March 9, 2016 — Hitachi Medical Corp. and Redlen Technologies Inc., a Canadian technology company, announced an agreement to jointly develop a direct conversion semiconductor X-ray detector module required for new photon counting computed tomography systems (PCCT), a promising next-generation diagnostic medical imaging modality.
Hitachi has extensive expertise in healthcare total solutions, which include medical diagnostic and clinical devices such as CT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), particle beam therapy systems and also informatics, including medical services and platforms. Redlen is a manufacturer of high-resolution cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) semiconductor radiation detectors which are used in the fields of medical imaging, security and nondestructive testing.
Under this agreement, Hitachi and Redlen will collaborate to develop a new multi-energy PCCT semiconductor detector module. PCCT systems offer the potential for a breakthrough advance in CT diagnostic imaging performance through new capabilities which include material discrimination, higher image resolution, the addition of functional imaging and further radiation dose reduction.
Current commercial CT systems have limited to no knowledge of individual photon energies. Redlen has successfully developed semiconductor radiation sensors that have the ability to measure the unique energy of individual X-ray photons while operating at the very high count rates and stability levels necessary for X-ray CT. The additional information provided by these advanced radiation sensors is a key to realizing next-generation PCCT advances.
Hitachi and Redlen will jointly develop the data acquisition technology required to process the order of magnitude higher amount of data received from these semiconductor radiation sensors and the packaging technology necessary for assembling the sensors into a detector module. Exclusive use of the co-developed modules will enable Hitachi to develop an advanced PCCT that fully utilizes the performance of this new sensor technology.
The two companies will work closely to accelerate the joint development for the new detector modules. Hitachi will investigate a wide range of new diagnostic applications for PCCT based on the clinical evaluations planned both domestically and internationally.