Flagler Hospital Flagler has upgraded to the latest in medical scan technology. It is the only hospital in the state, and one of the few in the country, with the device.
There are only a handful of them in the United States, and Flagler Hospital Flagler just added one to its facilities.
The GE Discovery Positron Emission Tomography-Commuted Tomography 600 scanner, better known as the PET-CT 600, is an advanced medical scanning machine with the highest image-sensitivity capabilities in the industry, enabling earlier detection of disease, potentially lowering dose requirements and offering quicker exam times for patients, according to Flagler Hospital Cancer Director Duane Price.
“We’re the only hospital in Florida that has this particular technology in PET scans,” Price said. “And we’re very proud of that … It shows that we’re serious.”
The equipment includes an improved motion-match system, to elevate scan quality in areas prone to movement, such as the lungs. This yields clearer and more developed images, Price said, which can ultimately save lives.
It also records the two images required for diagnostics, the PET and the CT, simultaneously, which all but eliminates the potential for variation during image fusing.
Using the PET-CT 600, a scan can now be completed, and results determined, within an hour. The device can be used for cancer diagnostics, neurology and, potentially, cardiology.
Prior to exams, a mildly radioactive substance called a radiotracer is injected into patients to differentiate cancerous cells, which glow yellow in the scan, from healthy tissue. The machinery is also larger, which cuts down on claustrophobia issues, and allows for more patient positioning options.
Combined with site renovations and installation, the PET-CT 600 cost Flagler Hospital nearly $2 million — a more than worthwhile investment, Price said, especially considering the previous equipment was older, and mobile, and only on hospital premises a day a week.
“We have good technology now … but this will make it even better,” Price said.
The PET-CT 600 is currently in use at Florida Hospital Flagler.