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GE Healthcare
SIGNA Pioneer: A system designed with the
user in mind
Dan Johnson, Senior
Radiographer, Gympie
Radiology, Australia
Gympie is a semi-rural town located two hours north of Queensland. The population is 50,000 excluding a large
catchment area.
At the start of 2016 Gympie Radiology opened a new, fully comprehensive multi-modality practice.
Gympie already had two 1.5T MRI scanners, therefore the decision to install 3.0T was simple. The SIGNA Pioneer was the
system of choice based on the new TDI RF Technology platform and many other clinical features available to our
patients and referring physicians. For us, it has meant we are the preferred option for MR Imaging
in Gympie.
The opportunity to work in a brand new department with all of the latest imaging technology including the SIGNA
Pioneer 3.0T was exciting albeit a little daunting. Not having worked in MRI for quite a long time nor having 3.0T
experience, I thought it would be a challenging transition, however my fears were alleviated. The user interface of the
SIGNA Pioneer was easy to navigate, it even has some similarities to GE CT and the support from the GE Applications
team was excellent making a seemingly difficult transition very, very easy!
At Gympie Radiology we perform a variety of examinations on our SIGNA Pioneer including MSK, Neuro/Spine, vascular,
prostate and breast imaging . The technology on the SIGNA Pioneer has delivered an improvement of signal and
resolution across all areas. For example the SIGNA Pioneer has Digital surround technology (DST) which delivers an
additional boost in signal which is particularly helpful when imaging the lumbar spine area. DST uses both the body
and integrated spine coils to boost signal, in addition to the extra signal we get for being at 3.0T. Clinically what this
means is that patients of all shapes and sizes get the best imaging possible.
GE Healthcare
The MRI technology both from a
workflow and coil perspective has
been improved with the SIGNA
Pioneer to enable technologists to
deliver better experience for patients.
For instance maintaining patient
interaction from the point they enter
the scan room and are positioned on
the scanner is important so they feel
comfortable. A fantastic feature on the
SIGNA Pioneer is the Intellitouch strip
located along the length of the table,
providing your landmark reference
by simply touching the strip. This
feature may seem simple, but this
has negated the extra step of moving
the table partway into the gantry to
landmark, then proceeding to scan
position. Intellitouch means that I am
able to get the patient to scanning positon with maximal
ease while maintaining contact with them.
The advances in coil technology not only from an image
quality point of view, but also from a patient comfort
perspective has been particularly impressive. We
purchased the SIGNA Pioneer with an 18 channel knee
coil, that has a large aperture ensuring a comfortable
fit for all patients; and a head/neck coil with comfort tilt
offering up to 29 channels in combination with the
Posterior Array. Patients who may have difficulty lying flat
will have no issue in this coil as it is tilted to match the
positon of the patient. The system also comes with
extremely versatile 16 channel flex coils. The
improvement in flex coil technology means we now use
them as our primary tool for imaging distal extremities
and shoulders.
These coils are also complemented with positioners that
secure/support the coil while also immobilising the
patient during scanning.
Developments in sequence technology have provided
us with innovations like MAGiC which delivers multiple
contrasts in a single acquisition and Silent Scan. When
scanning with Silent Scan the noise level drops to the
point where staff not accustomed to working in MRI can’t
tell if the sequence is running! The applications of this
apply very directly to the patient who may have otherwise
terminated the examination due to anxiety.
MSK imaging has also changed with the improvement
in volumetric imaging (CUBE). We now use CUBE PD
sequences as part of our routine protocols providing our
radiologists with multiple planes from one sequence.
I am extremely happy
that we went with the
SIGNA Pioneer. It
provides excellent image
quality, while improving
patient comfort.
GE Healthcare
Dan Johnson
Senior Radiographer
After completing my training at QUT Brisbane, I began my career at the
Princess Alexandria Hospital in ‘95 with further training in CT, Interventional
Angiography, and MRI. In more recent times, I have been enjoying the country
lifestyle in Gympie, Queensland.
General Electric Company reserves the right to make changes in specifications and
features shown herein, or discontinue any products described at any time without
notice or obligation. Please contact your GE representative for the most current
© 2016 General Electric Company-All rights reserved.
GE, GE Monogram and imagination at work are trademarks of General Electric
GE Healthcare, a division of General Electric Company.
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