UKs first Canon Alphenix Sky + installed at Leicester General Hospital


Managed service provider Althea has installed the UK’s first Alphenix Sky + system by Canon Medical Systems within Leicester General Hospital’s new interventional suite.

The clinical team from Leicester General along with Althea’s Technology team undertook an official procurement exercise last year to look through all the Interventional systems on the market.

The Alphenix Sky + Canon Medical system was shortlisted due to its advanced technology features, including the new Alphenix engine, with a new full 16 BIT imaging chain and an integrated 3D workstation for improved workflow and user experience.

The specification of the equipment was very high, including software modules like AlphaCT. Due to the specialised Sky + C-Arm this system was designed for high speed, low dose CBCT imaging.

Going forward it will be ideal for developing Leicester General as a specialised site for prostate embolisation. The special C-Arm allows for complete rotation of the patient from either the right or left side of the table – one of the first systems of its kind to do so.

The installation and turnkey works to refresh the room started in August 2019. The works were more complicated than usual as the technical cabinets of the equipment were being moved to a separate room.

The equipment also comes with a Dose Tracking system that offers clinicians a live overview of peak skin dose during the examination, ensuring patients always receive the lowest dose possible to the area of interest. SPOT Fluoro is another advanced dose saving technique used – the advanced collimator moves asymmetrically, allowing the system to move around the patient, improving patient comfort and lowering patient dose.

In the last couple of weeks, the system has been used on a prostate embolisation with great success.

Sarita Modi, Superintendent of Interventional suite at Leicester General said, “We are really excited here at Leicester to be home of the first Alphenix Sky + Canon Medical system in the UK. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is home to a number of Canon Medical imaging systems and their reliability and service is fantastic. Our choice for this particular system is firstly for ease of use and standardisation across the Trust and secondly for the versatility of the newly designed double c-arm enabling us to achieve a greater range of movement. In our first week of applications training, the Radiographic team were able to successfully carry out a prostate embolisation using the cone beam CT, a service that we will be establishing in the coming months. Our team have also been trained to perform biopsies using 3D needle guidance. Having had an excellent applications period, the Radiographic team are confident with using the system and passing their embedded knowledge onto other users. As a reference site, we look forward to showcasing the Alphenix Sky + and welcoming potentially buyers.”

Claire Maxim, Clinical Lead Supertindent Radiographer added: “The installation of the Alphenix Sky + system is an exciting addition to the LGH site and to Interventional Radiology services within University Hospitals of Leicester Imaging . Already, the capabilities of the system and the training and support given by Cannon has enabled us to offer additional complex procedures at the LGH site.  This in turn ensures that patients are receiving dedicated and specialist care and support for their procedures on one site.  The capabilities of this machine now allow us future opportunities to offer specialist interventional procedures to our patients and referrers. The Interventional Radiology team have embraced the training and are enjoying uses the new system and doing a great job of ensuring the capabilities of the equipment are fully utilised. I would like to thank all involved with the installation and training and showing the true meaning of great teamwork.”

Althea delivers managed services and multi-vendor maintenance services to public and private hospitals in the UK and Ireland, designed to improve Radiology, Cardiology, Endoscopy and Biomed equipment availability whilst minimising costs under one service contract.

Being vendor-independent means Althea’s customers can choose equipment and clinical consumables from any manufacturer as well as select the most-appropriate blend of maintenance providers including their ISO13485-certificated, in-house engineering workforce.

David Rolfe, UK&I Chief Executive Officer at Althea, said: “Althea, the Estates team and Canon all worked together professionally to find the best solution for the clinical team and ensure this project could be delivered before the end of 2019. Significant refurbishment of the clinical areas was completed at the same time to improve service delivery. It is a huge achievement, and I am delighted that so many patients will be able to benefit from the new equipment during 2020 and beyond.”