Advanced Visualization: See Beyond the Image

Increases in patient volume and image datasets, as well as the recent technological advancements to imaging equipment that enable physicians to obtain large amounts of anatomical and functional information, have made the world of medical imaging a data-intensive environment. RSNA 2005 made it apparent that advanced visualization software plays an ever-increasing role in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.

Not only are these post-processing tools and advanced applications available on dedicated workstations within an imaging department, companies showcased innovations that allow the 3D software to be accessed on any number of PCs and shared across a dedicated network. Web viewing is a thing of the present, not the future.

3mensio Medical Imaging BV used RSNA to springboard 3viseon 2.0 advanced visualization software that enables large medical datasets, generated by CT and MR scanners, to be displayed as 3D reconstructions using standard PC technology.

Barco demonstrated technology that provides healthcare providers enterprise-wide access to 3D medical imaging on standard workstations and PCs, as well as introduced an advanced analysis tool that provides clinicians with high-quality visualization of 2D, 3D and 4D images of the heart

Voxar 3D Enterprise, a server-based technology that enables enterprise-wide access to advanced visualization tools, accelerates the speed at which users can load, review, report and communicate patient cases with clinical colleagues. Whether the user is working on a diagnostic workstation or a standard PC, Voxar 3D Enterprise quickly delivers large volumetric studies and provides rapid updates of MPR and 3D views.

Cedara Software, a Merge Healthcare company, showcased lung and colon advanced visualization software, a coronary screening analysis tool, as well as introducing a works-in-progress software designed for the oncology community that addresses cancer screening, diagnosis and radiotherapy treatment and planning.

Cedara's CalScore Review software, which is designed for coronary screening, provides clinicians with quantification tools for arterial calcium buildup through CT imaging.

ContextVision highlighted its suite of image enhancement products which include GOPView US, GOPView XR, GOPView MAMMO, as well as a works-in-progress for CT.

GOPView US is a real-time ultrasound image enhancement designed for DSP (digital signal processor) platforms. GOPView EX is an image enhancement tool for computed radiography and direct digital radiography.

Emageon showcased version 5.30.1 of its enterprise visual medical system (EVMS) software that combines content management for various 'ologies.' The upgraded software focuses on enterprise workflow requirements, open standards and native multi-specialty support.

Emageon also enhanced enterprise workflow with a new physician tool that manages exams and increased productivity, including personal content manager with JPEG2000, teleconferencing, StudyNotes and an exam worklist with new integrated enterprise-wide folder views. 

Hologic used RSNA to highlight its research collaboration with Johns Hopkins for the development of tomographic 3D image reconstruction of the hip utilizing the company's Discovery line of bone densitometers. The technology is a new generation of osteoporosis assessment tools.

Mercury Computer Systems demonstrated its Visage 3D to the Core imaging and visualization software platform that includes the Visage CS Thin Client/Server, Visage VR Volume Rendering, Visage RT Image Reconstruction and Visage WS Workstation. Mercury highlighted its Visage CS Thin Client/Server that provides the capabilities of a specialized medical workstation anywhere throughout a healthcare enterprise. The cost-effective software can plug seamlessly into legacy hospital IT systems and eliminate reliance on a few, expensive 3D workstations, Mercury said.

Siemens Medical Solutions, combining molecular imaging and advanced visualization software, highlighted at RSNA its syngo TrueD - an analysis tool that enables physicians to compare patient scans from two different points in time, such as pre- and post-therapy. Also highlighted was Scenium, an application which aids in neurological analysis by enabling automatic correlation of the patient study with an average brain for assessment of abnormalities.

TeraRecon at RSNA introduced the AquariusNET VLE 3D server that is capable of reconstructing up to 30,000 images for instant diagnostic review. The system consists of quadruple 4GB TeraRecon VolumePro 1000 rendering boards and is designed to meet the increasing demands for 3D post-processing by large integrated hospital networks.

TeraRecon also springboarded its EliteAccess that provides access to workflow tools and high-end workstation applications through a single AquariusNET thin-client user interface.

Viatronix showcased enhancements to its V3D-Colon that can now take advantage of the latest generation of dual-core processors and provide a detailed 3D examination for virtual colonoscopy studies. New features to the company's coronary and vessel analysis, V3D-Vascular, include improved post-processing and segmentation that will automatically detect and segment the carotid arteries and create 3D movies ready to be sent to PACS.

Vital Images at highlighted VitalConnect, its fully featured web browser distribution tool, as well as enhancements to its cardiac image analysis software and CAD-integrated tools for Vitrea. VitalConnect, a medical diagnostic tool that allows physicians to use PCs or notebook computers to access 2D, 3D and 4D advanced visualization using a Microsoft web-enabled browser, has been integrated with software collaboration tools that facilitate communication between radiologists and referring physicians. Vital focused on its integration with medical communication systems provider Commissure to enhance workflow for radiologists and referring physicians.

VitalCardia, cardiac image analysis software that addresses the requirements for 3D and 4D cardiac imaging and review, has been enhanced to support large data sets and easy communication throughout the enterprise with customizable cardiac reports.