Soldiers on the battlefield will soon use a new portable digital radiography system (PDRS) that is smaller, lighter, less expensive and more cyber-secure than previously fielded systems.
The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency will soon field the PDRS to the Army to replace two aging devices, including an X-ray generator and an accompanying computerized reader system.
The PDRS combines these capabilities into a single lightweight X-ray unit intended for use by deployed medical, special operations and mortuary affairs Army units.
When detecting and diagnosing injuries in a war theater, two critical factors are time and accuracy.
The United States Department of Defense has purchased from Virtual Imaging, over one hundred RadPRO1 SOLTUS 100M Mobile Digital X-Ray Systems (also referred to as the Portable Digital Radiography System) for use by the United States Army.
Offering high-resolution images through the inclusion of Canon Digital Radiography (DR) technology, the SOLTUS 100M Systems will provide deployed medical, special operations and mortuary affairs military units with a system that has received cybersecurity certification for the Risk Management Framework program of the United States Department of Defense and that is small and lightweight.
Additionally, the Department of Defense has placed an order for SOLTUS 100M Systems for use by the United States Marine Corps, in an effort to standardize the healthcare system to help facilitate collaboration among trainers, operators and device maintainers throughout the military.
“In the ever-present life-or-death situations of the battlefield, it is vital that medical technicians have the tools that they need to make a diagnosis as soon as possible,” said Tsuneo Imai, vice president and general manager, Healthcare Solutions Division, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. and President, Virtual Imaging, Inc.
“With its compact footprint, the RadPRO SOLTUS 100M System can be rapidly transported so that x-rays can be processed when they’re needed the most with the quality that is to be expected from Canon Digital Radiography (DR) technology.”
The decision to acquire the SOLTUS 100M Systems came as the Department of Defense was looking to upgrade from their previous aging devices.
The Army has reported that it previously utilized a separate x-ray generator and a reader system, both of which are combined in the lightweight SOLTUS 100M System.
The Army also reported that the size and weight of the SOLTUS 100M System will allow the Army to reduce shipping weight by approximately 60 pounds per System and also reduce the number of containers needed to ship.
Another reason why the Department of the Defense decided to invest in the Systems is due to the technical support provided by Virtual Imaging.
“When we were looking to upgrade our imaging technology, we were looking for a system that would help us respond to emergencies in the field with speed and efficiency,” said Diego Gomez-Morales, biomedical equipment specialist, United States Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA).
“The Portable Digital Radiography System (RadPRO SOLTUS System) met the essential characteristics of our requirements, including being easy to transport and able to provide us with high-quality images with a fast turnaround time–two elements that are crucial for military medical units.”
“This new imaging system will help us reduce our operations cost, improve logistics and, most importantly, help save lives.”
Gomez-Morales said the PDRS will be fielded with a complete training support package, including guides for operators and maintainers. Additionally, all parts are cataloged and sourced, which will expedite future repairs.
“We tend to be ‘MacGyvers’ in the field,” he said, referencing a 1980s television series that featured a crafty secret agent who used his practical knowledge to solve complex problems.
“The issue is that, without operator and maintainer manuals to guide us, we risk doing more damage than good when we try to work on this equipment in the field,” he continued.
“Integrated product support is an essential part of the acquisition and fielding of medical solutions. We are not solely focused on just putting out new materiel; we must think about the entire lifespan of these devices.”
The RadPRO SOLTUS 100M Mobile Digital X-Ray System folds into a condensed configuration to allow for easy transportation and storage for instant x-ray imaging, making it an ideal fit for military field use.
The System allows for short exposure times and fast image acquisition, featuring an intuitive user-friendly touch screen, manual collimator, and Canon CXDI -501G Digital Radiography (DR) System.
When in use, the unit is powered with a 20-foot line-in cable for easy connectivity and exposures are handled by a 10-foot hand switch.
Included with the System is a laptop that is designed to withstand many of the harsh elements experienced in the field.
The SOLTUS 100M Systems purchased by the military will be covered by 24/7 technical support, with support being provided by Virtual Imaging during its standard business hours and after-hours coverage being provided by the award-winning Canon Information Technology Services (CITS).
Virtual Imaging, a Canon company, assists in the forward advancement of its clients, from strategic planning to day-to-day operations, with commitment to providing products and services for diagnostic equipment, imaging solutions and digital flat panel technology.
In addition to healthcare organizations, Virtual Imaging also provides solutions to the U.S. veterinary sector and to the security industry – a field deployable radiography system for military use and a full-body security screening system to help address certain security needs of jails, prisons and other high-security environments.