New Technology Makes CAT Scanning Faster

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Getting a CAT scan is now a lot easier, and faster. Some new technology is up and running, and providing technicians with more options than ever before.

Lengthy wait times in the machines could soon be a thing of the past. A new CT Scanner at St. Joseph Regional Health Center is now offering the scans in just a fraction of the time.

"The main thing with a CAT scan is any kind of motion can mess up the pictures. The new, the best thing about it is we can scan an organ in five seconds," Kristy Nichols, an imaging technician with St. Joseph Regional Health Center said. "Speed is the main thing with CAT scans."

The new machine not only creates shorter scanning times. It also takes more pictures, and delivers sharper images to nearby computers.

"Now you're taking a body part and you're taking 64 pictures of it," Nichols said. "What you saw in the other one was maybe this much, now you're seeing a wider scan and you can actually make it bigger."

The old machine would only take four pictures at a time. The new machine takes nearly 16 times as many, and it also allows imaging technicians to manipulate the pictures after they've been taken.

"You're one, saving the patient dose, because you're doing it all at one time," Nichols said. "You're not having to repeat that same body part over, you can do it at the same time and go back and make the pictures thicker, if you don't want it as thin, or you can actually make them smaller."

The new machine also provides vital information for the hearing impaired, letting them know when to hold their breath, and when to exhale.