Fletcher Allen in Burlington, VT, is a 550-bed licensed hospital, affiliated with the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and the only teaching hospital in the state of Vermont. The University of Vermont College of Medicine at Fletcher Allen serves as a national model for the delivery of high-quality academic health care for a rural region. The radiology department performs approximately 300,000 examinations each year.
Maximizing use of the Philips GEMINI TF Big Bore PET/CT to optimize return on investment and enhance patient care.
Fletcher Allen is seeing advances in patient care using the GEMINI TF Big Bore PET/CT system in radiation oncology for PET and CT simulation, as well as for routine diagnostic PET work and cardiac imaging.
PET/CT as part of an effective care strategy
Dr. Steven Braff, Chair, Radiology Department, University of Vermont Medical Group at Fletcher Allen explains that the Fletcher Allen approach to high-quality medicine and use of technology is also cost effective. “Our per capita costs are among the lowest in the state and the lowest of any teaching hospital in the country per admission,” he states. With regard to the GEMINI TF Big Bore PET/CT, “Its use in oncology is obvious…the value of PET/CT is obvious.”
Tripling the use of a PET scanner
Dr. George Ebert, Chief, Imaging Technology, University of Vermont Medical Group at Fletcher Allen states, “What Philips has done with the GEMINI TF Big Bore PET/CT system is to incorporate all the best features of a PET scanner. They now have one of the fastest crystals available, the shortest coincidence time, and Time-of-Flight technology (third-generation technology with 495 pico-second timing resolution). Time-of-Flight technology eliminated the need for the septa and shielding used in early PET scanners. Without the shielding, the bore has been opened to 85 cm, allowing almost any sized patient to be scanned. These changes now allow a triple use of this machine for routine oncology, PET and CT simulation for radiation therapy, and cardiac PET for very large patients.”
Ebert continues, “The cardiac applications of this machine are particularly useful. There are very few patients who can’t fit inside an 85 cm bore. Not every hospital can justify the purchase of a PET/CT scanner based on oncology volume alone. Eliminating the need for an additional CT simulation machine with an option for PET/CT simulation or an additional SPECT machine for cardiac stress testing makes this machine more attractive. The additional benefit in cardiac imaging is that the cardiac exam can be completed in less than one hour, accelerating clinical decisions with a fraction of the radiation dose and higher specificity and sensitivity compared with traditional SPECT MPI. The clever use of Time-of-Flight technology to eliminate the shielding and septa is the key feature of this particular product. Time-of-Flight imaging has been the holy grail of PET for as long as I can remember.”
“With the GEMINI TF Big Bore PET/CT you’re able to triple the use of a PET scanner. That’s a cost-effective way to look at this type of equipment.”
- Dr. George Ebert, Chief, Imaging Technology, University of Vermont Medical Group at Fletcher Allen.
“The system nicely marries the need for oncology and cardiac imaging and gives you the flexibility you need.”
- Dr. Janusz Kikut, Director of Nuclear Medicine and PET, University of Vermont Medical Group at Fletcher Allen.