16 slice, 32 slice, 64 slice, 128 slice – when it comes to CT, there’s no debate that higher slice count can make routine applications easier and is necessary to make some advanced applications possible to perform. Aside from slice count, there are other features that can surprisingly impact the clinical capabilities of a CT and how versatile a CT is for accommodating the greatest number of patients needing to be scanned. These other important features include aperture size, generator power, and table weight capacity and as such, these specifications should be taken into account during the purchase process.
In a survey recently published by the American Hospital Radiology Administrators Association (AHRA), when 150 Radiology Administrators were asked “when purchasing new MR or CT imaging equipment, do you feel that physical attributes like table weight capacity or gantry opening size, have become more important in the consideration process?” The response ... an overwhelming majority, 98%, reported “yes” suggesting these factors are key considerations during the evaluation process.
Given these considerations, Hitachi engineers combined for the Scenaria View CT a wider radiology-optimized 80cm gantry aperture and a higher output 84kW x-ray generator with a 550 lbs. Bariatric weight capacity table.
Hitachi engineers studied US Government and Industry Organization data1 that shows Large CT aperture is paramount, as patients with obesity disease often exceed bore limits before exceeding table weight limits. And, the View’s 84kW generator provides ample 700mA output at the 120kV and 140kV selections most often used for adult CT exams. Generators that provide similarly high mA, but only at lower kV, are not effective as low kV will not penetrate very obese patients.
Hitachi engineers recognized that three key features determine how large a patient can be scanned and that the maximum patient size and weight accommodation for any CT is the proverbial weakest link in a chain situation. The three features that make up the chain are aperture size (to accommodate the patient’s girth), generator size (with high enough power to penetrate the patient) and table weight capacity (to lift and horizontally advance the patient during the scan). The weakest of these three features (links) is the limit to how large a patient can be scanned.
The View’s larger 80cm aperture, more powerful 84kW Generator and 550 lbs. weight capacity table exemplifies how Hitachi uses Human Centered Design to intelligently select and combine features to make the product effective for the largest number of patients, including patients with obesity disease.
CT buyers need to consider the weakest of three links analogy and not think the best CT for patients, including those with obesity disease, depends on a very high specification for only a single link, if the other links are weaker. Weakest link decides!
Human-centered design is a development process that aims to make systems more useable and useful by focusing on the users' needs and requirements and applying human ergonomics and usability knowledge.
1"Does the Design of Radiology Equipment Matter?” Hitachi Healthcare Internal Report, 2020