AHRA Preview: Radiology Vendors Bring Core Tools
The American Healthcare Radiology Administrators (AHRA) prides itself in being the premier resource and catalyst for professional leadership in the medical imaging business. To that end, this year the organization will provide a multi-pronged educational experience. The conference offers a multitude of sessions addressing the following management issues: finance, human resources, communication and information, operations, and assets.

In between sessions, expect vendors to entice attendees with their latest and greatest imaging modalities, management systems, and other support technologies. Following is an overview of what you can expect to see in the exhibit hall:

AFC Industries’ ErgoTier Deluxe customizable workstation.
AFC Industries (Booth #601) is introducing the ErgoTier Deluxe, a new addition to its MaxFlex series of customizable workstations for radiology reading, which now comes with several accessories. The workstation is a single tier table with a tilting work surface and electronically adjustable monitor arms. Accessories include cable management that keeps wires neat and unobtrusive, while dimmer-controlled task lighting illuminates the user’s work to the desired intensity, reducing eye strain and monitor glare. Adjustable phone and dictation equipment supports keep these items within easy reach, while leaving work surfaces clutter-free.

AFC also is highlighting the i-Center, a wall-mounted workstation that enables computer access wherever needed without utilizing floor space.

Anthro’s Zido medical cart
Anthro (Booth #207/209) is introducing the Zido medical cart. Zido’s heavy metal base is weighted to counter-balance loads mounted as high as 66 inches, and has shelves that are wrapped in Kydex laminate to prevent chipping and cracking and can stand up to a wide range of chemicals. Zido offers a wide range of accessories to customize the cart.

The company also is showcasing Carl’s Table, its next-generation workplace station for digital soft-copy reading. The workstation features push button tilt, elevate or lower to adjust work surfaces until the user is comfortable.

BRIT Systems (Booth #502) is showing its recently introduced multi-modality mammography workstation—BRIT Vision—designed for use with any FDA-cleared full-field digital mammography (FFDM) system. A highlight of the new release is the ability for clinicians to scale digitized film, a capability critical for examining digital images against prior exams that were captured on a film-screen system.

Other new features include tools for selecting prior studies and local storage that clinicians can use to pre-fetch prior studies for comparison. An integrated keypad eliminates the need for a different keypad.

Canon Medical Systems (Booth #607) is showcasing its portable digital radiography (DR) systems and related technologies, designed as versatile, economical DR alternatives for general radiography and medical centers.

Also being displayed is the Canon CXDI-50G portable, lightweight DR system, which provides high-quality, filmless image capture for a range of radiographic applications, including trauma, ICU and bedside exams.

Canon’s also is focusing on its CXDI Control Software that enables operators to capture images based on a department’s specific imaging preferences.

Carestream Health’s DirectView DR 9500 System.
Carestream Health Inc. (Booth #519) is announcing the worldwide availability for its newest digital radiography platform, the Kodak Directview DR 9500 System. The new DR 9500 system breaks away from traditional configurations that involve detectors mounted in a table and/or a wall stand. Instead, the DR 9500 system has a ceiling-mounted U-arm that contains both a tube and detector to deliver unprecedented mobility and operational flexibility.

DatCard Systems (Booth #1117/1119) is highlighting its PacsCube and MammoSmart products, network-connected devices that record images and report with a DICOM viewer on to a CD/DVD. MammoSmart gives patients their complete mammography history and breast care information on a CD/DVD.

Double Black Imaging (Booth #325/327) is featuring its X-Cal DICOM Calibration and QA software as well as DICOMetrix PACS Performance Monitoring software.

The X-Cal Calibration software, a package for automatic DICOM calibration and display quality assurance, allows for both complete QA of their LCDs and front DICOM calibration. X-Cal consists of two components, a local agent package and a network administrative package. Paired together with their displays, this software and hardware combination allows each display to be remotely calibrated to the DICOM grayscale display function and monitored from a central workstation.

The company’s DICOMetrix enables users to actively monitor, historically track system performance, and alert radiology and PACS support staff about system slow-downs and outages.

eRad Corp. (Booth #139) is highlighting the 3D workstation now available as a result of a new distribution agreement the company has with Calgary Scientific Inc. Medical Group. eRad will now offer the ResolutionMD product family of advanced visualization and analysis software tools from Calgary Scientific as part of an integrated option for its PACS. The eRad 3D plug-in provides real-time rendering controls, clipping planes, MIP (maximum intensity projection) and MPR (multiplanar reconstruction) views, and customizable color schemes to highlight specific tissue types.

The company also is demonstrating a RIS/PACS integrated product as a result of its integration deal with RIS Concepts.

Emageon (Booth #513) is featuring its new RadSuite Express for the small- to mid-sized hospital and clinic market. The system is targeted at facilities doing between 20,000 and 80,000 radiology studies a year, and allows specialists and referring physicians access to the same high-end, multi-disciplinary 3D imaging tools used by radiology, orthopedic and emergency specialists.

GE Healthcare (Booth #707) is showcasing its enterprise-wide products that optimize radiology throughput and aid healthcare providers in delivering better patient care. The company is emphasizing the Centricity Radiology integrated RIS/PACS solution as an example of its commitment to delivering powerful image analysis tools side by side with administrative and informatics capabilities.

Infinitt North America (Booth #219/221) is demonstrating its recently launched Brain Angio Substraction, a system offering fast three-step advanced acquisitions. The company says that it has partnered with several unnamed companies to bring the product to market and will transition the system into their own product offerings.

The three-step process includes selecting the scan region, performing scan planning, and scanning. Extremely low-dose scanning, combined with a fast scan protocol and quantum de-noising software, enables an entire lung of 30 centimeters to be examined in only 10 seconds.

InSite One (Booth #509) is featuring the next generation of its InDex system which offers multiple new features including a 64-bit platform that will increase the processing power of the on-site proxy server providing improved response to DICOM users. Scheduled for release in late summer, the InDex 4.0 will include a new high availability configuration for InDex OnSite and OnLine configurations as well as reporting tools to manage data within the InDex Archive.

Konica Minolta Medical Imaging USA (Booth #320, 318) is showcasing its recently introduced Regius Nano CR single-bay CR system. The system is engineered to make digital radiography more affordable in low-volume facilities and ancillary departments. The company designed a modular, high-volume unit to balance the workload. The goals were reliability and redundancy—if a critical component goes down, there is a backup. The scanner motor is unique in that there is no friction, reducing the chance of mechanical problems. Although the Nano CR uses the same cassettes and plates as Konica’s other systems, this unit is 40 percent lighter and uses 60 percent fewer parts.

McKesson (Booth #307) is highlighting its Horizon Medical Imaging PACS, with the following core features:
  • Auto Inclusion Fields that makes it easier for users to create radiology reports via templates that automatically pull study and patient-related information from the Horizon Medical Imaging database; and
  • McKesson’s Horizon Medical Imaging ER Discrepancy Tracking tool facilitates communication and concurrence of diagnoses between the ER and radiology.

Medrad (Booth # 916/918/920) is featuring its new Pres Pressure-Rated Extension Set, specially designed to reduce the risk of patient injury by tolerating the high pressures that accompany power injection of CT contrast media. Extension sets not rated for pressure injection can leak, rupture, or explode at pressures that are common with power injection. Pres is designed for easy use and allows clinicians to place IV catheters while patients are in a remote location, reducing preparation time in the scan room.

NightHawk Radiology Services (Booth # 214/216) is highlighting coverage service for preliminary and final interpretations, 3D reconstruction, processing and interpretation of coronary CTA and triple rule-out CTA examinations.

The company also is highlighting its proprietary workflow technology solution, Talon, which features intelligent image distribution that routes images to, and creates work lists for, the appropriate doctor via a secure web connection. Talon can quickly integrate into an existing practice, limiting administrative work and enabling radiologists to better track the number and timing of studies to maintain and evaluate proper staffing levels.

NovaRad Corporation (Booth#733) is featuring its NovaPACS 6.6 with embedded MIP (maximum intensity projection) and MPR (multiplanar reconstruction) tools to build and view 3D images directly from the PACS workstation. The MIP and MPR tools embedded in NovaPACS eliminate the need for radiologists to do post-processing reconstructions from the modalities and for technologists to redo reconstructions specified by the radiologists.

Additionally, BIOPOD, a HIPAA-compliant fingerprint touch login solution is now available for NovaPACS and its companion radiology information system, NovaRIS.

PACSGEAR’s MediaWriter CD/DVD burning system.
PACSGEAR (Booth #217) is showing its MediaWriter, a lower-cost, distributed CD/DVD burning system that is able to simply write DICOM files to portable media. MediaWriter gives hospitals, outlying departments and imaging centers a DICOM distribution solution that is designed to be easy to configure, deploy and maintain.

Patient Comfort Systems (Booth #1202) is showcasing its infection-resistant design with permanent antimicrobial agents for its medical imaging table pads and positioners. This product line is aimed at the threat of infections spread by contact. To that end, the pads incorporate what the company refers to as “ultra-strong” fabric along with sewn and welded seams to protect core material from bodily fluids.

Riverain Medical (Booth #1018) is highlighting its RapidScreen, the first FDA-PMA approved chest x-ray CAD system to assist radiologists in the detection of early-stage lung cancer. At AHRA, the company is emphasizing further advancements in RapidScreen’s sensitivity and specificity as well as the ability for universal connectivity with PACS.

RapidScreen quickly identifies solitary pulmonary nodules between 9 mm and 30 mm and other suspicious nodules on the original standard AP/PA chest x-ray providing a virtual second pair of eyes for the radiologist.

ScImage (Booth #924) is demonstrating its multi-department PACS and workflow management system that employs a single database to organize, categorize, store and distribute information from multiple departments. This data can be in the form of DICOM and non-DICOM images, clinical reporting, physician dictations, ECG waveforms, and even jpeg photos or mpeg videos. ScImage supports IHE workflow profiles for radiology, cardiac cath and echocardiography.

Sony Electronics (Booth #834/835) is unveiling its new UP-D74XRD, a compact, high-speed 8x10 thermal digital film and paper imager, designed specifically for use with ultrasound, mobile c-arm, and x-ray system. The new imager features both DICOM and USB connectivity for use with a network system or for direct connection to a PC. 

Other products being displayed includes Sony’s next-generation FilmStation dry film imager, the dual-tray UP-DF550 model offers 8x10-inch, 10x12-inch, 11x14-inch  and 14x17-inch film sizes .

The company’s UP-D77MD is a full-page digital color printer designed specifically for nuclear medicine, PET/CT and 3D-CT applications, and features 8 x 10 inch, color dye-sublimation output and a built-in DICOM interface.

Swissray International (Booth #907) is demonstrating its ddRFormula Amorphous Silicon Flat Panel DR system. The system’s movements are fully automatic and can be controlled by a hand held remote control or push buttons at the system of the floor mounted C-arm type positioning device. Swissray’s Automated Positioning System (APS) is designed to streamline the radiography workflow process by automating all positioning and collimation requirements.

Also, Swissray’s new FP-5000 Si TFT detector offers 3.5 lp/mm spatial resolution and a five-field measuring chamber.


TeraRecon (Booth #224/226) is showcasing its Aquarius iNtuition platform architecture, a new and more efficient workflow paradigm. The three workflow steps of the iNtuition platform architecture include Automate, Validate, and Read. The AquariusAPS pre-processing server automates common tasks from CTA examinations such as bone removal, centerline extractions and vessel-anatomy identification based on pre-defined physician preferences.

Toshiba’s Kalare R&F system has a removable DR panel and an all-digital processing system designed to shorten exam times.
Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth # 830/832/834) is showcasing its Xario ultrasound system and its Kalare R&F system, as well as its service offerings.

The Xario ultrasound system delivers the high-quality images necessary to distinguish tiny cardiac and vascular structures, while remaining affordable for hospitals and clinics.

The Kalare R&F system is a configurable system with removable DR panel. Features include the latest EPS-Plus Digital Imaging System—an all-digital processing system designed to shorten exam times and reduce the costs of film, handling and storage associated with conventional R&F fluoroscopic procedures. 

Virtual Radiologic (Booth #721) is demonstrating its Interpretation Services that provide radiology practices and medical facilities 24/7/365 access to more than 80 specialized, U.S.-trained and American Board of Radiology-certified physicians delivering both preliminary and final interpretations. Virtual Radiologic’s Infrastructure Solutions is a complete package of teleradiology technologies and services that enable growing radiology practices and imaging centers to enhance their business operations using the same technology foundation.