Christchurch patients first in southern hemisphere to use latest robotic technology

Christchurch patients going for diagnostic scans will be the first in the southern hemisphere to take advantage of the latest in robotic technology.

The new machines, worth millions of dollars, will allow for illnesses to be detected quicker, and at a higher rate. Source: 1 NEWS

Pacific Radiology has started treating patients with the latest scanning equipment in the re-built private St George's Hospital, which was extensively damaged after the 2010-2011 earthquakes.

It has bought two new diagnostic Siemens machines worth millions of dollars to give patients the latest advances.

The world's first twin robotic, hybrid x-ray machine, allows radiography staff to operate the entire scanner remotely, speeding up diagnosis and allowing space for the x-ray arms to scan the entire body with ease, from either a lying down or standing position.

"The system runs around after the patient as opposed to the patient having to stay still for the system," says radiologist and Pacific Radiology Director Dr Ross Keenan.

As well, the facility now also boasts a new $1.7 million CT-machine, which allows for very low-dose scans with both 3D and 4D imaging.

It will allow more cardiac and lung cancer patients to have their illnesses detected and will mean patients get scanned far quicker.

"This system could scan an entire body in 400 milliseconds ... so the scan is over before the patient realises the scan has even started," says Dr Keenan.

Radiologists say this increased speed not only means more patient will get their treatment faster but it will eliminate the need for repeat scans due to patient movement.

They say the new CT will also, for the first time, allow patients with metal implants and devices to line up for scans to diagnose their illness.