Siemens Healthcare introduces ultrasound system for rapid imaging in an emergency setting

Siemens Healthcare has launched its new portable and compact ACUSON P500ultrasound system, FROSK edition, enabling rapid imaging even in difficult scanning conditions.

The hand-held technology can be easily carried and positioned in a range of clinical environments and is ready to image in less than 30 seconds, making it ideal for emergency settings. The system introduces two new advanced technologies that ensure sharp ultrasound images, regardless of patient and probe motion.
 
The Dynamic Persistence and patent-pending Auto Flash Artifact Suppression technologies work together to detect movements that affect image quality, and automatically reduce noise while simultaneously enhancing colour sensitivity for clear images. The system also incorporates high-performance imaging tools migrated from Siemens’ established ACUSON S family of ultrasound systems. These include Advanced SieClear spatial compounding and Dynamic TCE tissue contrast enhancement technology for excellent 2D colour Doppler image quality.
 
The system measures 15-inches and weighs less than eight kilograms, with a battery that offers up to 60 minutes of imaging time. Its clear user interface features a highly sensitive touch screen display with advanced infrared (IR) technology for accurate gesturing. A dual interface control panel offers flexible use of the touch screen or a traditional control panel based on each user’s scanning preferences. Besides emergency medicine and acute care, the new system applies to all usual applications for general imaging, including abdominal, small parts, renal, pelvic, vascular, 2D obstetrics and gynaecology or basic evaluation of cardiac functions.
 
“Siemens Healthcare is delighted to introduce its new ACUSON P500 system, FROSK edition, which can benefit a range of different clinical environments where ultrasound imaging would have previously proved to be difficult,” states Bernadette Leonard, UK Business Manager, Ultrasound Products at Siemens Healthcare. “The system is lightweight and comes in a compact notebook format meaning its portability allows it to be used where there may be space constraints. It’s easy to use interface also allows clinicians to spend less time on the systems and more time with the patient.”


Advanced ultrasound technology supports low cost and safe liver screening in the workplace

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Siemens Healthcare recently held a liver disease awareness and screening day at its UK head office in Frimley, Surrey as part of the British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign.

The day provided employees with information on liver disease to promote good health and the opportunity to participate in liver screening using its advanced ultrasound technology. The event follows statistics from the British Liver Trust showing 20% of the population to be at risk of liver disease due to factors including alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis.

Staff at Siemens Healthcare were asked to fill in the Love Your Liver health screener questionnaire after which those who were deemed at risk were invited to take part in a non-invasive ultrasound scan. Using an ACUSON S2000 ultrasound system with Siemens’ Virtual TouchTM imaging application, employees were screened for liver fibrosis and to evaluate the presence of any tissue damage. With Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) technology in place, stiff tissue, the key indicator for liver damage, can be differentiated from soft tissue and the automated post-processing software means results are available immediately.

“As employers become increasingly responsible for promoting good health, we encourage them to make staff aware that screening tests are available,” states Andrew Langford, CEO of the British Liver Trust. “The ultrasound technique used at the Siemens screening event was unobtrusive and swift. The post-processing software is of great benefit to patients and clinicians as it delivers rapid results and gives clinicians the opportunity to see the entire liver, whereas a traditional liver biopsy only shows a certain segment of the liver.”

Peter Harrison, Managing Director of Siemens plc Healthcare Division states, “We are committed to the wellbeing of our staff and are also aware there remains a lack of awareness on the topic of liver disease throughout society. We have therefore chosen to partner with the British Liver Trust to offer liver screening to our employees. Providing clinicians with a range of diagnostic tools is the most effective way to ensure the best diagnosis and ongoing management of liver disease. It’s not just about a blood test or a scan, it’s the resulting impact on the patient pathway. These tests are less invasive and safer than a traditional liver biopsy, and can deliver a much faster result.”


Slow-release gel base aids drugs release for patients

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Researchers at the University of Huddersfield are pioneering the use of a special gel that is ideal for administering medication to young children and others – including the elderly – who have difficulty swallowing pills and capsules.

Unlike purely liquid medicines, the gel delays the release of the drug, so that it has maximum effect.

The research project is a response to the increasing demand for ‘age appropriate’ drugs for paediatric and geriatric patients. It has investigated the use of a fluid gel made from gellan gum, a natural polysaccharide that has mostly been used in foodstuffs, such as desserts. Now it has immense pharmaceutical potential.

The gel-based medication consists of microscopic gel particles which collectively are pourable and can be administered with a spoon. But in the stomach the “fluid gel” solidifies, so that the drug is not immediately released there – where it would have little effect or even irritate the stomach – but in the intestine, over the course of several hours.

The project that has led to this discovery is headed by Dr Alan Smith, whose lab at the University of Huddersfield specialises in pharmaceutical and biomedical biopolymers research. A member of the team is Iraqi-born PhD researcher Mohammed Mahdi, who is lead author of new articles that describe the potential of gellan gum.

The first is named Evaluation of gellan gum fluid gels as modified release oral liquids and it appears in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. It describes experiments which showed that the gel prevented the release of ibuprofen in simulated gastric fluid. This delayed release of the drug was the result of increased gel stiffness in acidic conditions and the article demonstrates the potential for designing fluid gels specially tuned to the pH levels of patients, leading to the ideal level of modified release.

Mohammed Mahdi, pictured, from Iraq, is also the author – alongside Dr Smith and Professor Barbara Conway – of a new article that investigates the use of gellan gum in the development of new and more effective nasal sprays. Although the nose has exceptional potential as a route for drug delivery, the natural ways in which the nasal cavity protects itself presents pharmaceutical challenges. These can be addressed by adding mucoadhesive polymers in the form of a gel that helps with the retention of the drug in the nose.

However, it has proved difficult to develop a gel that can be sprayed, so the University of Huddersfield researchers – using a procedure known as “shear force” during the gelation process – have developed fluid gels that can be used in a standard nasal spray and have much higher mucoadhesion properties.

Mohammed is the third year of PhD research into gellan gum. After a first degree in pharmacy, obtained in Jordan, he relocated to the University of Huddersfield for a Master’s course. When he achieved a Distinction he was offered a fee-waiver scholarship to carry out doctoral research, supervised by Dr Smith.