What is a NEMA standard?

May 12, 2020
May 12, 2020 Monica Jaszczak

Better understand NEMA standards

Defining the organization and standards

At Data Spectrum Corporation, we are dedicated to making sure that our company is taking the necessary steps to protect and preserve the future of radiology and ensure that we are establishing quality radiology products nationwide. We strive to produce phantoms that meet and exceed the requirements put forth by NEMA and are constantly evolving as the field makes advancements. To better understand our products at DSC, we have to first define NEMA and then dive deeper into the standards that our phantoms meet.

What is NEMA?

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is an organization that defines standards used in North America for various grades of electrical equipment and medical imaging products. The association was established to help make products/equipment safer, more reliable, and efficient. From industrial products to transportation systems, NEMA serves seven major markets with the overall goal to develop performance standards and promote safety in the industry.

Established in 1926 by the merger of the Electric Power Club and the Associated Manufacturers of Electrical Supplies, the association has shaped public policy development and helped with the gathering, compiling, and analysis of statistical and economic data. The goal of the organization was and still is to provide greater stability to the industry and answer the fundamental questions in every modernizing industry.

NEMA in the medical imaging field

NEMA has helped the medical imaging by publishing eight (8) standards and four (4) technical documents on remanufacturing medical devices, detector dose measurements, radiation safety, and cybersecurity. The idea that medical imaging drives patient care through screening, diagnosis, and treatment and a set of high-quality standards is needed to regulate and advocate for the medical imaging industry.

What is a NEMA Standard?

A NEMA standard is a document that specifies the equipment to use and the procedures to follow in order to take a standardized measurement that can be used to compare the performance of various products and manufacturers. The standards are available across the industry to help potential customers compare the overall performance of the equipment and make an educated evaluation of the product.

NEMA Standards at Data Spectrum Corporation

At Data Spectrum Corporation, we make phantoms that comply with the specifications of standards NU 1, NU 2 and NU 4. Each standard is different and accounts for a specific type of phantom testing.

  • NEMA Standard NU 1
    Performance Measurements of Scintillation Cameras. This NEMA Standard provides uniform criteria to measure and report on quantitative measurements of performance characteristics, reporting techniques, and quality assurance for Gamma camera parameters and SPECT cameras. The standard allows manufacturers, physicians, and technologists the ability to become familiar with options of data acquisition, available filters, and attenuation correction techniques. Some of the applications can be (but are not limited to): center-of-rotation error evaluation, evaluation of changes of radius-of-rotation on spatial resolution, and quantitative evaluation of reconstruction filters and scatter compensation methods.
  • NEMA Standard NU 2
    Performance Measurements of Positron Emissions Tomography. This NEMA standard provides a uniform and consistent method for measuring and collecting performance parameters of PETs. The standardized measurements are used by manufacturers to specify the guaranteed performance levels of their tomographs. The specific methods used to measure performance include: multi-ring, continuous detector, time-of-flight instruments, and other coincidence-capable imaging systems. The standard deals with a “human subject” with the primary focus on whole-body imaging in regards to the evaluation of count rate, uniformity, scatter fractions, attenuation compensation, and scatter compensation.
  • NEMA Standard NU 4
    Performance Measurements of Small Animal Positron Emissions Tomography. This NEMA standard provides a standardized method for evaluating the performance of PETs designed for small animal imaging. The standardized measurements are used to establish a baseline of system performance in regards to a wide range of camera models and geometries.

DSC NEMA Phantoms

Many of our phantoms are designed in accordance with the recommendations set by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to standardize the measurement of reconstructed spatial resolution of PET and SPECT. Our goal at DSC is to provide innovative products that are based on scientific solutions and provide medical imaging professionals with reliable and measurable results. We embrace the NEMA standards to our phantoms because they play an integral role in patient care, medical research, and pharmaceutical development.

Our NEMA Standard products

Want to take a look at some of our NEMA standard products? Check out our Products Page.

Want to read more about phantoms and DSC?

Take a look at the following blogs to learn more about phantoms:

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about our products or want to talk with someone about our ACR accreditation and NEMA standard products, feel free to call us at (919) 732-6800 or submit an inquiry at spect.com/contact-us.