MISHAWAKA, IN — Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) continues its commitment to investing in technology and improving patient care and has purchased a dual-source, dual-energy CT scanner for its Mishawaka campus.

The new Siemens SOMATOM Definition Flash dual-source, dual-energy CT scanner will offer SJRMC patients a superior experience to traditional scanners, said David Hofstra, administrative director, Diagnostic Imaging and Therapy Divisions. He added that the new scanner decreases radiation exposure, scans at a much faster speed, is more comfortable for patients and pushes the envelope of the newest technology available.

“At SJRMC we believe it’s important to have talented people and the best available healthcare technology for our community,” Hofstra said. “Adding this scanner to our imaging services allows us to meet that commitment. The Definition Flash will complement our already advanced imaging capabilities, which include digital X-rays, nuclear medicine SPECT/CT technology and high-definition ultrasounds. This investment in imaging technology will create a superior patient-care experience and benefit the entire community’s well-being.”

Unlike typical single-tube CT scanners, the Definition Flash has two X-ray tubes, allowing it to scan at a faster speed. Hofsta said some scans will require a minimal breath hold, but clear pictures can be achieved with no breath hold at all. SJRMC Radiologist Steven Gerstler, MD, noted that the Definition Flash can take images of a beating heart without the aid of IV beta blocker medications that slow the heart down. The new scanner is so fast, sedation will not be necessary for pediatric or trauma patients.

Unique to the Definition Flash, is “dual-energy” scanning. Dual-energy scanning allows radiologists to see more clearly in patients that have metal implants.

“The Definition Flash will be safer for many of our patients and will produce crisp, clear images that allow us to see inside the patient like never before possible,” Dr. Gerstler said. “This scanner’s very unique abilities will greatly benefit our patients and may prevent unneeded, and costly, exploratory procedures.”

The Definition Flash sets the benchmark for low radiation dose because of its comprehensive dose reduction software that delivers the minimum radiation dose necessary to obtain the best possible images, Dr. Gerstler said.

The Definition Flash will be installed at SJRMC’s Mishawaka campus during the first week of April.