I recently had the opportunity to demo a FUJI FCR Go 2 as our facility is in the market for some new equipment. I have been primarily using GE’s AMX4 series for the last 10 years, so that is the kind of perspective I am writing from while telling you what I think about the Go 2.
On first appearance, the Go 2 is visually pleasing to the eye. It has a slim design left to right, and you can’t tell until you drive it, but it is slightly longer than the AMX series. It feels light-weight because of the drive-assist, and it can go pretty fast with less noise than I am used to. I have to say that it took a few minutes to get used to the feel of driving it. I started out lunging forward and slowing down like when I was 16 and learning to drive a manual transmission. That feeling quickly left though after driving down to our ICU a couple of times. The boom for the x-ray tube also resides in a much lower vertical position than most portable machines I have used, so I can imagine it would be ergonomically easier to use for people who aren’t as tall as me at 6 feet. Even with that feature, the push-bar seemed to be located higher than what I am used to, preventing me from having to hunch over in an uncomfortable position while I drive.
One thing that I noticed when aligning my central ray is the increased length of the telescopic boom. I could park the base pretty far away from the bed and still pull the tube head past the center of the bed if needed. The x-ray tube controls feel natural when aligning the central ray, and the tube swings horizontally 360 degrees around to the cradle position. The collimation and exposure controls are easy to use, and anyone who has ever operated a portable x-ray machine would feel comfortable operating these.
There is an on-board CR reader that functions with the same software as the stationary IIP, so that felt very familiar as I was processing my Image Plate. There is a line of FUJI DR receptors that I did not demo, but I did try out the “gridded” CR cassette. It was very light and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed that it was gridded unless the sales rep informed me that I didn’t need a grid-cap when we were heading out for an exam. There is a touch-screen interface that is spill-resistant above the push-bar which allows you to wirelessly pull up the work list and select your patient. The images appear with what seemed like the same speed as the stationary processors as well.
Here is one major drawback to the post-image production: In order to annotate, there is a stylus pen attached to the unit used on a small keyboard that pops up on the touch-screen when prompted. The keys are small and I found the calibration of our demo unit to be inaccurate. The angle of the screen compared to where my eyes were when viewing the screen seemed like I was pushing the letter “P” and the letter “O” would be typed.
The other major drawback was one I learned the hard way. I went to the ER to perform a portable chest on a code blue patient. One the Physician waved me in to take the exposure, he noticed that I had a sales rep with me and inspected the Go 2 saying “can I see the image now?” I was excited to show off this feature and told him he could. He waited patiently for me to clean the cassette and load it into the reader. Right after I loaded the cassette into the slot and my raw data image began to populate the screen, a nurse told me she needed to get where the machine was. I reached for the push-bar handle and was asked to wait by the sales rep. I was informed that if I moved the machine while the plate was being scanned, that it could produce an image artifact and it was not recommended. Luckily, the Physician told the nurse to hang on while the image came up. Note for future use: pull the machine out of the work area before processing the image plate.
The only other consideration from a usage standpoint is the speed of workflow. I would highly suggest analyzing what types of patient flow you have before you decide on a purchase. If you’re leaving your department once every 30-60 minutes for a STAT portable, or if you are using this in the OR, this might be the equipment for you, especially if you don’t have the budget for a Direct DR machine. However, if you are performing 30 ICU portables in every morning, this might not be the unit you want to take. You may want to make a comparison on efficiency for your facility taking note of how long it takes you to lug CR cassettes back and forth from your closest reader to taking one cassette with the Go 2 and having to wait for processing time of each cassette between exposures. Include in your estimations possible repeats, time and effort spent annotating, and how many cassettes you would be able to carry back and forth (and how many times you would need to do so) without the Go 2.
Overall Grade: B+
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