CAPITAL REGION — Regional cancer-care provider New York Oncology Hematology is bringing its latest technology upgrade closer to patients.
The new mobile positron emission tomography and computed tomography imaging equipment requires less scanning time and cuts the radiation dose in half, while providing improved image quality and accuracy using General Electric Healthcare’s Q.Clear technology.
GE worked closely with NYOH on the project and has designated it as one of a handful of “showcase sites” nationwide, which potential GE customers can visit to see the equipment in real-world practice.
Beyond the benefits of the technology (local scans take 12 minutes instead of 25, full-body scans 25 minutes instead of 50) the most notable feature to the patient is that it’s packed into a semi-trailer.
Oneonta-based Medical Coaches custom-built the trailer for NYOH at a total cost of more than $1.5 million. It spends one day a week each outside NYOH’s offices in Albany, Amsterdam, Clifton Park, Hudson and Schenectady. Each day, after the last patient is seen, a contract driver hauls the trailer to the next stop. Total weight of the rig is 40 tons.
Essentially, it functions as an additional lab room at each of the stops, with comforts such as reclining seats and iPad computers. It features heated blankets and seats, which improve the accuracy of scans. Patients can receive either CT or PET scans, or both in the same session.
NYOH has seven offices hosting a total of more than 100,000 cancer patient visits per year. It employs 32 physicians and more than 350 oncology-certified nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technologists, radiation therapists and support personnel.
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