Healthy Living

Sep 22, 2010 3:03 PM by Carina Corral

French Hospital tracks down diseases using GPS-like device

French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo has a new piece of equipment with GPS-like capabilities called the IG4.

The new navigation system is used by interventional radiologists as a needle based tracking system.

It navigates within organs such as the lungs, liver and kidneys using a virtual CT scan map just as GPS is used in navigating on roads.

It directs the tips of radiologist's needles, during producers like tumor ablations, abscess drainages and lesion biopsies.

"We use the IG4 when it provides benefits, which is actually in most image guided needle based procedure situations. The ease of use of the technology and its ability to increase our speed, accuracy and confidence in complex anatomical situations is a great benefit, and, we are extremely fortunate to have it," said Jaywant Parmar M.D., Director of Interventional Radiology Services. "Along with improved accuracy and reduced surgical times comes less exposure to radiation. Previous to this technology a CT scan was needed before and after every needle manipulation. Now, a CT scan only needs to be performed one time and ultrasound or CT can be used for updated needle tip position confirmation which greatly reduces the patient and surgical team radiation exposure."

French Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are the first hospitals on the west coast to use this technology.

Funding for the new medical equipment was supported by a grant from the George Hoag Family Foundation.

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