A BRIEF HISTORY OF PHILIPS IN NUCLEAR MEDICINE

The Original Philips Gamma Cameras

Philips have a long and varied history in Nuclear Medicine. I worked with a Philips single head 40cm FOV camera (Philips Gamma Diagnost C) in Jeddah between 1993 and 1996. This was a genuine Philips product (with excellent stability and performance) which was shipped with Philips’s own processing system on a DEC computer, and some programming was possible in a form of Basic language. Philips pulled out of nuclear medicine about 1995 passing the service commitment for their installed base to ADAC.

Philips buy ADAC for $426 million in Nov 2000

In the early 2000’s Philips acquired ADAC.  ADAC, based in Milpitas California specialised in gamma cameras and PET scanner. Although not very common in UK they held the largest market share in USA. For those interested in ingenious scams there was an interesting court case around this transaction reports of which can still be found on the web.

Philips buy Marconi for $1.1 billion in July 2001

Marconi had been spun off from the old GEC (a British company) and had previously bought out much of the medical imaging business of the American firm Picker. It was rumoured that Philips principally wanted the CT designs from Marconi rather than the gamma cameras (which made sense since they had only just bought ADAC so had plenty of gamma camera models.

For a while Philips continued to sell both lines of cameras and their processing workstations.

Growing a new camera

The original intent to develop a new line of cameras with the best aspects of Marconi and ADAC cameras came about with the release of the Brightview cameras in 2008

COMPUTER SYSTEMS

ADAC and Marconi cameras both came with data processing software programs running on UNIX.

·        ADAC came with the Pegasys system which ran on Sun Unix

·        Marconi cameras came with the Odyssey system running on HP UNIX  on DEC alpha computers until the last few releases which were ported to Linux on Dell computer.

It appears that few ADAC users used the programmability of Pegasys very much. No programs were presented at the user group meetings, at least since 2003.

The Odyssey, though somewhat idiosyncratic, (it runs 2 separate macro systems) is quite a capable platform. There are a large number of processing examples on this web site, both in the meetings presentations and in the Odyssey user pages. The software boasts a simple way of making a GUI environment for each program, a sophisticated image display function, advanced curve and image algebra. One quirk is that the more advanced macro environment (PIXIE) is incapable of saving image results except as lightboxes (secondary capture). The simpler workbench macro language (with no support for variables or conditional flow) does allow image save.

Shortly before the release of Brightview cameras Philips developed a new computer processing system called Jetstream. This is a Microsoft windows based system. Without additional software, it’s macro language is limited to screen formatting image displays. As an addition the user could buy an IDL licence and associated “application hook”.

Jetstream was rapidly replaced by the Extended Brilliance Workspace. The author knows little about this product yet.

The above notes are recognised as being somewhat vague especially on dates. If anyone wishes to email me more details please feel free to do so at:-

Mike Avison