A Gamma Camera, or Scintillation Camera, is a medical device used to detect gamma rays being emitted from a patient’s body after a radioactive substance with a short half-life is injected or ingested for the purpose of producing live video and/or still images of the organ in question. The Gamma Camera is utilized by various healthcare facilities such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, and cancer/research institutes
In laymen’s terms, the Gamma Camera picks up the electromagnetic radiation that occurs when the radioactive substance, or radionuclide, undergoes radioactive decay. Radionuclides are often referred to as radioactive isotopes or radioisotopes and are used in nuclear medicine for the diagnosis, treatment, and research of disease particularly with cancer, tumors, and the heart.
According to Wikipedia, Hal Anger developed the first Gamma Camera in 1957, and the Anger Camera is the most popular type of Gamma Camera used today. Scintigraphy is the use of Gamma Cameras to capture emitted radiation from internal radioisotopes to create two-dimensional images and is known as the name Scintillation Camera.
There are several manufacturers of Gamma Cameras; General Electric, Hitachi, Park Medical, and Toshiba are just to name a few. As time progresses, so does the technology and it is imperative to have a suitable corrective and preventative maintenance plan in place to maintain proper working conditions. When it comes to equipment maintenance, there are a few different avenues to take. The traditional approach is to buy the standard Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) service contract. Healthcare facilities may also choose to forego the maintenance contract and only pay for parts, labor, and travel when needed, otherwise known as Time & Materials (T&M). The last option falls in between the OEM service contract and T&M – an Equipment Maintenance Management Program (EMMP). Whichever avenue is chosen, the healthcare facility must do proper due diligence and make the best decision possible for that facility.
If you own your own equipment, give us your thoughts. Did you buy the Gamma Camera new or refurbished? What manufacturer did you choose and why? Are you happy with the overall performance of the machine? Did you choose the OEM service contract, T&M, an EMMP, or something else? We would love to hear from you!