Blog Description

Product Review: GE Healthcare StarGuide

Healthcare | Apr, 2021

Since the beginning of the development of the first commercially available SPECT/CT scanner in 1999, GE Healthcare has remained at the forefront of molecular imaging. Recently, the company has launched a new SPECT/CT system, StarGuide that features the latest generation, advanced, and proprietary Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) technology for high-resolution medical imaging. Designed to usher in a new era of discovery for Nuclear Medicine, GE Healthcare developed CZT technology, a powerful tool for physicians and researchers to explore and expand precision health for improving patient outcomes within demanding clinical environments.  

 

StarGuide opens many avenues for clinical innovation with twelve GE’s Digital Focus detectorsshape-adaptive gantry, and optical scout. The digital detectors enable 3D scanning of patients that facilitate more detailing, and 360-degree imaging helps to advance precision health. StarGuide’s constellation of 12 slim detectors orbit the body as closely as possible and scan the target area from all necessary angles and not the air surrounding the patient. The intrinsic count rate of StarGuide is greater than 700 kcnts/second with no detector saturation or dead time. The CZT technology in StarGuide is pivotal for reducing patient exposure to SPECT’s radioactive processes due to its higher system planar sensitivity and volume sensitivity. 

 

With shape-adaptive gantry, the clinicians would be able to narrow their fields of view for focusing on specific body parts, including the heart and brain, which would have not been otherwise possible with other conventional systems. The optical scout automatically creates an accurate topographical map of the patient under scanning and the optical scan assures a fast and safe transition from one imaging position to the next. Thus, the optical scout minimizes the amount of duration patient spends for preliminary scanning. Keeping safety in consideration, each detector in StarGuide contains a pressure sensitivity cover to stop the motion if it is triggered during the clinical scan.  

 

Striking the right balance between energy resolution and spatial resolution, StarGuide provides accurate quantitation, which helps clinicians support greater theranostic capabilities in nuclear medicine. The greater energy range capabilities of imaging dual-energy peaks of tracers used in Theranostics, such as the 113 keV and 208 keV helps in the proper diagnosis and evaluation of treatment responses for prostate cancer. 

 

The inherently high contrast-to-noise ratio, 2.46 mm2 pixel size, and 8 mm spatial resolution of StarGuide deliver precise clarity for the device to detect, locate, and quantify diseases at an early stage. With remarkable energy resolution, StarGuide allows clinicians the ability to differentiate between simultaneously acquired isotopes with smaller differences in peak energies up to 270 keV. 

 

For focused imaging, StarGuide alters the detector sweep to spend more time focusing on a designated area without increasing the scan time. Focused imaging provides clinicians the ability to produce high-quality and data-rich imagery within a specific Volume of Interest (VOI) without increasing the scan time. Besides, the device allows the analysis flow in greater detail enabling Dynamic SPECT acquisitions with high temporal resolution within five seconds. The improved SPECT resolution provides sharp images for enhanced visualization of anatomical details that can help physicians detect diseases at an early stage. When compared to conventional SPECT/CT, pixelated CZT modules coupled with Dual-Channel tungsten collimation contribute to improved resolution and sensitivity. 

 

StarGuide’s latest image-processing engine, SmartConsole is uniquely designed to help physicians advance from 2D scanning to digital 3D scanning, which allows them to simplify complex hybrid images for making informed decisions and improving diagnostic confidence. The image-processing engine also offers clinicians highly customizable reconstruction capabilities to steer their pursuits in whatever direction they choose. The Q. Clear full converge reconstruction algorithm is an advancement towards SPECT imaging, which suppresses noise to provide outstanding quantitation accuracy without sacrificing the StarGuide’s ability to precisely determine the lesion size and volume. SmartConsole is optimized with FAME post-processing to help clinicians clarify and share patient data. 

 

Swift Plan workflow of StarGuide combined with SmartConsole automates SPECT/CT reconstruction, optimizes image quality with retrospective processing features, allows operators to see images at the scanner console, and enables physicians to review scans remotely. With a long list of capabilities, Swift Plan becomes an extremely capable and user-friendly product enhancer. 

 

StarGuide let physicians explore Nuclear Medicine’s potential while enhancing clinical care with improved digital productivity tools, making it reliable enough to perform routine scanning procedures in demanding clinical environments. Replacing planar exams with predictable, repeatable scan times of 3D-only protocols, StarGuide minimizes the need for additional views, shortens patient wait times, and reduces scheduling overruns. 

 

Comparing StarGuide with other most sought-after CT scanners

 

Siemens Sensation 16

Siemens CT scanners are built around advanced radiation minimization, contrast media dosage, and other features to deliver improved clinical performance and enhance patient outcomes. In terms of image quality, Siemens’s proprietary Ultra-Fast Ceramics offers high spatial resolution with short decay and low afterglow. The refurbished Siemens Somatom Sensation 16 CT scanners are a higher-end scanner with a Straton X-ray tube with a very fast rotation time of 0.37s. The machine can perform a whole-body 3D scanning of a patient’s arteries in less than 20 seconds and 0.75mm slices with excellent clarity and high detail. The tube in Siemens Somatom Sensation has a fast-cooling rate and has a long shelf life with great technical capabilities to serve a wide range of clinical applications. Some of the features of Somatom Sensation 16 includes

  • Z-sharp technology
  • High-speed volume scanning
  • Proprietary z-UHR technology
  • CARE Dose4D technology
  • STRATON high-performance X-ray tube

 

If you are looking for stable, fast, efficient, and more reliable CT scanners, then Siemens Sensation 16 is the right choice for you.

 

Philips Ingenuity Core CT Scanner

The Philips Ingenuity CT scanner offers high-quality imaging with reduced artifacts and industry-leading low-contrast resolution and coverage. The device has the capability to personalize image quality patient by patient and offers in-room upgradeability. The Ingenuity CT features Philip’s next-generation iterative reconstruction technique, iDose4 to provide equivalent diagnostic image quality at up to 80% less dose without wasting a moment of valuable clinician time. The IntelliSpace AI Workflow Suite in Philips Ingenuity CT scanner enables healthcare providers to integrate AI applications into imaging for delivering structured results. Some of the features of Philips Ingenuity 128 includes

  • Scan-to-scan consistency 
  • Lower dose with higher image quality
  • Allows in-room upgradeability
  • Wide range of procedure and patient type capability
  • MRC Ice X-ray tube
  • Early reading with Intellispace Portal pre-processing

 

Cannon Aquilion Precision CT scanner

Cannon Aquilion Precision is the world’s first Ultra-High Resolution CT system approved for clinical use with resolution down to 0.15 mm. Leveraging Deep Learning Neural Networks, the Aquilion Precision is specifically trained to reconstruct images that are sharp, clear, and distinct. The CT scan system works on an advanced Model-Based Iterative Reconstruction (MBIR) algorithm to produce an enhanced anatomical resolution, super image homogeneity, fast reconstruction, and exceptionally low noise properties. 

Some of the features of Cannon Aquilion Precision CT scanner includes

  • Adaptive focal spot
  • 0.5 mm 896 channel detector and 0.25 mm 1792 channel UHR detector
  • Widest CT couch to provide 17 cm of lateral table movement

 

Medtronic O-ARM 

Medtronic O-ARM is a complete multidimensional mobile imaging platform for spine and orthopedic surgery. Telescopic “O-shaped” gantry allows for 2-D fluoroscopy and 3-D imaging, providing enhanced flexibility to the patients. The O-ARM combines the best features of a traditional C-arm with an intraoperative 3-D scanner for exceptional surgical imaging through robotically controlled real-time and preset positioning. Also, the imaging device is specifically designed to maintain sterility and safety. Some of the features of the Medtronic O-Arm include

  • On-demand imaging
  • Inter-room mobility
  • Multiple image protocols 
  • Quick 3D reconstruction time 
  • Designed well-suited for spinal surgeries

 

Conclusion

GE Healthcare's wide range of imaging devices has a high reputation for durability and ease of maintenance. Although GE CT scanners cost more than other models, they have a lower cost of service, labor, and replacement part. When it comes to quality, GE StarGuide is one of the best CT scan systems available in the market today for making precise diagnosis and monitoring. If you are looking for affordable options, Phillips might be a viable choice, but if you are looking for the fastest CT scanning, no other CT system can beat Aquilion! 

According to TechSci research report on “Global CT Scanners Market By Technology (High Slice CT, Mid Slice CT, Low Slice CT, Cone-beam CT) By Modality (Fixed v/s Mobile) By Device Architecture (C-arm v/s O-arm) By Application (Cardiology, Oncology, Neurology, Others) By End Users (Diagnostic Centers, Hospitals, Others) By Region, Competition Forecast & Opportunities, 2026”, the global CT scanner market is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during forecast period 2022-2026, owing to increasing demand for screen imaging and at-home care of the patients. Additionally, the need for post monitoring of medical implants and other anatomical confirmations are also fuelling the growth of global CT scanner market.

According to another Techsci research report on “Global Diagnostic Imaging Market By Product Type ( Architecture (Open/Closed), By Field Strength (High and Very-High Field MRI Systems), By Systems (Ultrasound Systems, Nuclear Imaging Systems, X-Ray Imaging Systems, CT Scanner, MRI System, Mammography System, Fluoroscopy), By Portability (Stationary, Portability), By Application (OB/Gyn, Orthopaedic, Musculosekeletal, Neuro &Spine, General Imaging, Cardio &Thoracic, Breast health, Others), By End Users (Hospitals, Diagnostic Imaging Centres, Others), By Region, Forecast & Opportunities, 2016-2026F”, the global diagnostic imaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.72% during the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to rising geriatric population and advances in medical technology. 

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