Barco adds to Nio, offers monitoring software app

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Barco launched the next generation of its cost-effective NIO grayscale diagnostic display systems at RSNA 2006 in Chicago. The new NIO — available in 2MP, 3MP and 5MP resolutions — adds high-speed display controllers and better performance and management via a new online service for high-grade quality assurance of PACS displays.

The next-generation NIO can be used with Barco's MEDICAL QAWEB service, a softcopy QA system that offers transparency to the QA routine. MEDICAL QAWEB is designed to bolster confidence and uptime of PACS display systems by providing automated DICOM calibration, quality assurance, display asset management, problem solving and reporting. With the software, NIO calibration and QA settings can be changed remotely without having to be present at the workstation.

Regarding controllers, the NIO display systems are driven by a high-speed BARCOMED NIO display controller, with the company’s proprietary AURA technology. The BARCOMED NIO features 64-bit PCI performance and image download speeds up to 230 MB per second.

NIO systems can also be combined with the BARCOMED NIO PCI Express display controller, which provides improved graphics performance and image download speeds up to 320 MB/second. This 10-bit display controller renders the complete data set with 1024 simultaneous levels of gray.

Due to an agreement with ATI, a designer and manufacturer of 3D graphics acceleration technology, Barco offers NIO users the opportunity to upgrade to ATI’s powerful display controllers featuring FireGL technology. This makes the use of advanced visualization techniques, such as 3D imaging, OpenGL and DirectX readily available, Barco said.
As for the NIOs themselves, they include the company’s Backlight Output Stabilization (BLOS), for quicker power-up and continuous DICOM conformance of the LCD’s luminance output. In addition, Barco carefully color matches the displays in every multi-head NIO display system to guarantee that the color characteristics of all displays in the system are consistent. Finally, NIO display systems are equipped with a protective front cover which protects the valuable LCD against damage from intensive use in clinical rooms.

NIO 5MP display systems are now also available in BlueBase and ClearBase viewing modes, allowing radiologists to select the color temperature best suited for their application.