A nuclear medicine vision becomes reality at Swansea Bay with connectivity across sites

Singleton Hospital, Swansea, has installed a comprehensive Hermes Medical Solutions software facility as part of an extensive redevelopment of its nuclear medicine department. Head of nuclear medicine Professor Neil Hartman explained how Hermes Medical Solutions has supported his work over the years, and how the new Hermia software suite will help deliver molecular imaging diagnostics and radionuclide therapies at the hospital and across Swansea Bay University Health Board.

“Singleton Hospital is a large academic hospital next door to Swansea University in south Wales. With Morriston Hospital and Neath Port Talbot Hospital, we form part of a bigger group of three hospitals that serve middle/south-west Wales,” he said. “On a very good day at Singleton Hospital, we would scan 20 PETCT patients, including PSMA PET scans. We would also scan 25-30 SPECT patients, a number [of whom] would successfully undergo myocardial perfusion. We also provide a DEXA service for bone mineral densitometry in south-west Wales – we have a mobile scanner and a static scanner, so would scan another 30-40 people.”

With so many patients visiting the nuclear medicine department each day, careful planning is essential. Data from the scans of anywhere between 60 and 80 patients a day must be collected, analysed and reported as quickly, securely and accurately as possible. “I started my career at departments with software from Hermes Medical Solutions and we now have it here in Swansea. I turn to Hermes for seamless transfer of data – correct data – from scanner to the terminal for us to be able to report.

“We had five or six SPECT scanners, two cardio PET scanners, and our department had a private clinic. Hermes Medical Solutions brought all of this together.”

At Barts Health NHS Trust four major hospital sites in London were connected with the company’s software. “Now that I am at Singleton Hospital, we plan to connect the three sites that make up the Swansea Bay University Health Board. We are one of the first hospitals in the UK to have the new StarGuide scanner from GE Healthcare. I am also an honorary professor at the faculty of medicine of the university, and we really want to transform our department and clinical services in terms of the type of things we look at, and connectivity in general, from people’s home offices to the various terminals in the department.

“My goal is that any physician, radiologist, oncologist or cardiologist should be able to look at scans from three sites and manipulate them from wherever they are.”

Professor Hartman pointed out that the choice of software for reconstruction, viewing and reporting in the nuclear medicine department and vendor neutrality is critical. “Vendor neutrality is important when it comes to the software because we have GE hardware in my department but may buy a PET scanner from a non-GE vendor. The most important criterion when it comes to choosing a new supplier of nuclear medicine equipment is timely and efficient patient diagnosis. Reliability of the Hermia software and support from Hermes Medical Solutions for updates – or making us acutely aware of any changes – is very important.”

The hospital is currently performing thyroid therapies and, during the past three months, has established an all-Wales molecular therapy group which is working on getting prostate therapy possibly rolled out even by the end of the calendar year. “I believe personalised dosimetry for every patient undergoing radionuclide therapies should be the norm and this will be reliant on the [Hermia] software package we use as well as professional standards.”

Picture: Singleton Hospital expects to benefit from the reliability of the Hermia software. Photo courtesy of radiopharmacist/photographer Christopher Barnett.

Published on page 5 of the October 2022 issue of RAD Magazine.

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