Barco nets $2M grant to develop imaging software

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Barco has received a $1.97 million U.S. (£1 million) grant from Scottish Enterprise, an economic development agency funded by the Scottish government, to help develop a new visualization product that would enable more radiologists to work from home.

Barco has developed software called Advanced Visualization Thin (AVT). The software uses medical images obtained from CT, MRI and PET scanners to produce 3D images that radiologists can read from any laptop or desktop computer with a standard network connection or two to four Mbps broadband service.

”The software allows radiologists, cardiologists or oncologists to view these images in 3D as they come off the scanner, take measurements and, importantly, generate reports for referring physicians or within their own community,” said Paul Kinch, original equipment manufacturer channel product manager for Barco's advanced visualization products. Kinch adds that the software does not reside on the scanners but instead is integrated with the PACS.

One of the AVT software's features for analyzing heart disease is its ability to look at the heart's arteries. Barco said the software can take the data from a CT scan stored on the PACS, automatically extract the heart from the other areas in the scan and track the arteries in the heart, and label them according to internationally recognized standards.

The software then displays the heart in a range of 2D and 3D views, from which the doctor can take readings and generate a detailed report, which includes the measurements and captured views of where the measurement was taken. The report can then be sent back to the PACS in a standard format, to be accessed later.

Kinch said AVT has been proven to run successfully at two Mbps broadband, compared with other software in the market that he said is claimed to operate at four or possibly eight Mbps. The smaller bandwidth means that there are opportunities for radiologists to work from home, which would be beneficial if a CT scan needs to be read out-of-hours.