Shanghai-based United Imaging debuted at RSNA 2018 as a multimodality vendor with a range of products, including the novel uExplorer total-body PET scanner. The company is building a manufacturing operation in Texas to complement factories in China and now has 22 cleared systems on the market, compared with 14 at last year's conference.
At RSNA 2019, United Imaging is launching uMI 550, a mobile digital PET/CT system that it's bringing to market in cooperation with Shared Medical Services -- the system is being shown at RSNA in a mobile trailer. The company's goal is to make PET/CT available in locations that don't currently have it, according to United Imaging CEO Jeffrey Bundy, PhD.
In MRI, uMR Omega is a 3-tesla scanner with a 75-cm bore and 60 x 60 x 50-cm field-of-view. The company's goal for the system is to make MRI available for patients who might otherwise not be able to undergo scanning -- in addition to the wider bore, the scanner's patient table has a 680-lb weight limit.
Other features of uMR Omega include patient-friendly lighting inside the magnet bore, easy-to-use scan protocols and system automation, and integrated compressed sensing for scan acceleration. The system is awaiting 510(k) clearance.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a major topic of discussion in radiology, and United Imaging will be showing the application of AI across its product lines; indeed, it has a division called United Imaging Intelligence that's tasked with building AI algorithms.
At RSNA 2019, the company is showing the integration of AI with various modalities, such as in MRI using AI to accelerate scanning by applying it to compressed sensing and partial Fourier reconstruction. In CT, it has developed a deep-learning training algorithm, which is trained with simulated low-dose data to be able to reconstruct a high-resolution dataset from low-dose images. All the company's AI algorithms are pending 510(k) clearance.
Meanwhile, Hyper DLR (deep-learning reconstruction) is an algorithm for reconstruction of PET/CT images, enabling higher-resolution images to be produced from lower radiation dose.
On the corporate side, United Imaging is close to opening its first U.S. factory in the Houston area, with the first product shipments beginning in the first quarter of 2020. Two other factories will be opening in early 2020, according to the company, with products from all imaging modalities being built at the sites, Bundy said.
The company also announced a partnership with BAMF Health, which is developing a network of advanced cyclotron-equipped radiopharmacies and clinics. BAMF Health is the first U.S. organization to purchase United Imaging's uExplorer and uPMR 790 PET/MRI systems for clinical use and plans to add other systems throughout its network.