UK - The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Breast Screening Service recently acquired five Philips MicroDose L30 full field digital mammography systems to replace analogue mammography equipment and X-ray film. The service purchased one static installation and four units for mobile trailers.
The new systems, of which one was purchased from Sectra and the remaining four purchased from Philips Healthcare following their acquisition of the Sectra mammography business*, offer a lower radiation dose compared to other Full-field Digital Mammography (FFDM) systems, without compromising image quality. Based on photo-counting technology the MicroDose L30 provides exceptional advantages. Since the X-rays are digital by nature and the detector counts them one-by-one, a direct capture of individual X-rays occurs. This means there is no electronic noise in the image and no information loss in conversion steps, as is the case in all other digital detector technologies. There is no diffusion as in selenium and no light scatter as in phosphor. The result is high quality images at up to fifty percent reduction in dose compared to other FFDM systems.
Babs Arnold, Deputy Breast Services Manager comments, “As our vans operator on generators, we were aware that the detector is less sensitive to temperature than other detectors. The generators are switched off at night so the detector must be capable of withstanding wide variations in temperature. As a screening modality, the MicroDose L30 came out top of our evaluation list.” Babs continues, “Another reason for our purchase was that we are now in the process of introducing the age extension of the breast screening programme and it was essential that we had digital mammography equipment for this expansion. The MicroDose systems had demonstrated improvements in throughput efficiency for other UK screening services.”
In addition, MicroDose L30 requires no battery back-system for air-conditioning, as is required for other commercially-available systems. This provides a significant cost saving per trailer and also negates the requirement and cost of the regular maintenance and battery replacement that these systems require.
Workflow with the MicroDose technology is extremely efficient and this allows for greater numbers of women to be screened; there is no wait time between image acquisition, with ability to process over twelve exams per hour with a standard four-image examination.
Due to the superior ergonomic design, the stress imposed on the mammographers is minimised, an important consideration in reducing RSI injury. It comes with a unique curved breast support to ensure easier positioning, while the warm surface and slim profile helps patients relax and ensures optimum positioning.
Neil Emery, Commercial Manager, Philips Women’s Healthcare UK comments, “Mobile mammography ensures greater uptake of screening and as such provides better health economics as larger numbers of women have the potential to benefit from early diagnosis. The MicroDose technology is ideal for this type of screening environment as it has proven to provide excellent clinical performance whilst the low radiation dose minimises any associated risk. We now have over thirty similar mobile systems in operation in the UK and the robust detectors are providing consistent, reliable performance, even in these demanding mobile environments.”
*Philips Healthcare acquired the mammography equipment business of Sectra in September 2011