Tara Utley, Senior Product Manager X-ray/Vascular, Canon Medical Systems Canada

Tara Utley, Senior Product Manager X-ray/Vascular, Canon Medical Systems Canada

Tara Utley has over 20 years of experience in the medical imaging industry between the clinical environment as an Interventional Technologist (MRT), and delivering education through her more recent experiences in product management. She started with Canon Medical Systems Canada (formerly Toshiba) in 2010 as a Clinical Applications Specialist and spent 7 years with Canon Medical Systems USA leading the Interventional Training Programs and Product Management teams in Tustin, California. As of September 2020, she commenced her current role at Canon Medical Systems Canada headquarters based out of Markham, Ontario.

What are you most excited about at Canon Medical?

I am always excited about our innovation and dedication to further develop and perfect current advanced software and hardware to improve workflow and patient outcomes. Our Alphenix 4D CT system has just been Health Canada approved and is a great example. The Canon Alphenix 4D CT seamlessly integrates our most flexible Alphenix Interventional system with our advanced Aquilion ONE Genesis CT system into one versatile, high-performance solution. The combination of a functional interventional lab with a complete CT imaging suite provides a streamlined workflow with one of the key outcomes being the patient no longer needs to be transferred between departments. With the ability to diagnose, plan, treat and verify in the same room, the Alphenix 4D CT helps Interventional Radiologists prioritize safety, speed, and efficiency during the most complex interventions.

Are there any new technologies in the works at Canon Medical that you would like our readers to know about?

Yes, our new 30cm x 40cm (12” x 16”) High Definition Detector for Interventional Radiology.

In 2018, Canon Medical Systems released the world’s first High-Definition Detector. A true two-in-one detector providing more than 2x higher spatial resolution compared to conventional detectors. The Hi-Def detector is equipped with the standard imaging field of views (FOV), but also three additional Hi-Def FOV modes, which provide the Interventionalist with visibility never seen before. Surgeons have been using microscopes in the operating room for decades, now the Interventionalist can in their labs too. This technology provides a high degree of certainty during difficult interventions, which in turn increases efficiency and improves workflow. As efficiency and certainty of device placement and/or treatment improves, the need for additional advanced imaging decreases and as a result, dose and exposure to the patient and operator does too.

For the initial launch in 2018, the High Definition Detector was introduced with our 30cm x 30cm (12” x 12”) Flat Panel Detector (FPD) on our Core+ floor-mounted c-arm. With its success and over 50 global installations, we are very excited to announce the High Definition Detector is now being released with our 30cm x 40cm (12” x 16”) Sky+ ceiling-mounted c-arm. We expect to receive Health Canada approval in the summer of 2021.

What kinds of partnerships do you foresee between front-line interventional radiologists/IR teams and the industry in the future?

Partnerships and supporting our front-line Interventional Radiologists, Technologists, and the overall industry is now more important than ever. Canon Medical Systems Canada is a proud sponsor of the CAIR association. The need to make Interventional Radiology treatments widely accessible to Canadian patients is an endeavor we share. Through our combined focus on education, coupled with the products and solutions Canon Medical develops; together we will provide better patient care for Canadians. In addition, Canon Medical is collaborating with global customers to create a peer-to-peer expert forum for both the Alphenix 4D CT and the new High Definition Detector. This sharing of best practices will further advance the development of Interventional Radiology around the globe.

If an interventional radiologist had an idea for new devices or technology, what would be the first steps to seeing it developed?

At Canon Medical Systems Corporation, our Vascular Business Unit directly manages complete product life cycles from development to installation, production, and support. In the case of the Canadian team, our Application, Clinical, and Services support teams listen to our frontline customers and report on the feedback they obtain from the field. This information is communicated to the engineers who in turn apply during the development and refinement of our products and technology. Moreover, in addition to Japan playing a central role, we have established development centers in North America, Europe, and Asia, making it possible to conduct research and development activities that leverage expertise across the globe. With the goal to revolutionize technology and to create value, we are proactively involved in collaborative research with many Interventional Radiologists, advanced medical institutions, and universities.

I understand that prior to transitioning to the business side of Interventional Radiology; you were an Interventional Technologist at the Hospital for Sick Children. What has been the biggest change you have seen in the field of Interventional?

For me, I think the biggest change has been the increased focus and dedication to dose management. When I was working as an Interventional Technologist, I was always very cautious of dose. Then the Image Gently and Image Wisely campaigns were launched and I became even more aware. At Canon Medical, low-dose imaging has always been a priority. All of our systems utilize dose-saving technology to provide advanced dose reduction, dose management techniques, and tools to benefit clinical staff, medical facility administrators, and patients. For example, the DoseRite DTS (Dose Tracking System) provides a real-time display that tracks cumulative skin dose distribution, as well as peak skin dose, to the patient. This technology helps to avoid the potential risk of radiation injury. It also prompts the operator to fan the beam, collimate, reduce the PPS, store fluoro loops and use Live Zoom. Another example of our DoseRite Technology is Spot Fluoroscopy. Spot Fluoro is like having an adjustable spotlight over the reference LIH image, allowing the clinician to select and view the critical region of interest live and have the surrounding area visible for reference, all without exposing the area outside the critical region.


*This content was created by CAIR editors on behalf of Canon Medical as a CAIR industry partners.  CAIR makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this article. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the CAIR.