Faster, Clearer Diagnostic Imaging with 3D Full-Body Scanner Arriving Soon
EXPLORER is a full-body scanner that combines x-ray computed tomography (CT) with positron emission tomography (PET) that produces the world’s first head-to-toe medical scans. With this new technology, imaging studies are generated 40 times faster than existing PET scans. The scanner was produced after years of exhaustive research, combining the efforts of scientists at UC Davis and world-class engineers from Shanghai-based United Imaging Healthcare (UIH).
EXPLORER can produce a full-body scan in as little as 30 seconds, whereas in the past, less capable scans required as much as 40 minutes to produce images which weren’t nearly as detailed or sensitive. EXPLORER is approximately 40 times more sensitive than even the best current commercial system used for medical scans, with the added benefit of much lower radiation emission from the full-body scanner as it catches radiation more readily than current imaging machines.
Total body PET scans are currently performed in segments, or slices, which take a minimum of 30-40 minutes to develop and then combined to reveal a 3D image of the body. EXPLORER captures the image of the entire body as little as one second as radiotracers are detected and followed from the outside as they circulate within the body.
Applications of the full-body scanner include studying the metabolism of drugs and observing cellular respiration in real time for research purposes. Cancer progression can be tracked in actual time, not to mention the efficacy of a new therapy on multi-drug resistant tumors. Due to the efficient absorption of radiation by the machine, use in pediatric populations shows great promise, who generally have far less tolerance to radiation emission than adults.
Projected use of EXPLORER on a large scale is June 2019 in Sacramento, California. Initially, the first subjects of the full-body scanner will be research participants, though efforts are underway to expedite human trials so it can be available for commercial use.