Deep learning CT scanners deployed at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh to revolutionise support for radiographers and radiologists

Canon Medical has recently deployed two AI-enabled CT scanners at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, a leading teaching hospital, to optimise a wide range of clinical procedures. Using deep learning reconstruction technology, the tools are powered by an advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE) to deliver high-quality medical imaging in record time, addressing the time-to-patient demand challenge faced by most hospitals today. The CT scanners also support a range of software integration that will facilitate patient clinical practice and research. 

In areas such as CT pulmonary angiography, where speed and accuracy are key and where iodine mapping is used as standard to provide radiologists with additional information more quickly, this tool is transformative. It provides a higher level of information, faster and at lower doses. Similarly, interventional radiologists have found the subtraction pack for peripheral CT angiograms extremely valuable. It allows them to obtain excellent visualisation of vessels, replacing the need to see vascular calcification on MRI which is often not suitable for a wide range of patients, while ensuring low dosing. The whole process is automated by the CT. In addition, the use of the CT fluoroscopy suite halves the time taken for biopsies and therefore reduces the appointment time for patients undergoing uncomfortable procedures.

Lynne Thomson, CT/MRI Superintendent at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, praised the revolution the tool has brought to the CT arena, explaining how radiographers have shown great interest in the features provided by the CT Aquilion ONE PRISM Edition and CT Aquilion Prime SP. She also explained how cardiologists can now quickly obtain a cardiac CT using the wide detector, all with unbeatable image quality and at such low doses. 

 “It’s not just the speed, low dose and image quality that impressed us, but also the versatility of the new CT scanners. The ‘Area Finder’ feature is useful for 4D imaging of joints and extremities, which means we can place patients at the end of the scanner. We have plans to adapt the way we book appointments for both inpatients and outpatients since the arrival of the new CT scanners, which will improve the workflow in a number of departments in the hospital,” she continues.

Speaking about the revolution these tools are bringing to medical imaging, Mark Thomas, head of CT modality at Canon Medical Systems UK, stressed in a statement the importance of introducing AI into the imaging department through the CT modality. He advised not to be apprehensive or doubtful in embracing the promising future of AI in the sphere, explaining how Canon Medical Systems scanners have been built “to be used in the same way as radiographs, but with intelligent technology inside that powers the processing and controls the quality of the image produced”. This makes it easy to integrate the use of this new generation of scanners into everyday practice. 

“We have relied on Canon Medical Systems for nearly two decades with a long-standing positive relationship in its innovation in medical imaging, and for its after-sales and customer service. When our current 10-year-old CT scanners reached the end of their life, Canon Medical was again the natural choice. The new generation of Aquilion CT scanners is exceptional compared to what we were used to. Our radiologists have been amazed at the improved image quality and speed of procedures, and as radiographers we are very pleased with the significant reduction in patient dose,” concluded Lynne Thomson.