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New machine for mammograms could change healthcare for women

**EMBARGO: St. Louis, MO** A new type of mammogram machine puts the patient in control. The FDA just approved GE Healthcare's new Pristina mammography machine with a remote control. The company brought the equipment to St. Louis as part of a 28-city tour.

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — A new type of mammogram machine puts the patient in control.

The FDA just approved GE Healthcare’s new Pristina mammography machine with a remote control.

“This device is built with comfort in mind,” said Patricia Benton with GE Healthcare. “It’s built for women, by women.”

The company brought the equipment to St. Louis as part of a 28-city tour. During a demonstration, they showed how the woman getting the mammogram controls the compression. A technologist still positions the breast and sets the minimum compression. But then the patient can use a remote control to increase the compression to get a better image.

GE Healthcare recognizes so many women avoid breast cancer screenings because of fear and discomfort. They hope this will change that.

“The fear of coming is the fear of what they are going to find afterward. So we’ve tried to create the environment when they go in for the study, it’s calming, it’s smooth, it’s softer for them, it’s smoother for them, and they can have some control,” said Benton.

The closest Pristina with remotely controlled compression technology to St. Louis is being used in Kansas City. A manager at Imagine 4 Women in Kansas City confirmed they just started using the machine this week. She said patients are noticing a difference and they’ve found when women are in control of the compression, they tolerate more.

These machines have already been used in Europe for a year.

The manufacturer couldn’t say what clinics in St. Louis are looking at getting them or give the exact price of the equipment, only offering the ballpark figure of between $300,000 – $500,000 for the mammogram machine with remote control.