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The Face of Customer Service at CurveBeam

Satisfied customers are not just the result of well-made products, but the result of continuing support over the lifetime of those products as well. Tami Alexander is the Director of Worldwide Customer Relations at CurveBeam, based out of company headquarters in Warrington, Pennsylvania, United States. She joined the CurveBeam family in October of 2015, moving from the West Coast to take over the position.

Tami Alexander serves as CurveBeam's Director of Worldwide Customer Relations.

Tami has more than 30 years in the medical imaging/radiology world. This includes insurance contracting & credentialing, reimbursement, accreditation and radiation regulations. Prior to joining CurveBeam, she worked at the California and Arizona locations of HealthWest Partners for 13 years, as Director of Operations for five PET/CT imaging centers, and a radiation oncology center.

“I enjoy working with customers in my new role and giving them the support they need long after the sale,” Tami said. “In my previous role,  operations was such an integral part of  the overall experience our customers received  while visiting our centers that I have carried over those same quality standards to meet or exceed our customer’s expectations.”

Tami works closely with Andrew Kochanasz, who is the Technical Support Manager, to ensure that any problems requiring service are quickly addressed. She also works closely with the CurveBeam sales team to coordinate site preparation, installations, and training. If an annual maintenance or any other service is needed at the customer’s site, Tami schedules CurveBeam’s service technicians. If you have warranty questions, or if you would like to purchase additional licenses for CubeVue software, schedule your annual maintenance, or request additional training, Tami is the best person to contact.

Tami would like to let all pedCAT customers know, “Don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are here to help in any way we can. From tech support & customer service, to helping our customers find resources the resources they need for their CBCT systems.”

You can contact Tami at 267-483-8089 or tami.alexander@curvebeam.com.

What Is Cone Beam CT? The Science Behind the Image. Part 1: Overview

Within the last two decades, Cone beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) imaging applications have diversified in both the medical and industrial applications.  Developments in medical diagnostic applications were pioneered in the Dental industry in 1996, when the first commercially produced Dental/Maxillofacial CBCT scanner was introduced.

A number of factors contributed to the commercialization of cone beam CT. First was the introduction of more cost efficient flat panel detectors that were capable of achieving higher resolution. The first dental CBCT systems had image intensifiers coupled with CCD cameras to capture the data used for creating images. These systems were prone to distortions and required frequent calibration. Compared to the image intensifier systems, the new FPDs were less bulky, which in turn allowed the scanners themselves to be designed and manufactured to take up less room. Because the detectors were significantly more sensitive to x-ray photons, the x-ray sources could be made smaller as well.

Faster computer processors using multiple cores, greater working memory capacity, and larger capacity storage drives – all at cheaper prices – made CBCT technology more affordable.

Once CBCT technology was available to the dental specialties, the 3D data was used to create planning and placement tools for dental implants. CBCT technology also revolutionized orthodontics, airway and sinus evaluation, and maxillofacial surgery and reconstruction planning and evaluation.

CBCT applications continue to grow because of the technology’s affordability, equipment design and ease of use.

In the next parts of this series on CBCT technology, we will look into the different components of a CBCT system in more detail.

Need Bunion Surgery? A Weight Bearing CT Scan Could Help You Decide

When a patient appears to have a bunion, a physician typically orders traditional foot X-Rays as part of the clinical evaluation. The X-Rays capture three views of the foot- dorsoplantar, medial oblique, and lateral. But is this enough information to understand complex, three-dimensional object such as the foot? 

A growing number of foot & ankle specialists are advocating that there may be better way to evaluate this common deformity.

“Weight bearing computed tomography scans are beginning to take our understanding to the next level,” Dr. Paul Dayton, DPM, of Des Moines, IA, said in a roundtable discussion on bunions published in the Foot & Ankle Specialist academic journal. “Once you see the connection between coronal rotation and what we have traditionally evaluated on AP radiographs, it opens up a whole new understanding.”

On X-Rays, physicians have to “mentally interpolate” the valgus component of the bunion because they do not adequately capture the frontal plane, said Dr. Robert Weinstein, DPM, FACFAS, of Atlanta, explained in a CurveBeam case study.  

“Since the condition is a tri-plane deformity, we need to understand all of the components and their angular values contributing to the deformity,” Weinstein said. “Better deformity analysis leads to better pre-operative planning, surgical execution, and post-operative results.”

The new data on the coronal position is “exciting” because it explains so many of foot and ankle specialists’ previous questions, Dayton said.  

Weight bearing CT imaging also allows for evaluating deformities that involve external rotation. Rotation of one or more metatarsals, including displacement of the sesamoids, cannot be clearly seen in standard foot X-ray imaging. The lack of the weight-bearing aspect in traditional medical CT imaging means the physician cannot evaluate displacement and rotation under load.

Hallux Valgus Blog Post Image 1
One component of the deformity that is seldom quantified is external rotation, or frontal plane deviation. The presence of rotation of the hallux implies a more complex deformity. A very careful assessment of the first metatarsophalangeal joint architecture, including sesamoid position, their condition, and erosion or flattening of the crista on the inferior first metatarsal head is essential.

It has long been known that in hallux valgus or bunions the relationship between the metatarsal head and the sesamoids is altered,” Andy Goldberg, MD, MBBS, FRCS (TR and Orth), of Stanmore, United Kingdom, told Lower Extremity Review magazine. he said. “The sesamoid bones should sit underneath the metatarsal head, while in hallux valgus the big toe drifts off the sesamoids and the tip of the big toe points outwards. But our research has shown that in many cases the cartilage is worn, which in essence is localized arthritis, and we believe that this could affect the outcome of surgery.”

rotated first met and sesamoids

CubeVue, the pedCAT weight bearing CT imaging system’s custom visualization software, allows physicians to create oblique and frontal-plane images of varying angles and thicknesses from the weight bearing CT data.
CubeVue, the pedCAT weight bearing CT imaging system’s custom visualization software, allows physicians to create oblique and frontal-plane images of varying angles and thicknesses from the weight bearing CT data.

Weight bearing CT images could have an impact on the technique a physician selects to repair a bunion, Dr. Dayton said.

“The knowledge that the sesamoids can be in normal position medial and lateral to the crista yet look dislocated on the AP X-ray because of pronation completely changes our mindset about the need for capsular balancing,” Dayton said. “We can see that in those cases supination corrects the deformity.”