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When designers set out to create a brand new gamma camera, they began with the revolutionary concept of being able to image patients on any platform, bed or chair, in any position. The result is the SKYLight gamma camera, which was recently installed at the Nuclear Medicine Department at The Queen's Medical Center. Queen's is the first medical facility in Hawai’i to offer this advanced diagnostic imaging technology.

A gamma camera's rotating camera heads can detect radionuclides which have been injected into a patient, allowing physicians to monitor physiological functions in the body such as metabolism and blood flow. Abnormalities in an organ's structure or function can be detected very early, before symptoms are noticeable. The principal areas of nuclear medicine imaging at Queen's involve cardiology and oncology.

The ramifications of the SKYLight's ability to image patients on any surface are huge. Gamma cameras normally have a fixed imaging table with a weight limit of up to 400 pounds. Although the SKYLight's table can accommodate 500 pounds, it has no weight limit because imaging can even be done on the floor. In fact, Queen's is working with the manufacturer, Philips Medical Systems-on creating a special floor bed.

The SKYLight allows access for critically ill patients who may be on life support equipment. The openness of the SKYLight also helps accommodate other difficult to scan patients, such as children and those who are claustrophobic.

The SKYLight provides unprecedented imaging flexibility and positioning accuracy. Combined with the advantages of the other gamma cameras at Queen's, physicians and technical experts can decide which gamma camera is best suited for each patient.

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