Toshiba’s Premium Ultrasound System Expands Diagnostic Capabilities At Northstar Health System





NORTHSTAR Health System, a rural critical-access health care system in Iron River, Mich., recently completed an $18 million renovation that included upgrading its medical imaging technology. To provide the latest in ultrasound imaging technology to its patient population and expand its diagnostic capabilities, NORTHSTAR Health System purchased Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.’s AplioTM MX ultrasound system, a compact system that offers premium clinical performance and high-end features at an affordable price point. NORTHSTAR Health System is the first facility in the country to acquire the advanced capabilities of the Aplio MX.

With the Aplio MX, NORTHSTAR Health System is able to complete advanced ultrasound exams, usually performed with larger, more expensive ultrasound systems, using this smaller system without sacrificing quality. NORTHSTAR Health System is using the high-end radiology capabilities of the system to perform a full spectrum of exams, including breast, OB, abdomen, vascular studies and echocardiograms. Additionally, the Aplio MX allowed NORTHSTAR Health System to start a vein clinic to treat varicose vein patients, along with utilizing the system for vein mapping and OR procedures. Ultrasound is particularly beneficial for varicose vein patients, as it clearly visualizes the veins for treatment planning without radiation dose.

"The Aplio MX portable ultrasound system allows us to bring high-end imaging to the patient’s bedside more efficiently and expands our diagnostic service line with a new vein clinic," said Eric Beauchamp, diagnostic services manager, NORTHSTAR Health System. "The ergonomically friendly design and quick start and shutoff time enable us to complete an extra eight exams a day. Our goal is to provide the best diagnostic imaging equipment for our patients and staff, and the Aplio MX is helping us to accomplish that."

NORTHSTAR Health System also utilizes Toshiba’s exclusive Precision Imaging technology on the Aplio MX. Precision Imaging acquires ultrasound images of unprecedented clarity and resolution, enabling users to see more clinical detail. As a multi-resolution signal processing technology, it not only evaluates images line by line, but also includes information from adjacent lines to enhance the amount of information obtained. Additionally, NORTHSTAR Health System was up and running with the system almost immediately due to Toshiba’s service and applications support, which is critical in helping a facility in a rural setting.

"NORTHSTAR Health System’s utilization of the Aplio MX premium ultrasound system is a perfect real-world example of how the system’s clinical ability and portability is benefiting both physicians and patients," explained Doug Ryan, vice president, Marketing and Strategic Development, Toshiba. "The Aplio MX offers exceptional value to hospitals with its capability to perform high-end radiology exams with a smaller, less expensive system."

The Aplio MX is approximately 30 percent lighter than traditional cart-based systems and improves ergonomics with its 19-inch flexible monitor and customizable key console.

Features of the Aplio MX include:

  • Contrast Harmonics to provide the ability to use bubble-based contrast agents that help to provide better tissue definition on difficult-to-image patients.
  • Differential Tissue Harmonic Imaging for the better imaging of difficult-to-image patients, like bariatric, without sacrificing resolution to give superior border and tissue definition.
  • ApliPure+ to enhance both image clarity and detail definition with real-time compounding technology to simultaneously perform spatial and frequency compounding during transmitting and receiving.
  • Advanced Dynamic Flow to provide color Doppler imaging at an unprecedented level and show flow with directional information for even the smallest vessels.
  • Tissue Doppler Imaging Quantification (TDIQ) software to perform various analyses by Angle Corrected Displacement and Strain to measure myocardial viability.

The Aplio MX is the latest addition to Toshiba’s strategic platform of quality ultrasound systems to meet a range of customer needs and offer value at every level and price point.