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Next-gen cath lab technology first for Australia

Wednesday, 04 March 2020

University Hospital Geelong is the world’s first hospital to install a new generation of cardiovascular x-ray technology outside of its founder city in Germany.

The new Siemens ARTIS icono cardiovascular system was installed late in January and has improved the efficiency of the Barwon Health Cardiac Catherisation Laboratory (cath lab), allowing more patients to receive more accurate results with a quicker turnover.

Medical imaging in the cath lab helps guide cardiologists as they perform minimally invasive tests and procedures.

The new cutting-edge machine is one of just two in operation and is the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, boasting better image quality to visualise a patient’s anatomy with less radiation exposure.

Barwon Health Cardiology director Associate Professor Chin Hiew compared the image quality difference to the leap from standard-definition televisions to 4K high-definition screens.

“Having had a few weeks of experience with this machine, the image quality is spectacular without compromising the amount of radiation exposure,” he said.

“The radiation level is actually reduced by up to 70 per cent, making it safer for patients and the staff operating the machine.

“This new machine and the new cath lab table are able to hold more weight, which is important for accommodating a patient requiring CPR, which puts a lot of pressure on the table.“It’s also quicker, less noisy and it has additional features that eliminate the need for peripheral machines in the same lab.

”A/Prof Hiew said Barwon Health was able to secure the machine before its worldwide release after visiting the Siemen headquarters in Germany when it was in development.

”We are now a reference site for hospitals across the country to do site visits and see the machine when they are considering installing one.”