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A Seamless Transition that Boosts Productivity

January 28, 2022

VISIONS spoke with Matthieu Butavant (Radiographer at IRM 39 Nord, Dole, France) about his experiences with the Vantage Orian 1.5T.

Matthieu Butavant is a Radiographer with IRM 39 Nord, a radiology center based in the town of Dole, in France. Last Summer, the center installed a next-generation 1.5T MRI, Vantage Orian, which comes equipped with Canon Medical’s Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE). We spoke to Butavant about his experience with this new MRI and his relationship with Canon Medical.

Can you tell us a little about the center and the work you do?

I am the referring radiographer at IRM 39 Nord, which is a public/private radiology center located in Dole, France.
It is shared between the Dole Hospital and the private group, IM2P, which is based in the East of France.

We carry out a broad spectrum of medical imaging for Neurology, MSK, Cardiology, Oncology and so on. We work with both outpatients and inpatients at Dole Hospital. We opened the center in 2007.

Could you describe the Vantage Orian?

We work with the Vantage Orian. It comes equipped with AiCE, an artificial intelligence reconstruction algorithm, as well as all the productivity boosting technology, including Compressed SPEEDER as well as k-t SPEEDER for cardiology.

We have all the standard coils (neuro-vascular, body, breast and spine), and we chose 16ch Flex SPEEDER coils for MSK scans.

What initiated the recent change in supplier?

Since opening the center, we worked with the same image equipment manufacturer for the 14 years. We had a close partnership with them, and we were even a visitor center for other specialists to see their systems. However, we needed a breath of fresh air. We felt that we had to shake things up. All manufacturers responded to the call for tenders that we put out. Canon Medical’s response was very impressive, and we were immediately interested, especially technically, from an operator’s perspective. Most impressive was the reduced acoustic noise and the availability of Deep learning reconstruction with AiCE which no one could offer.

How would you rate the support that you have received?

We received pre-training during the installation works, which involved an application specialist giving us on-site training using a simulator. They also provided us with a lot of training materials ahead of time, which meant that we were familiar with the system even before it was delivered.

After that, the first patient was scheduled and we had two weeks of training during our clinical routine at a reduced activity to give us more time to learn. We then had a third week, following which we were back to our normal throughput of 40-45 patients a day. We are in touch with our Canon Medical Application Specialist all the time, and we regularly talk to her about how we can improve sequences and protocols.

How do you rate the image quality of your system compared to the old one?

Honestly, it’s on a completely different level! What’s impressive is how it brings together image quality and scan time. It can produce very fast images but with better image quality compared to what we had before. We already realized this when we performed a site visit, and this was the reason why Canon Medical was at the top of our list. But everyone knows that what you’re shown during a demo doesn’t always reflect how it will perform in practice. However, this time, we were very satisfied. It’s a real improvement across the board, particularly in MSK scans, where the technology is excellent. We have increased through-plane resolution by 30% to enhance radiologists confidence. We’re now going even thinner, with higher resolution, which makes the operator’s job easier.

On top of that, we’ve integrated a lot of 3D imaging, specially for brain and spine studies. We were using 3D imaging before, but not with this image quality, and we’ve extended it to a range of other sequences.

Have you noticed an improvement in your workflow?

After two weeks with the system, we were able to get back up to our previous throughput of 40 patients per day. Now, we have accelerated up to 45-50 patients a day, even taking into account the new workflows opened up by this leap forward in examination quality. We’re doing more of our most complex, time-consuming examinations, such as cardiology and abdomen, which we used to have some difficulty taking on. And all this despite the fact that we’ve had to get to grips with a whole new system.

What is your opinion on AiCE?

It was one of the main things that intrigued us with Canon Medical; we think it is very innovative. There really is a huge benefit to using AiCE.

We set up sequences with and without AiCE, and there really is no comparison.

AiCE gave us the possibility to substantially increase the overall image quality. This is a major advantage, and Canon Medical is the only one to offer it.

It’s makes a big difference and is not just a gimmick. It is also a flexible tool that that can be adapted to your taste.

No doubt, the best thing about it is knowing that we’ve still not seen everything possible with this technology. We’ll be rolling it out for cardiac imaging soon. As an operator, it’s really exciting to refine the use this technology.

“The Flex coils are super coils. It was the right call to get them, and I would recommend them to others.”

Matthieu Butavant, Radiographer at IRM 39 Nord, Dole, France.

What is your opinion on Compressed SPEEDER?

We started to use Compressed SPEEDER for different anatomies and different imaging types. It allows us to perform a scan that normally take three minutes in just a minute and a half.

I’m now using it to get the most out of the system, with improvements in both examination time and image quality.
Canon Medical's Vantage Orian 1.5T at the IRM 39 Nord, France.

What is your opinion on 16ch Flex SPEEDER coils?

We thought long and hard about them, because we had exclusively used rigid coils up until that point. We considered it to be a bit of a gamble, especially in terms of workflow. We decided to go with these coils because we had been given guarantees about image quality, which results from the 16-element array. We felt they would be at least as good as the rigid coils.

With six months’ hindsight, we have no regrets at all. It was definitely the right choice. It took the technologist a bit of getting used to, but it turns out that flex coils are very practical, very lightweight and the image quality is excellent. They’re even faster to position than the rigid coils: Where I used to change the coils as per body part.

Now, I don’t have to change them at all, I just use the same flex coil for different body regions. They’re superb coils. It was the right call to get, and I would recommend them to others.
Canon Medical's Vantage Orian 1.5T at the IRM 39 Nord, France.

Has patient experience improved?

I think it’s a very good set up. Obviously, the opening is wider than before, but it’s the whole experience. The system is really bright, the bore is very short.

It also makes less acoustic noise, which is not only a plus for the patients, but for us as well. We don’t get any complaints from our patients about it being too loud. Another thing we can do is lower the table between patients, so they don’t have to leap up onto the step.

What do you think are the other strengths of the system?

In general, it is obviously the short scan time combined with fantastic image quality, as well as the way it makes it easy to set up sequences.

On top of that, picking up how to use the console was fairly straightforward. It’s absolutely intuitive, especially for those of us who still do filming and printing.

“What’s impressive is how it brings together image quality and acquisition time.”

Matthieu Butavant, Radiographer at IRM 39 Nord, Dole, France.

What three words would you use to describe Canon Medical?

Firstly, I’d say Family. It might seem ‘over the top’, but I sometimes feel like Canon Medical application specialist is my colleague at work.

I speak to her on the phone most days, I text her to ask for advice, and she always gets back to me very quickly.

Next would be Responsiveness, because, as I’ve said, it was a big adjustment. Not only did we have the new system, but also a new manufacturer, and there were significant installation works to contend with. It all went well, right from the start, and I feel like you can really count on Canon Medical, even for the tiniest problem. People may say: “It can’t be that perfect”, but the main thing is the ability to manage a range of concerns and resolve them very quickly. This is something that makes Canon Medical who they are today.

Lastly, I would pick Novelty or Inventiveness, because, as I see it, Canon Medical offers something that other suppliers just don’t have right now. Whether it's AiCE or the very quiet MRI ,thanks to Pianissimo, these are exclusive features that aren’t just gimmicks and things that we actually use on a daily basis. //
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