“Radiology and the industry are rapidly evolving sectors”, said Dr Viresh Bhagwandas, in an interview regarding the upgraded radiology department at Lenmed Private Hospital situated in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg. “Technological advances and improvements in diagnostic modalities have allowed radiology to become the primary resource in the management of patient care,” he continued. “New diagnostic tools will prevail in the future, especially with the advent of CAD (Computer Assisted Diagnosis.)”
The new radiology department at Lenmed Private Hospital, which opened in March 2012, was co-designed by Dr Bhagwandas and Dr Dipesh Jogi (both currently super specialising in Neurordiology) together with Dr Ashesh Ranchod. The upgraded department comprises of two wings: a primary wing with the General Radiography, Fluroscopy, Ultrasound and Administrative Departments; and a secondary wing housing the MR, CT and Mammography/Bone Density Department.
Lenmed Private Hospital, part of the Lenmed Group, opened its doors in 1984 and has continued to grow its services and medical capabilities ever since. With the recent additions of a Trauma Unit, an additional High Care/ICU facility and a new 60 bed wing, it was natural to ensure that the radiology department follow suit with the advancements it required to remain a leading medical facility in South Africa.
The state of the art technology, which Lenmed Private Hospital invested in, includes a Philips DuoDiagnost fluoroscopy unit, Philips HD11 ultrasound system, Philips Brilliance CT 64-channel scanner and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment to obtain real-time x-rays. There are two digital Bucky units for general radiographic imaging as well as a ceiling suspension x-ray unit in Trauma casualty.
“I was impressed particularly impressed with the way in which the Philips CT scanner moves on its own to capture a particular body part,” said Salma Chodree, general radiographer at Lenmed. Previously Radiographers had to physically move the machine to certain parts to scan, whereas the Philips scanner moves accordingly with just a press of a button. “It also has the functionality to determine how much radical is required to get a clear image – helping to manage the dose that the patient receives.”
“The innovative Philips equipment at Lenmed Private Hospital, not only provides the staff and patients with best-in-class reconstruction speeds and excellent 2D, 3D and 4D imaging capabilities; it incorporates a DoseWise design – focused on lowering radiation dose and creating a safer and healthier environment,” said Jose Fernandes, District Manager, Philips Healthcare Southern Africa.
Through the introduction of digital solutions likes PACS (picture archive computer systems), the department can also now allow for a seamless transfer of images, as well as which economical storage of, and convenient access to, images from multiple modalities.I was plannign
Firdows Moolla, another general radiographer at Lenmed found the machines to be “efficient and fast”. “The scanners have great protocols which Radiographers to choose from” said Moolla, “for example, when you scan a light-weighted person the machine selects the required category for you, instead of it being manually inputted.” Moolla mentioned that with the Philips machine selecting the body part which she is imaging, there is a remarkable time-saving for the team, as well as less hassle for the patient. “The image reader feature also minimises the physical contact between the radiographer and patient, especially on their bruises, which makes the process much more pleasant for our patients”.
With Philips’ African healthcare strategy focused on mother and child care, it was especially important to receive the positive feedback on the new Philips UltraSound from Nazia Jouley, sonographer at Lenmed, who said it is a “great high resolution, user friendly, machine, which improves the interaction between the patient and the machine”.
“Advances in computer technology, telecommunications and digital medicines have served to widen the digital divide between the developed and developing worlds”, continues Dr Bhagwandas. “Teleradiology is adept at closing economic and technological gaps. As high-speed data links to the African continent are coming online, teleradiology will become an integral in Africa - as there are many countries in Africa that do not have a single radiologist.”
With reference to the team of interventional radiologists that not only diagnose, but treat disorders ranging from aneurysms to liver cancer and uterine fibroids at the hospital, Dr Bhagwandas concludes that “I have noted that the ability to peer inside the human body is changing the practice of medicine in ways we could only dream about 15-20 years ago. If you walk into a radiology department, you will see radiologists sitting before an oversized screen and manipulating 3-D images whose revelations determine the course of treatment for patients.”