By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Getting a mammogram can be painful, but Massachusetts General Hospital became the first hospital in the United States to use a new machine designed by Boston-based General Electric Company.

The machine features a hand-held remote which allows patients to control the amount of pressure administered during the exam. It also has softer edges and more comfortable hand rests.

Apparently the greater comfort does not compromise image quality and MGH will study whether patients prefer this new system. They will continue to use conventional mammogram machines as well.

Marlboro-based Hologic has also developed a mammogram that is supposed to be more comfortable for women. It’s called ‘smart curve”.

Instead of the typical flat surface, this system is curved for a better fit. It could become available to patients in the Boston-area within a few weeks.

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