Many hospitals in India are opting for high-tech scanners instead of the invasive technique for diagnosis, which is comparatively costlier. These high-tech scanners are capable of capturing images in just five heartbeats unlike the previous one.
In less than 15 months of the LightSpeed Volume CT system being launched by GE Healthcare, three leading Indian hospitals have invested in the next generation scanner, while more hospitals are in the pipeline, according to V. Raja, GE Healthcare Technologies president and CEO for South Asia.
"We have so far supplied the LightSpeed Volume CT, which is the world's first volume computed tomography (CT) system, to Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai, Bharat Scans in Chennai and one in Dhaka. The latest delivery is to Batra Hospitals and Medical Research Centres in the capital," he said.
Despite the cost varying from Rs.55 million according to configurations, there are hospitals in Bangalore, Kerala and Punjab waiting for delivery of the system, Raja told IANS.
While coronary heart disease is a major cause of concern in India, the scanner "can reveal cardiovascular and other associated diseases in through the whole body scan in just 10 seconds," he said.
Studies in Germany have revealed that a clear and consistent diagnosis can be done within five heartbeats after which there can be variable in results.
"After five seconds, the heart rate starts to increase due to hypoxia (breath hold), which is why the five beat technology is so vital. It provides fast and accurate diagnosis while avoiding systematic recourse to invasive procedures," said R.K. Mathur, head of the department of imaging and radiology at Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre.
On the cost saving front, Raja said generally as against the cost of hospital stay and charges of angioplasty that would mean around Rs.17,000-Rs.20,000, the new scanner enables the patient to go for a quick check-up and have results in less than half an hour for about Rs.10,000.
"With the LightSpeed Volume CT, doctors can non-invasively capture images of the heart and coronary arteries in as few as five heartbeats, capture the image of any organ in one second and perform a whole body trauma scan in fewer than 10 seconds," said Mathur.
While the new scanner is not expected to replace the conventional investigative systems and co-relation studies, as they tend to give more comfort to both the doctors and patients, the experts felt the faster diagnosis with 97 percent consistency in results by VCT is hard to match by other methods.