," said expedition doctor Rob Lambert.
The ice team is spending Christmas with their families and completing last minute preparations and training. They will join the research ship SA Agulhas in Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of December. This first-ever trans-Antarctic winter expedition also attempts to raise $10 million for “Seeing is Believing,” a global charitable initiative to fight avoidable blindness.
On the equinox of March 21, 2013, the six expedition members will begin their six-month journey to reach the Ross Sea. The route will take them from the Russian base of Novolazareskaya, to Captain Scott’s base at McMurdo Sound — via the South Pole. During this time the expedition team will be entirely self-sufficient since no search and rescue facility will be available, as aircraft cannot penetrate inland during winter due to darkness and risk of fuel freezing.
“We were delighted to receive the request for a DRX-Transportable from Sir Ranulph himself,” said Jane Grimsley, marketing manager for Digital Capture Europe, Carestream. “The system is designed to perform in diverse and challenging environments, and although we hope that it will not be needed, should it be we are confident that it will help provide a timely diagnosis to enable prompt and appropriate treatment.”