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VR Interfaces: Toshiba?s Aquilion ONE CT System


Overview of Toshiba?s Aquilion ONE CT System
Toshiba's leviathan of a computed topography scanner, Aquilion ONE is an attempt to go beyond the need for multiple scanning tests.

The plan is to replace x-rays, CAT scans, nuclear studies, and other visualisation based diagnosis techniques in one swoop. Rather than waiting days or weeks for various results and appointments, all data is analysed on site, there and then.

Normally, a CT machine takes pictures of organs by the slice. At the end, all the slices are stitched together, and processed remotely. One?s technique is a little different: It surrounds the user in 320 ultra-high-resolution x-ray detectors, each half a millimetre wide. These are placed in a drum which rotates around the patient ? at a speed sufficient to image the entire body from every conceivable angle in less time than a relaxed single heartbeat.

This slight delay is of immense benefit. Whilst with the 320 detectors, it can cover almost a full sweep of the body at once, with the additional time delay, not only is every possible view covered, but flow patterns within organs are imaged ? it is actually precise enough to capture organ movement such as the path of flowing blood through the heart. The scanner is able to work out current flow patterns ? and thus give clues to the location of damaged blood vessels or other issues, by showing swirling fluid patterns.

To top it all off, the ONE uses 80% fewer X-rays than previous slice-based scanners.

The scanning pan that ships as a part of the unit can handle a person of up to 650lb. However, if they are that heavy, and not fully prosthetic in body, it would not take a scanning machine to diagnose the source of the problem.

The ONE costs about twice as much as a traditional multi-slice CT scanner, but company officials say it will end up saving money and physicians? time because so many auxiliary tests won?t be needed.

At date of writing, three units have been installed in US hospitals. Toshiba expects to sell at least 200 of the scanners worldwide by next April.
To give an example of the use of such a machine, say a patient walks into the hospital emergency centre, barely able to keep his feet, but with a crushing pain in his chest. Rather than the usual battery of tests, and long waiting delays in critical care, a scanner of this type diagnoses the problem almost instantly ? ONE takes 20 minutes, for full scanning and data rendering into 3D form.

Further Reading:

Aquilion ONE: Clinical Movie Theatre

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