Carestream Health introduced SmartGrid software that can reduce the damaging effects of scatter radiation in a radiographic image and help eliminate the need for an anti-scatter grid. This optional capability is available for use with Carestream’s portable and room-based DRX imaging systems (see video link) as well as its DRX-1 retrofit system that converts computed radiography systems to digital radiography. The SmartGrid feature has received FDA 510(k) clearance and is scheduled to begin shipping in the third quarter of 2017.
Scatter radiation degrades image quality by creating a haze within the image that reduces both contrast and detail. It is prevalent when imaging thicker anatomy and when collimation is not close enough to the anatomy of interest. An anti-scatter grid can be placed over a detector but it’s heavy and bulky, which makes positioning and alignment difficult and typically requires an increase in radiation dose.
In addition to enhancing image quality, use of SmartGrid software can boost productivity by reducing the need for technologists to place cumbersome grids over detectors.
“Once installed, a technologist can utilize SmartGrid software on Carestream DRX systems whenever it is needed. And because this feature is easy to use, it can help boost image quality throughout an organization,” said Lori Barski, Research Associate, Carestream’s Image Processing and Analysis Group, a division of Research and Innovations.
SmartGrid is an enhancement algorithm that estimates low-frequency scatter distributed throughout an image and removes it. Many physical factors affect the properties of scatter including energy spectrum of the beam, thickness and size of the object, and collimation. Using physics and empirical modeling, SmartGrid software can accommodate these factors through estimation of the algorithm parameters that are tuned to replicate anti-scatter grid visual performance.
SmartGrid image processing software is available for room-based and portable AP chest, AP abdomen, AP pelvis, AP hip and AP spine exams for adult patients.