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Philips Unveils PET/CT Technology
Mar 3, 2006
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Royal Philips Electronics unveiled a breakthrough positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system. The GEMINI TF is the first PET system to use atomic particle time-measurements to deliver increased image quality and consistency, helping earlier disease detection in patients. The advantages of the technology have been previously demonstrated in a research environment, but Philips is the first healthcare technology provider to translate these benefits into a solution for consistent and reliable clinical use.

In a conventional PET system, a decaying radioactive agent is injected into the patient. As each nucleus decays, it releases a positron, which immediately collides with an electron, releasing two gamma rays that travel away from the collision zone at 180 degrees from each other. It is these pairs of gamma rays that are observed by the PET scanner, which uses this information to calculate where the agent is concentrated, thus creating an image of the affected area. Although the gamma rays in each pair arrive at slightly different times depending on their origination, this is not traditionally measured. With time-of-flight, this time difference can be measured, enabling the point of origination to be more accurately predicted and leading to much more accurate imaging.

GEMINI TF is the world's first commercially available time-of-flight PET/CT system, in which gamma rays are more accurately tracked using minute time measurements. Raising effective image sensitivity by more than two times over conventional PET, the GEMINI TF delivers benefits for both patients and clinicians. Image acquisition is shortened to less than 10 minutes for a whole-body PET scan, even for larger patients, who had previously needed additional scan time. Consistent with all GEMINI PET/CT systems, GEMINI TF also features Philips patented OpenView gantry design, allowing for increased patient comfort.

The combined benefits of faster sampling, longer useful imaging times from short-lived isotopes and the use of new low-efficiency tracers are set to significantly increase the utility of PET/CT for every healthcare stakeholder. The technology also opens the pathway to enable the molecular imaging applications of the future.

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