Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant
Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant

Greg Freiherr has reported on developments in radiology since 1983. He runs the consulting service, The Freiherr Group.

Blog | Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant | November 17, 2011

Slice Wars, Dose Wars…No Wars

Computed tomography (CT) is caught in the throes of an uneasy peace.  The war days, when the big four – Toshiba, Siemens, GE and Philips – fought for market share with mega-slice machines, are gone. It looked for a while that a war waged with dose reduction technologies might propel the industry forward, but it just hasn’t happened.

Slice wars propelled the industry – 4 slices, then 16, then 64 — with momentum sustained through a couple of half-steps in between. An abundance of 64-slice scanners, created by the last great surge in CT buying six years ago, satiated much of the appetite in the United States for new scanners. The result for vendors was an unnerving plunge that since 2006 has cut the $1.7 billion market for new CT units by more than half.

When the bottom fell out of the market, dose reared an ugly head and CT algorithms, initially developed to improve image quality, were leveraged to bring down patient radiation exposure. The most advanced of these were and continue to be computing-intensive. They render the best results when built into new systems rolling off production lines. But the installed base has not embraced dose-saving technologies as it did slices. And for good reason.

Many features designed to control patient X-ray dose had been onboard CT scanners for years. They simply weren’t being used very much. Just as we use only a fraction of the capabilities available to us in our word processing software, so had the radiology community overlooked many of the dose-cutting technologies that were right at their fingertips.

Increased awareness of these capabilities, and the need to use them, have led many in the community to adopt their use.  Upgrades – and the purchase of some new systems – have led to further reductions in dose. But the response to dose has been far from that to slices.

As we make plans again for our post-Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Chicago’s McCormick Place, we can expect to see dose reduction technologies bannered across the booths of RSNA exhibitors and talks by presenters. But those messages will be conveyed in an atmosphere of peace not war…much to the dismay of exhibitors.

 

Related Content

#COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2 U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., M.Ph demonstrates how the general public can make their own face masks for non-clinical use.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., M.Ph. demonstrates how the general public can make their own face masks for non-clinical use.

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 04, 2020 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
April 4, 2020 — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
#COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2

Getty Images

Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 03, 2020 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane and Dave Fornell
In an effort to keep the imaging field updated on the latest information being released on coronavirus (COVID-19), th
Recommended best practices for nuclear imaging departments under the COVIF-19 pandemic have been issues by the ASNC and SNMMI. #COVID19 #ASNC #SNMMI #Coronavirus #SARScov2
News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 03, 2020
April 3, 2020 — A new guidance document on best practices to maintain safety and minimize contamination in nuclear im
Jeannie Danker, M.D. #COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2

Jeannie Danker, M.D. Photo courtesy of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 03, 2020 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
April 3, 2020 — The radiology world has lost a dedicated leader due to...
An estimated 44 million people worldwide are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. About 5.8 million people in the United States live with the disease, where it is the sixth leading cause of death overall. While there is not yet a cure for Alzheimer’s, researchers are working to find treatment options to delay its onset and prevent it from developing.

Image courtesy of Insightec

Feature | Ultrasound Imaging | April 02, 2020 | By Katie Caron
An estimated 44 million people worldwide are currently living with...
An example of Philips’ TrueVue technology, which offers photo-realistic rendering and the ability to change the location of the lighting source on 3-D ultrasound images. In this example of two Amplazer transcatheter septal occluder devices in the heart, the operator demonstrating the product was able to push the lighting source behind the devices into the other chamber of the heart. This illuminated a hole that was still present that the occluders did not seal.

An example of Philips’ TrueVue technology, which offers photo-realistic rendering and the ability to change the location of the lighting source on 3-D ultrasound images. In this example of two Amplazer transcatheter septal occluder devices in the heart, the operator demonstrating the product was able to push the lighting source behind the devices into the other chamber of the heart. This illuminated a hole that was still present that the occluders did not seal. Photo by Dave Fornell

Feature | Radiology Imaging | April 02, 2020 | By Katie Caron
A new year — and decade — offers the opportunity to reflect on the advancements and challenges of years gone by and p
#COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus

Getty Images

Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 02, 2020 | Jilan Liu and HIMSS Greater China Team
Information technologies have played a pivotal role in China’s response to the novel coronavirus...
#COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2 Esaote won a tender launched by Consip on behalf of Civil Protection for the distribution of diagnostic equipment in Italy to face COVID-19 emergency.

Esaote won a tender launched by Consip on behalf of Civil Protection for the distribution of diagnostic equipment in Italy to face COVID-19 emergency.

News | Ultrasound Imaging | April 02, 2020
April 2, 2020 — Esaote, an Italian company among the world leader
#COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2 Updated CT scoring criteria from AJR considers both lobe involvement and changes in CT findings to quantitatively and accurately evaluate the progression of COVID-19 pneumonia

CT scoring criteria were applied to images from sequential chest CT examinations. A, Initial chest CT image obtained 2 days after onset of symptoms shows small region of subpleural ground-glass opacities in right lower lobe, for CT score of 1. B, Chest CT image obtained on day 3 of treatment shows slightly enlarged region of subpleural ground-glass opacities with partial crazy-paving pattern and consolidation, for CT score of 3. C, Chest CT image obtained on day 5 of treatment shows partial resolution of consolidation, for CT score of 2. D, Chest CT image obtained on day 14 of treatment shows continued resolution of consolidation with minimal residual ground-glass opacities, for CT score of 1. Image courtesy of American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)

News | Computed Tomography (CT) | April 02, 2020
April 2, 2020 — Updated computed t...
#COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2 the company is now offering a suite of AI solutions Vuno Med-LungQuant and Vuno Med-Chest X-ray for COVID-19, encompassing both lung X-ray and computed tomography (CT) modalities respectively all at once
News | Artificial Intelligence | April 02, 2020
April 2, 2020 — In the face of the COVID-19 pand