New Mammogram Machine Makes Comfort a Top Priority
December 04, 2017
Heather Chalmers, vice-president and general manager of GE Healthcare Canada
Every year, we hear heartbreaking stories and shocking statistics about breast cancer. And yet countless women avoid regular mammograms – the best tool for early detection and successful treatment – because of fear and anxiety associated with the exam.
At GE Healthcare, we’re addressing those fears by putting control into the hands of Canadian patients with a revolutionary new mammography system: Senographe Pristina.
Designed by women, for women, Pristina features the industry’s first wireless patient-assisted compression tool: Dueta. Under a technologist’s supervision, patients use Dueta to adjust the speed and degree of breast compression to a level that’s comfortable for them.
Pristina – developed by a team of female engineers and designers in France with input from more than 1,200 patients, technologists and radiologists – was designed with one goal in mind: to make mammograms more comfortable so that women are more likely to get tested.
All parts of the unit in contact with the patient’s breast have gentle, rounded corners. New armrests have replaced the traditional hand grips, so that patients can comfortably rest their arms and relax their pectoral muscles.
With a relaxed patient, technologists can focus on precise positioning, a major advance when you consider that poor positioning is the most common cause of image deficiencies that require a rescan.
So how do women feel about Pristina? In an Ipsos poll, 93% of patients reported being less anxious or not anxious at all when using the patient-assisted compression.
I had the chance to meet some of the first women to experience the system in Canada at St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, Ontario. The feedback was amazing.
One 65-year-old patient who has had regular mammograms since turning 50 reported a noticeably better, more comfortable experience. “It didn’t feel like I was having a mammogram,” she said. “There were no corners digging in. It felt like nothing. Before I knew it, it was done. Being in control of the compression was fascinating. It’s a game changer.”
It’s that kind of positive outcome that makes me so passionate about bringing advances like Pristina to the healthcare industry in Canada. We’re hoping that as more women have comfortable mammography experiences, they’ll encourage their friends, family and peers to get their own life-saving screenings.
Comfortable, calm and confident: they’re three words rarely linked with mammography – until now. I’m proud to be part of a team that’s using technology to change the thinking around mammograms, and help make those words part of the conversation for patients right across the country.
Heather Chalmers, vice-president and general manager of GE Healthcare Canada, is responsible for driving the Canadian Growth Strategy for Healthcare in Canada by offering a broad range of medical technology products and services that enable clinicians to better predict, diagnose, inform and treat disease – so patients can live their lives to the fullest. She also supports the broader GE Canada initiatives which include a focus on improving the quality of life in remote communities.