SNM 2005 Preview
The 52nd Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) conference in Toronto, Canada, will host some 3,900 medical practitioners, scientists, physicists, pharmacists and technologists in a multi-day event, June 18th to 22nd.

As with each year, the conference also will include an assortment of categorical and scientific sessions, as well as updates for practicing clinicians.

Organizers say that there will be several new education formats at this year's event including Invited teaching posters, 'case of the day' posters, basic science summary sessions, new educational exhibits - poster presentations, and young professionals - poster abstract track.

Attendees can earn continuing education credits for attending certain programs. According to SNM, attendees should expect to gain knowledge in the future of nuclear medicine, the latest indications and applications of PET and PET-CT relating to patient management, and innovations in cardiac imaging.

SNM 2005 will have its exhibit hall open for three full days, starting Sunday and running through Tuesday, with approximately 190 vendors showcasing their newest products and technologies. Following is a sampling of exhibiting companies in alphabetical order:

Bioscan Inc.  (Booth #1304) is exhibiting its new HiSPECT and NanoSPECT small animal imaging systems with sub-millimeter resolution and high sensitivity. HiSPECT is a system for upgrading clinical SPECT cameras at a very low cost entry into small animal imaging. NanoSPECT provides a complete stand-alone camera with 1, 2 or 4 detector heads. HiSPECT and NanoSPECT incorporate interchangeable multi-pinhole aperture plates to maximize imaging sensitivity and resolution. The systems' reconstruction software maintains very high resolution even with limited count data so that quantitative mouse images can be obtained in fewer than 15 minutes. 

Also being featured at SNM are the company's PET chemistry systems, including the AutoLoop and MeI-Plus for Carbon-11, a brand new PET Reformulation module, and Bioscan's 4th generation FDG Synthesizer.  All of Bioscan's systems are designed for reliable and automated production of F-18 and C-11 PET tracers. 

Additional products on display will be the Amercare automated dose dispenser, the Rotem MediSMARTS area and stack monitoring system, and the company's complete line of TLC, HPLC and process control detectors for nuclear medicine research and radiopharmaceutical quality control.

Bracco Diagnostics Inc. (Booth #1508) is providing visitors a look at their line of radiopharmaceuticals that assist in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Featured products include: CardioGen-82, a generator-based positron emission tomography agent reimbursed for the evaluation of coronary artery disease; Choletec, for hepatobiliary imaging; Iodotope I-131 therapeutic capsules for treating thyroid disease offered in potencies up to 130mCi, with low volatility and the smallest capsule commercially available; and MDP-Bracco, a bone imaging agent with a reconstitution activity of up to 500mCi of technetium-99m, suited to address the economic challenges faced by a busy nuclear medicine department.

Cedara Software Corp. (Booth #1347) is showcasing a variety of new software products, including the Cedara PET-CT Workstation, a software application which allows PET-CT image fusion (as well as fusion for other modalities), MPR, rotating PET MIP and a host of other workflow tools. Cedara I-Conference also is on display, which is a multimedia conferencing application built to improve the way radiologists and other medical practitioners review complex, multi-modality clinical cases. Also, the company's new advanced Oncology Treatment Workstation looks at tumors through diffusion-weighted analysis, enabling oncologists to measure the effectiveness of cancer treatments for rapid patient response; additionally, the Nuclear Medicine plug-in for PACS systems provides full spectrum nuclear medicine protocol support throughout healthcare facilities.

Codonics Inc. (Booth #804) is highlighting its multi-media imager Horizon for PET and PET/CT. Horizon eliminates the expense of maintaining three printers by incorporating a film imager, a color printer and a paper printer into one versatile desktop device, according to Codonics. Horizon is designed to improve uninterrupted workflow by automatically printing color and grayscale without switching cassettes or removing ribbons. Horizon can perform 14-inch-by-17-inch and 8-inch-by-10-inch film for PET, PET-CT, multislice CT and whole-body bone studies. Codonics' exclusive DirectVista Paper can be viewed without a light box, and is projected to provide as much as 70 percent savings as compared to standard film costs, Codonics says.

Horizon includes medical-intended color output in a diagnostic film imager, optimizing one machine without sacrifice to speed, image quality or throughput. Plus, the company's Medical Color Matching (MCM) technology ensures prints always match color scales and soft-copy monitors. Horizon packs this into a desktop device, weighing less than 70 pounds and taking up less than two feet of desk space, according to the company.

Codonics also is kicking off at SNM the opportunity for customers to trade-in their current Codonics imager for Horizon.

Digirad (Booth #231) is focusing on clinical excellence at SNM by demonstrating the triple-head cardiac camera Cardius-3 and mobile solid-state, single-head 2020tc Imager.

The Cardius-3 is a triple-head gamma camera designed for nuclear cardiac imaging. Its three-detector, solid-state design delivers high count statistics with excellent sensitivity and image quality. The product offers a true open gantry design which allows it to fit in rooms as small as 8-by-7 feet, and by utilizing OptiCount collimation, and a cardiocentric technique, the Cardius-3 features Digirad's latest advances in nuclear cardiology.

The Digirad 2020tc Imager is a compact, portable gamma camera for nuclear medicine imaging using established procedures to study organ function and anatomy. Through solid-state detection technology, and the incorporation of miniaturized semiconductor electronics, the 2020tc has a thinner and lighter weight head that permits imaging to the edge of the camera head, according to Digirad. Thus, procedures that require the imager head to be positioned extremely close to the body can be performed with ease.

DMS Health Group (Booth #1225) is highlighting at SNM its mobile and interim PET-CT, PET and nuclear medicine services. Of particular note will be the company's emergency management plan for DMS Interim Solutions. This plan allows facilities to pre-plan for disasters as to the type of imaging capabilities they may need as well as their OEM preference for the system(s). One phone call will activate their plan for continuation of the diagnostic imaging services.

The company also will provide details regarding customer service support for their DMS Imaging and DMS Interim Solutions for either shared mobile services or interim/rental systems which are seamlessly integrated into and a continuation of the services they provide to patients and referring physicians.

GE Healthcare (Booth #710) is showing developments in its nuclear medicine product line. On display is the Infinia Hawkeye SPECT-CT gamma camera which has a unique detector positioning ability. It also offers enhanced diagnostic confidence via its attenuation correction and lesion localization provided by Hawkeye, the optimized low dose x-ray tube and detector assembly, according to GE. Designed for nuclear medicine departments, Infinia Hawkeye typically requires only limited shielding and fits into most department rooms. Its optimized low dose tube generally does not require dual certification for usage and the Hawkeye component can be offered as an upgradeable option to the base Infinia camera.

GE also is showing the latest enhancements to its Xelelris processing and review workstation. Features include the Multi-Media Creator, a method of distributing and viewing static and dynamic nuclear medicine images and reports on most Windows PCs, as well as fast scrolling for both PET and CT images in the proprietary Volumetrix program.

GE is displaying its cardiac gamma camera offering, the MyoSIGHT.  Designed primarily for cardiac, this compact camera offers the ability to do other studies as needed to save costs.

The company is introducing the new PET chemistry synthesis platform FASTLab, a product made possible by the integration of Amersham and GE Medical Systems. The system offers improved reproducibility and increased yields, to its faster synthesis times and pre-filled cassettes as well as the ability to accommodate new PET tracers as they are developed, GE says.
Additionally, GE is previewing advancements to PET-CT technology. These clinical enhancements are constructed to help drive innovations in 2D/3D reconstruction, CT prescription protocols, and tumor motion visualization.

Hitachi Medical Systems America Inc. (Booth #1139) is bringing to SNM the Sceptre P3 hybrid PET-CT system that integrates the company's 'Power of Three' suite of differentiating capabilities. The Sceptre P3 features a dual attenuation correction (DAC Technology) which allows the combination of both CT and sealed source attenuation correction to effectively image patients with metal implants; the only FDA cleared Non-Rigid Fusion7D algorithm that provides precise registration by correcting for respiration differences between PET and CT acquisitions; and the integration of the AVIA-PACS architecture that improves software communication, multi-modal connectivity and supports RAID archiving capabilities.

Hitachi also is showcasing the AVIA PACS-Architecture. The AVIA (Advanced Visualization & Image Analysis) is a PACS architecture workstation that combines advanced connectivity with accelerating workflow capabilities.

Numa Inc. (Booth #931) is introducing three new products at SNM. The new products have been designed to allow user's to extend the usefulness of their existing systems, and can be combined together to provide a complete distributed system.

NumaResource is a flexible department resource manager. It allows a department to design custom patient exam workflows that include patient scheduling, acquisition, processing, display and archive. Patients entering the department have their patient and exam information entered into NumaResource or an existing department scheduler. Because the manager is a DICOM Worklist Provider, the user only needs to input the patient information once at which point the information is distributed throughout the department. Also, the system can pre-fetch previous studies from the archive and have them routed to the reading physician's workstation.

The company's NumaPortal is a secure, expandable image collection and transmission application. It is a modular system that can be easily customized with plug-in modules to meet the user's needs. The portal provides image compression using secure and reliable file transmission protocols and can be bi-directional, and can steer patient image or data files to different destinations (called Dynamic Routing).

Lastly, NumaCache is a secure shared managed repository for images which allows an imaging system to access all a departments' images from one common point. The repository allows images to be viewed from multiple systems without being transferred from system to system.

Philips Medical Solutions (Booth #1310/1454) is showcasing the Precedence SPECT-CT system for functional and molecular imaging. Precedence unites a flexible SPECT system with Philips Brilliance high-end, multislice CT system. This provides registered and individual SPECT and CT as well as attenuation corrected nuclear medicine images. Precedence offers physicians a tool to improve diagnostic capability and patient care and provides hospitals a tool to decrease costs by reducing patient exam times and hospital stays. At SNM, Philips is showcasing various clinical facilities that have installed the system.

Philips also is showing a new, enhanced CardioMD gamma camera with new CardioMD design features that make it easier to add nuclear imaging services to the cardiology office. The compact CardioMD now comes equipped with a Windows-XP laptop acquisition workstation. There are three laptop-mounting options available to increase flexibility and allow the system to fit into smaller rooms.

RedRick Technologies, Inc. (Booth #605) is showcasing its ergonomic Comfort View workstations CVF-S, CVF-BW, and CVG-OS, which are built to withstand the weight and rigors of various configurations of view boxes and PACS, together or separately. The sturdy lifting mechanism is built without hydraulics, which allows for quiet performance with virtually no shaking. 

Each Comfort View workstations is ergonomically designed and built with the radiologist in mind and is electronically height adjusted with a range of 23-inch to 44-inch, providing quick and easy sit to stand adjustments, RedRick says. The keyboard trays easily move vertically, up to 5 feet above and below the desktop and tilt up to 15 inches. The workstation can be configured to accommodate two keyboards and two mice if required.  

Additionally, RedRick Technologies will provide visitors with information about their design service which can customize workstations to meet an assortment of requirements.

Shared PET Imaging LLC (Booth #1705) is showing its recently launched ClarityFUSION software, a multi-modality fusion software package. FDA-approved ClarityFUSION integrates DICOM compliance allowing physicians to compare PET studies with CT, MRI, PET and other modalities. ClarityFUSION contains a user-friendly and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), making training easy. Its ease of use is built to rival that of a simple word processor. The software enables a physician to view multi-modality diagnostic images without having to undergo extensive training and re-training time.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #419) is displaying for the first time its combined portfolio with CTI Molecular Imaging, Inc., highlighting the variety of offerings now available from one resource. Siemens executives will be on hand at the show to discuss recent activities surrounding the acquisition of CTI.

Highlights from Siemens at SNM include Symbia TruePoint SPECT•CT which combines the functional sensitivity of SPECT with the anatomical detail of diagnostic multislice CT. Images from several clinical installations will be on hand to demonstrate outcomes achieved using this technology.

The biograph PET-CT family, which consists of two-, six-, 16- and now 64-slice configurations, also will be on display. The products provide clinicians with strong image clarity and diagnostic confidence for applications such as oncology management or cardiac assessment, the company said.

Siemens also is demonstrating enhanced capabilities for the, which features a 'reclining' chair that lets patients of any age or size, sit back comfortably during exams. The system can quickly provide results and reports and includes clinical capabilities such as myocardial viability and perfusion.

Additionally, Siemens is showcasing its e.soft LEONARDO workstations, an integrated platform for viewing, comparing, analyzing and sharing images, and their microPET and microCAT offerings for preclinical imaging to assess pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.

Toshiba Medical Systems (Booth #1739) is showcasing its e.soft Version 4.0 nuclear medicine platform which has been updated with a new look and feel. A component of the Signature Series Variable angle, dual-detector gamma camera system, the e.soft software platform improves upon the's clinical productivity via automated Nu.LOGIC workflows for a faster procedure from acquisition to final output, according to the company.

Some of the options available on e.soft include: e.soft express, Flash 3-D General and Cardiac, Segami NeuroGam, Clinical Wizard e.soft option, CT Attenuation Correction, Advanced Image Fusion with syngo 3D, and the Dual Monitor Software Option which allows for the connection of two flat-panel monitors to an e.soft Processing workstation for greater efficiency.

Toshiba also is showing the latest V.3.0 e.soft express software solution for remote review of cardiac and general nuclear medicine studies.

Thinking Systems (Booth #1641) is featuring its full line of products, including its Nuclear Medicine PACS which includes automated and manual image archiving, Nuclear Cardiology image processing and quantitative analysis, SPECT image processing, general Nuclear Medicine image review, and DICOM gateway for non-DICOM Nuclear Medicine cameras and workstation. Thinking Systems PACS also includes full features for general radiology modalities (such as CT, MR, CR/DR), and cardiology modalities (such as echocardiology and cardiac cath). In addition, Thinking Systems Web technology provides online workstation functionality such as image fusion, Nuclear Cardiology image processing and quantitative analysis, SPECT processing, and also enables across the globe collaboration.