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This new mammography system is 'engineered by women for women'

SALT LAKE CITY — Representatives of GE Healthcare demonstrated Friday a new mammography system "engineered by women for women."

The Senographe Pristina has features that enhance patient comfort and control. The screening system has rounded corners, comfortable armrests instead of handgrips, and a remote control that allows patients to control their own breast compression under the supervision of a technician.

Julie Blaha, west zone sales manager for GE Healthcare, said the new mammography system features "innovation to improve the patient experience."

The Senographe Pristina was designed in France by a team of women. Design features help reduce pain associated with the exam, improve the patient experience and improve outcomes for breast cancer screening, Blaha said.

GE Healthcare was recognized as one of Fast Company's most innovative biotech companies of 2018 for the launch of its new mammography system, which offers an industry-first, patient-assisted remote control device called Pristina Dueta.

GE Healthcare's patient surveys show 83 percent of women rated their mammogram experience better with Senographe Pristina. Seventy nine percent said it was more comfortable and two-thirds perceived the exam was shorter.

With respect to the remote-control device, four out of five patients who used it said it improved the comfort of their exam.

The overarching goal is higher adherence to screening recommendations by designing an imaging system that is more comfortable and reduces patients' fear, Blaha said.

According to a survey of 160 women published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2009, 58 percent reported their mammogram experience "was unpleasant, causing pain and bruising."

Among those women, 17.5 percent indicated, based on their experience, they would not undergo further mammograms unless the screening technology was improved.

Early detection is key, Blaha said.

Breast cancer is the second-most common type of cancer in American women and finding it early can reduce a woman's risk of dying from the disease by 25 to 30 percent, research says.

Blaha said no health care providers in Utah currently use the Senographe Pristina, but after Friday's demonstration, "that might be changing. We've had some very promising conversations today," she said.