Guelph General Hospital replaces CT scanner that predated the iPhone

In 2005 when GGH’s new CT scanner arrived with much fanfare, the first iPhone was still two years away. Technology has come a long way since then and that’s why the Hospital’s new CT scanner is generating such excitement. It’s replacing what has been the workhorse of the Diagnostic Imaging Department.

 “Our current machine has put in many, many hours since going live in June 2005,” explained Mike Lindsay, Director of Diagnostic Imaging. “Our best guess is it has done over 300,000 scans.”

Last year, the Hospital placed a new CT scanner at the top of its priority list and many donors responded generously. It was an urgent priority because of how many patients the CT scanner serves and because the old CT scanner was no longer reliable.

“It broke down and needed repairs more frequently,” said Dr. Samir Patel, Chief Radiologist. In fact, while the Foundation was fundraising for the new CT scanner, the old one broke down and was out of service for three days.

“This had a massive impact on our Hospital’s ability to deliver the best possible care to its patients,” Dr. Patel said.

The new scanner has features not even available 13 years ago. For example, metal objects in the body such as hip or knee replacements would interfere with clinicians seeing details in the area. The new machine uses its sophisticated software to combine images from different angles to produce vivid images in the area for better diagnosis. The scanner also uses lower doses of radiation. For example, taking images of the heart requires up to 82 per cent less radiation. This is especially important for children and for those who need multiple scans.