By Mark Koers
When it comes to interim cath labs, safety and reliability are everything. How can you make sure you’re making the right choices for your program and for your patient’s safety? Make sure you go digital, with a digital flat panel detector x-ray imaging system.
Temporary or “mobile” cath labs aren’t something that everyone is familiar with, so when someone is faced with needing to find Mobile Cath Labs service provider they might do a quick google search, make a few calls, and assume that all the providers in the industry are reputable companies with good interventional x-ray equipment.
The reality is, there are only a few companies that offer Mobile Cath Labs, and some are run on a shoe-string budget and ONLY offer older, obsolete Image Intensifier (I.I.) based systems. Why, you ask? Because that’s all they have and they aren’t able to offer anything newer. The fact of the matter is, these I.I. systems haven’t been manufactured since the early 2000’s, so today (2015), these systems are at a minimum 15 years old and possibly older. Besides being analog systems with poor image quality, parts are scarce and hard to come by, and being so old, they can be very hard to maintain to any reliable degree.
Imagine you or your loved one having chest pains, going to the nearest hospital, and finding out that you have to have a cardiac cath or vascular procedure-not knowing that the procedure was being done on a 15-25 year old, obsolete cardiac cath x-ray system. This could very easily happen if you had gone to a hospital that decided to bring in Mobile Cath Labs with one of these older I.I. systems.
Digital Flat Detector Technology has been the standard of care for in-house cath labs for years.
According to a DAIC article from 2008: “Digital Flat Panel (FPD) technology is easier to work with and around. The less bulky alternative to image intensifier systems contributes to a smoother flow in the cath lab, while also being easier to maintain. We see a lot less technical problems with flat panel detectors. Often the image intensifier systems would break down in the middle of a case. With the newer technology, we rarely have a problem in the middle of a case,”
(See more at: http://www.dicardiology.com/article/flat-panel-detectors-lower-dose).
The good news is, there are a number of digital flat panel Mobile Cath Labs available in the interim lab market.
Here at Modular Devices Inc., we started upgrading to digital flat panel systems back in 2007 and today are proud to say that we’re an “ALL-DIGITAL” fleet. Every one of our 25 interim labs has been upgraded to a newer digital flat panel detector system.
For cardiac cath procedures we have GE Innova 2000/2100 systems, Philips FD10 system, and Siemens Artis. For peripheral vascular procedures we have GE Innova 4100’s, Philips FD20’s, and Siemens Artis. For combo cath/vascular procedures we offer GE Innova 3100 systems, Philips FD20’s, and Siemens Artis.
The advantages that digital flat panel systems offer over older I.I.-based systems are clear: high-quality digital imaging, current technology, ability to reduce x-ray dosage, as well as be serviceable and supported for years to come.
Want to know what we’ve found since upgrading to these newer digital systems? We found they simply work, period.
Partly because these systems are newer, partly because they’re digital and not analog, partly because they’re built better with more modern technology. In fact, our service records support the fact that there are significantly fewer service-related issues since we’ve upgraded to digital.
A digital flat panel system is what you and your physicians want and need with an in-house cath lab, so why not expect the same with Mobile Cath Labs? If you want the best guarantee for safe and reliable Mobile Cath Lab, be sure you Go Digital. You’ll be glad you did!