New PET/CT scanner promises better, faster diagnoses

August 5, 2013

When the folks from Siemens started talking to Dr. Yong Bradley about what the company considers the biggest development in PET/CT scanning in 10 years, Bradley didn’t initially share their excitement.

The breakthrough, perhaps, sounded too simple: The company has created patented FlowMotion technology that allow a patient to move through the machine, without pause, while continuously being scanned.

Bradley, the University of Tennessee Medical Center’s chief of nuclear medicine, in January began using the new machine, developed and built by Siemens’ Knoxville operation.

And he understood the company’s enthusiasm.

“The things the software is capable of doing is very different,” he said in an interview. “With a single sweep, I am able to get much more data, at a fraction of the time I used to, and information that is much more pertinent to what I need.”

Siemens’ advances in PET/CT scanning is rooted in the work of Knoxville-born CTI Molecular Imaging, which earned Time magazine’s Medical Invention of the Year in 2000. The technology proved to be a game-changer in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as heart disease and Alzheimer’s.