Providing Solutions for the Frontline of the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 6, 2021

CT can play a critical role in managing patients with infectious disease, but its use in this context requires specific safety and workflow protocols. One essential for health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic is to be able to carry out CT scans, especially due to the potentially catastrophic effects of this virus on internal tissues and organs, particularly the lungs. As a consequence, there has been a sharp rise in demand for CT capacity in many hospitals, as well as extra emphasis on the importance of effective, thorough and rapid disinfection and recognition of the need to isolate scanning processes. Canon Medical Systems Europe have developed a quick and flexible response unit to meet this increased demand. VISIONS explores how this benefits healthcare institutions that are under pressure in dealing with an unprecedented public health crisis.

Interior of the CT Scan Unit

Canon Medical’s Refurbished and Mobile Imaging Solutions Group, is a well-established entity in the European market for mobile and rental solutions. Within weeks of the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the team had developed a CT Scan Unit for deployment in emergency responses. The first units were manufactured and delivered to customers in Germany, Italy and Norway.

Key priorities for times of crisis

The CT Scan Units are designed with some specific and key objectives in mind. Firstly, to provide hospitals with the capability to isolate CT space to keep patients and staff safe through the use of deployable imaging units. And secondly, to deliver confident diagnoses through Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based imaging for improved visualization and technology and particularly fast imaging for patients with short breath-hold capacity. With the breathing difficulties associated with severe Coronavirus cases, this is extremely important.

Mobile Trailer and CT Scan Unit Solutions

“Our Mobile Trailers and CT Scan Units provide successful solutions for equipment procurement and capacity planning – relocatable units with flexible rental and leasing solutions.” says Johan Vochteloo, Canon Medical’s Director Refurbished and Mobile Imaging Solutions. “Both our rental solutions are available for short- and long-term needs, and designed to be parked on site and up and running within one hour. All that is required to take advantage of the Mobile Trailer or CT Scan Unit solution, is sufficient parking and power facilities. With a European service network, we aim to provide 100% uptime. Our application staff provide full explanation, training and set-up of the equipment that is tailored to the customer’s needs.”

CT Scan Unit

“Our new CT Scan Unit is a fully equipped and shielded CT imaging facility. The CT Scan Unit contains separate, control-, scan- and preparation rooms, with fully separated airflows that support efficiency and comfort of patients and healthcare professionals, and meet all safety regulations at all times,” Johan continues. “The Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art imaging equipment to ensure premium image quality, fast scanning and superior workflow, with a choice between Canon Medical’s Aquilion Prime SP or Aquilion Lightning SP CT systems. Advanced technology, such as Advanced intelligent Clear IQ Engine (AiCE), Canon Medical’s innovative Deep Learning Reconstruction technology, can also be provided to guarantee that the best possible imaging results are available – even under emergency conditions.”

“We invite you to discuss our clinical needs for mobile imaging solutions with us and we will bring together all the resources to provide scalable solutions to meet your evolving demands.”

Johan Vochteloo, Director Refurbished and Mobile Imaging Solutions at
Canon Medical Systems Europe

Based on a 12.19 m (42 feet reefer unit) shipping container, the CT Scan Unit is a 114.3 cm (45-inches) high Cube Container with a twist-lock system. It is engineered in such a way that it can be transported as one unit by road, rail, sea or air quickly and easily, to anywhere that it is needed. Unloading and set-up is achieved in a minimum amount of time. The Unit has hospital-grade walls and flooring, 360º lead-shielding, and a separated airflow for patient and operator rooms, making working easy, safe and affordable at any time. The Unit can easily be included in a tent environment or combined with portacabins to create a temporary building facility.

At the forefront of disease control

The Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) was one of the first hospitals in The Netherlands able to adapt to the crisis with extra CT capacity isolated from the rest of the Medical Center.

Control room of the CT Scan Units.

“At the beginning of March 2020, we contacted Canon Medical Systems for help with a CT imaging facility for extra capacity in the growing COVID-19 crisis,” said Dr. Daan Katchaki, Manager Radiology at the LUMC. “We needed a lung CT scanner. It had to be good, quick, easy-to-install, easy-to-use, and easy-to-clean. At that time, we did not have a prepared room in our building and separated patient-routing was not yet specified in regulations. However, the pandemic was evolving rapidly, and we needed fast service from Canon Medical Systems. They reacted almost immediately to our needs with several possible solutions. One of the options proposed was an Aquilion Prime SP CT scanner in a unit which was immediately available – It was exactly what we needed, and within a matter of days, the solution was transported and installed.”

“As we have been Aquilion CT users since 2001, it was so easy to use the Aquilion Prime SP,” he adds. “Scan times are short and both spatial and temporal resolution are more than sufficient to diagnose lung infections.”

The LUMC simultaneously built an internal department specifically for managing patients from the COVID-19 crisis. This part of the Medical Center is isolated from the rest.

“With this in place, we installed and started using another Canon Medical Systems CT scanner within the building,” says Dr. Katchaki. “We were able to switch from the Aquilion Prime SP in the Canon Medical Mobile Trailer to an Aquilion Lightning SP (also an 80-detector-row-CT) in our building. We were delighted to have been able to use the Aquilion Prime SP CT Scan Unit in the first six weeks, when the COVID-19 outbreak was evolving so quickly. Excellent cooperation between our Hospital LUMC staff and the Canon Medical Systems staff has made our rapid response to the crisis possible.”

“The Aquilion Prime SP was exactly what we needed and within a matter of days, the solution was transported and installed.”

Dr. Daan Katchaki, Manager Radiology at the
Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)

CT Scan Unit being transported from Canon Medical Systems Europe’s headquarters to the customer.

A dynamic response

Core to the success of any disease control strategy is the use of reliable, validated methods and technologies to successfully detect and manage the disease. Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, urgent, smooth and innovative collaboration between Canon Medical Systems and healthcare professionals throughout Europe has enabled both to work together fast to help contain the initial spread of the virus.

“Canon Medical Systems’ Refurbished and Mobile Imaging Solutions has been able to offer a remarkably swift, dynamic and valuable response to the crisis, because it works so closely with customers and is tuned to their needs, even when they change drastically – within hours in this case!” says Johan.

Refurbished and Mobile Imaging Solutions recently expanded team and new facility in the headquarters of Canon Medical Systems Europe in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands, have adapted their workflow to absorb the demands of a global health crisis within days. Refurbishing medical equipment is already subject to many strict regulations and legal aspects. The Canon Medical Department has succeeded in increasing production capacity to meet the high demand, enabling delivery of multiple CT Scan Units per week.

“We are continuously busy developing and implementing new technologies and extending our Mobile Imaging Solutions to be able to improve our services for our customers – healthcare professionals, as well as the patients that they treat. At a time when you’re being called to do the impossible, you deserve an imaging partner that innovates solutions that are ‘Made Possible’,” Johan concludes.

Fast installation

  • Deployable imaging solution with uncompromising workflow and imaging performance.
  • Quick and easy transport anywhere needed by road, rail, sea or air.
  • Unloading and set-up in a minimum of time.
  • The CT Scan Unit can easily be included in a tent environment or combined with portacabins to create a temporary building facility, or connected directly to the hospital.

Safe and comfortable

  • Enables work to be efficient, comfortable and safe at all times.
  • Hospital-grade walls and floor installations.
  • Separate air flows for patient and operator rooms.

High performance

  • State-of-the-art 80/160-row imaging equipment.
  • Reliable diagnoses with short scanning times and a superior workflow.
  • Advanced AI-based technology available to enable the best possible imaging results.

Mobile Trailer

Our Mobile Trailers are developed with the highest safety regulations and to create a comfortable environment for patient and staff. To ensure that we create the most comfortable environment, we developed a Mobile Trailer that has a good working-space, including a separate control room, specified to GDPR regulations, with air conditioning, patient monitors, outside surroundings monitors, telephone and PACS connections, contrast control panel, comfortable chairs for the operators, and privacy glass.

The Mobile Trailer features a very spacious scan room, which is fully air-conditioned and can be monitored easily. It also has wall- and ceiling art, dimmable lighting that can be changed to different colors, and calming music to help the patient feel more comfortable and relaxed. The wide bore medical equipment provides a non-claustrophobic experience for the patient. Patients restricted to beds can be maneuvered into the unit via the patient lift. The unit has a waiting and dressing room, washing facility, panic button, and stair entrance for those not confined to a bed that can also be monitored.

Control room in the Mobile Trailer

The Mobile Trailer is equipped with Canon Medical’s Aquilion Prime SP with Advanced intelligent Clear IQ Engine (AiCE), HII Vital data processing, Contrast Dual injector, Life Pulse, contrast oven and washing facility.

The deployment model ensures that Mobile Trailer can be quickly transported to wherever needed. Before delivery, Canon Medical carries out a site survey to ensure seamless installation prior to delivery.

Our Mobile Trailer solutions can provide excellent support for customers to meet peaks in demand, extend capacity for a longer period, cover a period of planned downtime, or as a rapidly deployed back-up. For governmental screening programs, these are a fantastic solution.

Dr. Claus Kölblinger, Head of Radiology Department at Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Schwestern Ried, Austria.

“After delivery, we could immediately work in the trailer. The spacious area around the CT and the couch offers sufficient freedom for movements even for interventional procedures. Thanks to the patient couch lift, the system is also suitable for patients with limited mobility. Also the post-processing solution and the complete PACS connection is integrated in Mobile Trailer unit.”

Dr. Claus Kölblinger, Head of Radiology Department at
Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Schwestern Ried, Austria

We aim for 100% uptime and 100% satisfaction through our outstanding European customer and service support. Renting our equipment enables clinical teams to access the latest technological developments and enhancements, while the responsibility for servicing the equipment lies with us, as per the rental agreement. Renting equipment can be a rewarding solution to fulfil immediate clinical needs while avoiding larger capital investments. //

This article originates from VISIONS magazine #35. Link to subscribe or download VISIONS magazine: