Graphics advances made for gaming enable Leighton Hospital to increase CT for triage while driving doses down

The speed and quality of graphics demanded by the gaming industry has led to affordable, high-end computing power in AI-assisted CT scanners in UK hospitals. Canon Medical says that ultra low dose CT imaging at speeds fast enough to be used in real-time on every patient has now become a reality.

Leighton Hospital, part of Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was one of the first hospitals in the UK to install a new CT scanner with a ‘super computer’ inside, and is now one of the first to receive the version two upgrade of the Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE). This maintains the low doses achieved previously while enhancing the image quality of scans to deliver earlier diagnosis and treatment planning. The hospital has AiCE on an Aquilion One Genesis Edition CT and Aquilion Prime SP CT, both installed by Canon Medical over the last 18 months.

Consultant radiologist Dr Richard Hawkins said: “AI-assisted CT has made the impossible possible. Before, to produce high quality images at super low doses was not possible in useable real-world time frames. Now, the Deep Learning Reconstruction algorithms on Aquilion CT scanners has driven dose down to ultra low levels – reductions of up to 92 per cent below UK National Diagnostic Reference Levels – at the same time as delivering high quality images never seen before. This is vital in an era where CT demand has grown exponentially as a front-line triage tool for earlier and more detailed diagnosis.

“It is the ultra low dose and clear quality images at high speed from AI-assisted CT that will underpin and drive it forward, including recent calls for proactive CT screening for lung cancer,” Dr Richard Hawkins continues. “Identifying tiny cancers before they grow to an inoperable size will save lives and to do this with high quality CT equivalent to the dose of just a few chest x-rays is now possible. Furthermore, ultra low dose CT pulmonary angiograms are now standard in pregnant mothers and more recently COVID-19 patients, many of whom at this stage are young or middle-aged.”

Picture: Gaming technology innovations have driven advances in medical imaging.

Published on page 25 of the June 2021 issue of RAD Magazine.

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