Siemens unveils high-end x-ray unit

By Brian Casey, AuntMinnieEurope.com staff writer

June 22, 2020 -- Siemens Healthineers is launching a new premium digital radiography (DR) system called Ysio X.pree. The system includes a number of new technologies designed to help automate x-ray image acquisition and interpretation.

Ysio X.pree is designed to meet the major challenges that are facing hospitals and imaging centers today, according to Ronald Froehlich, head of marketing for x-ray products at Siemens. These include a lack of experienced staff -- both radiologists and radiographers -- that can lead to problems like unnecessary retakes and unnecessary exposure to radiation dose.

Imaging vendors can help by designing systems that are able to operate intelligently regardless of the experience level of the users, Froehlich said. One of the first of these systems was Somatom X.cite, a CT scanner launched at RSNA 2019 that includes an onboard camera to help with patient positioning, as well as the company's MyExam Companion software, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to guide users through complex tasks.

With the launch of Ysio X.pree, Siemens is bringing this technology to radiology's oldest modality. From its position on the tube head, the unit's MyExam 3D camera gives users a live image of the x-ray room, enabling radiographers to keep the patient in focus even if they leave the room.

Thanks to the camera, radiographers can confirm that the correct x-ray exposure settings are being used and can also perform virtual collimation, adjusting the collimation of an exam from the workstation in the control room without having to collimate manually, Froehlich said.

The system also has an automated thorax collimation tool, which automatically detects the patient's thorax and correctly collimates the region of interest. This feature was developed using an AI algorithm trained on thousands of images, Froehlich said.

But what about radiologists? Ysio X.pree also has automation tools they might find useful, Froehlich said.

Siemens has found that radiologists are interested in consistent image quality, which may differ from one radiologist to the next. Therefore, Siemens has given radiologists the tools to define their own image quality with six different "flavors" that include differences in contrast to noise to brightness, and these flavors can be assigned to different protocols.

The Ysio X.pree DR system includes automation tools to improve efficiency
The Ysio X.pree DR system includes automation tools to improve efficiency. Image courtesy of Siemens Healthineers.

In the realm of clinical decision support, the system supports Siemens' AI-Rad Companion Chest X-ray software, which analyzes chest x-rays for abnormalities, highlighting and characterizing, for example, nodules and pneumothorax. AI-Rad Companion Chest X-ray is still under development and is not yet commercially available.

Finally, Ysio X.pree can produce what Siemens calls "ready to go" images, in which functions that were once performed by radiographers -- like image cropping -- are now performed by the AI algorithm.

Ysio X.pree is available as a ceiling-mounted system that also comes with a Bucky wall stand. The system uses 43 x 35-cm digital detectors from Trixell.

Siemens expects the first deliveries of Ysio X.pree will begin this summer. The system has received the CE Mark and U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance is pending. The company plans to sell the system in Europe, North America, and other global markets.


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