Unfors RaySafe’s X2 Prestige

Special report: Testing equipment

May 30, 2014
by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter
Biomedical engineers often have to slip in and out of rooms unobtrusively in order to avoid interfering with the flow of patients, and smaller, lighter more user-friendly testing equipment can help with that.

Both Unfors Raysafe and Radcal Corporation launched several new X-ray quality assurance systems in late 2013 and they each assist biomeds in their own, unique way.

Outside of the X-ray testing equipment world, two new, faster and more accurate infusion pump analyzers recently hit the market and a ventilator tester that will help facilities meet new International Organization for Standardization standards and two phantoms that assist in achieving American College of Radiology ultrasound accreditation are set to launch soon.

Slick like a smartphone
Unfors launched the RaySafe X2 in November 2012, but this past November the company released an updated version, the RaySafe X2 Prestige. The main difference between the two products is that the X2 can only be used for radiography and fluoroscopy but the X2 Prestige has sensors for mammography, CT and light measurements.

The design of the X2 and X2 Prestige almost resembles a smartphone, complete with a touch-screen and home button.

“We believe that there is a convergence between the devices that our customers choose to use at home in their personal lives and what they expect in the workplace,” says Kelly Fitzgerald, marketing director at Unfors RaySafe. “If they’re using a slick smartphone at home, they don’t want to go to work and use a device that is archaic in its design and function.”

According to RaySafe, they are the only vendors with a touch-screen X-ray quality assurance system. Their competitors use Windows platforms and they sync the device to the computer with a blue tooth.

“We intentionally avoided having a PC as a base unit for a quality assurance device,” says Fitzgerald. “PCs are open systems and as such, they’re subject to a world of potential problems like viruses, crashes and boot-up issues.”

The X2 Prestige does use an Android platform, but it’s still a closed system that’s kept separate from the PC.

Other than its smartphone-like appearance, the device also saves clinical engineers a lot of time. The detectors for mammography and radiofrequency are orientation independent, which means that as long as they are placed in the center of the beam, it doesn’t matter what direction they face.

For other systems, the engineers have to make sure to aim the detectors in a certain direction or even take a position exposure to make sure it’s correct before taking the real exposure.

“We don’t have any of those issues — you just put the sensor in the beam, walk away, press the X-ray button and get a measurement on your base unit that you can see immediately,” says Fitzgerald.

It also requires no settings. Other systems require that the engineer selects what X-ray machine they are measuring on, what measurements they plan on taking and what target filter combination they are planning on using.

The X2 Prestige automatically has all the information so all the engineer has to do is put the sensor on the beam and let the device do the rest. RaySafe calls that feature Active Compensation and essentially all of the detectors hold the information within them in order to allow them to make accurate measurements.

“What we try to do is put all of the smarts inside of the device so that way it’s super easy to use on the outside of the device,” says Fitzgerald.

Not the only product in town
The Accu-Gold+ and Rapid-Gold+ are Radcal’s next generation of non-invasive diagnostic X-ray meters and multisensors. The Accu-Gold+ is mostly for medical physicists who need ion chamber and solid state sensors and the Rapid-Gold+ is for service people who only need the solid state sensors.

Unlike the X2 Prestige, these two products go directly from the digitizer to the computer, which Radcal thinks is an advantage. The X2 Prestige brings the information into the device and processes it, but in order to generate a report, it needs to be connected to a computer.

“Our theory is — ‘well let’s just go directly to the computer to cut out the middle man, more or less,’” says Patrick Pyers, vice president of sales, marketing and business development at Radcal.

One of the unique things about the Accu- Gold+ Multisensors is that they are the smallest footprint solid-state sensor on the market, according to Radcal. It’s been reduced to one-third its original size because of improved stacked sensor technology.

The small size is a big help when trying to get an image from an image intensifier. “If you put a large sensor in there, it’s going to think there’s a hand in there and the machine automatically adjusts the output, which is not the true, real output you want,” says Pyers. “You want to be as invisible as possible.”

Banding together
In early February, Fluke Biomedical announced that they were acquiring Unfors RaySafe. The acquisition is meant to add an array of diagnostic X-ray quality assurance devices to Fluke’s product offering and to provide customers with a robust testing equipment portfolio.

“Customers are the biggest winner,” says Eric Conley, the general manager of Fluke Biomedical. “The combination of Fluke Biomedical and RaySafe gives customers one partner who can deliver a broad, high quality set of solutions, and who will continue to focus on innovation for the long term.”

The new portfolio includes diagnostic Xray equipment, real-time dose monitoring systems and patient dose tracking software solutions.

Fast and accurate analyzing
Fluke Biomedical also recently launched a new automated infusion device analyzer, IDA-5.

Since infusion pumps have been the cause of many adverse events, recalls and even deaths, they are regularly tested for accuracy and proper function.

Fluke’s product can digitally analyze whether volumetric, syringe, PCA, drip-rate, anesthesia and ambulatory pumps are accurately administering flow, volume and boluses. It has built-in automation, which enables users to create their own template so they can have a quicker and more standardized analysis.

NETECH Corporation also recently released a new infusion pump analyzer called IPA 2000. It’s compact and lightweight and has the capability to quickly evaluate the flow rate, volume and occlusion pressure of any infusion pump.

In addition, it eliminates the need for an elaborate setup and all of the test results are stored into the internal memory and can be either printed or downloaded to a PC through a built-in serial port.

More to come
This summer, Michigan Instruments will unveil a complete re-imagining of their PneuView software. It’s called PneuView 3 and it doesn’t share a single line of code in common with the previous software.

The company says it will be a lot easier for the users to get access to accurate parameters. The data sampling is done at 500Hz rather than the previous 100Hz, which enables the users to have access to full analysis of high-frequency breaths even if the treatment goes over 1,000 breaths per minute.

Also, they will now be able to run the programs on Windows 8 and other contemporary operating systems.

“We decided to undertake this project due to a clear shift in the world of respiratory care,” says Wyatt Baldwin, technical advisor at Michigan Instruments. “Modern treatments seem to prefer higher frequency, pressure based ventilations that were on track to out-pace the capabilities of our previous devices.”

Another reason the company started the project was to create a product that helps maintenance teams certify ventilators under new ISO standards that will come into effect in 2015.

In the near future, CIRS will be introducing two new products that meet the ACR Ultrasound Accreditation Program requirements. The Model 552, Accreditation Phantom for Geometric Accuracy is used to check geometric accuracy in the vertical and horizontal directions, system sensitivity on most transducers and also to evaluate image uniformity of linear transducers.

The phantom is created out of a durable, reliable and accurate tissue-mimicking material called Zerdine. Wire targets are inserted in a single column for vertical distance measurements and two rows for horizontal distance measurements at three and six centimeter depths. The near-field targets are what can get the vertical and horizontal measurements for very-high frequency transducers.

The Model 551, Accreditation Phantom for Uniformity helps trained personnel determine if there are lateral or axial streaks on the ultrasound transducer, which is an indication of transducer damage. The phantom is made up of a uniform block of Z-Skin, which can conform to the shape of any transducer and it’s strong enough to endure the probe pressure.

When both phantoms are paired together, it gives facilities a complete solution to create a quality control program that the ACR Ultrasound Accreditation Program requires.

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DOTmed Registered HCBN May 2014 - Test Equipment Companies

Names in boldface are Premium Listings.
Bob Mahl, RTI Electronics, NJ
Patrick Pyers, Radcal Corporation, CT

Kenny Kim, CUBE CO., LTD., South Korea