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Jeanne-Marie Phillips
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MY HOSPTIAL Offers State-ot-the-Art Diagnostic Care

Among First in the Nation to Install New Digital Film Viewer

“It was there, but I just couldn’t see it–the small dark shadow in the lower corner of the x-ray film,” says Dr. xx of xxx. Based on his years of education and experience, he knew that small shadows such as this can be significant–significant enough to change the way patients sleep at night and say goodbye to their children in the morning. Sometimes, they indicate a small, early stage of cancer. “This finding would have been missed with the film viewer we typically use,” he said. “And the sooner we catch a cancer, the better the rate of cure.”

Fortunately, although a genuine medical x-ray, doctor xx had viewed this film as part of a demonstration of the newest advance in medical film reading–digital film viewing technology. He had been comparing the details visible on an x-ray when read the on a conventional lightbox–the way films have been looked at by diagnosticians around the world for the last 100 years–and when read on a SmartLight digital film viewer, with its vastly improved film viewing conditions.

As a result of the comparison, this week xxx became one of the first facilities in the nation to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic care with its new SmartLight digital film viewer.

“Whether it’s seeing a smaller, earlier cancer lesion, pinpointing a broken bone or other traumatic injury more precisely, or locating a breast cancer lesion close to the skinline where it is typically hard to see, xxx’s doctors now have an important new diagnostic edge–access to much more image detail and clinical information captured on film,” says Dr. xx. The traditional lightbox, simply an electric light bulb and a sheet of plastic, washes out much of the clinical information recorded on the film.

With a clearer and more detailed image, diagnosis can be earlier and more accurate. For patients, that may mean less invasive surgery, less radical chemotherapy in cancer cases, shorter hospital stays and significantly better prognosis. It can even mean the difference between life and death.

How does SmartLight offer dramatically improved viewing conditions? What are the shortcomings of the lightbox? “Imagine driving a car directly into the sun on a bright summer day. It’s difficult to see where you’re going and potentially dangerous,” doctor xx responds. Radiologists are frequently subjected to a high level of blinding glare as they face a conventional lightbox eight hours a day making judgements that can alter the course of patients’ lives.”

The problem is extraneous light escaping from around the edges of the x-ray film, as well as through the bright areas of the film itself. This glare begins to blind doctors to the details in the image. Squinting and straining to see, they often experience visual fatigue, further reducing diagnostic accuracy.

With xxx’s new SmartLight, a radiologist snaps a film in place, and instantaneously and automatically the viewing area surrounding the film is masked in dark blue, blocking all unnecessary light. It also automatically adjusts light intensity to the optimal level for that particular image. “A dark film needs brighter light to illuminate fine details that may provide important information about a disease. SmartLight can generate up to eight times the light intensity of a conventional viewbox, when necessary, ” he says. “The traditional lightbox only has one light level.”

Doctors at xxx can take advantage of a range of advanced features. With the touch of a finger, an area of clinical interest is illuminated for maximum image clarity, while the surrounding portions of the image fade to black.

SmartLight also suppresses film scatter and controls ambient room lighting. To physicians, this is optimization of viewing conditions for fine detail perception. To patients, it is the important peace of mind that a radiologist is seeing everything on their film.

“Mammography is a major area of concern for many of our patients,” Doctor xx adds. “It’s an extremely important defense against breast cancer.” The new viewer has special mammography features that help doctors examine films in depth. It automatically provides a region by region comparison of the left and right breasts as well as special illumination along the skin line, where abnormalities may be difficult to see.

The digital film viewer automatically complies with recently issued FDA regulations governing the reading of mammography films. “Our radiologists now read films under far superior conditions.

All that is good news for our patients,” Doctor xx says.

Because these advanced features and enhancements take place effortlessly, doctors enjoy another important benefit. Comments Doctor xx: “Now, I can concentrate on what I do best-reading film and caring for patients at xxx by providing a timely and accurate diagnosis.”

To take advantage of xxx’s new the SmartLight digital film viewer, call xxx at xxx.