PACS on Center Stage

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HIMSS 360Vendors are rolling out a diverse array of PACS and related essential solutions such as RIS, workflow managers and dashboards at HIMSS ’07. The reality of budget constraints is apparent with more vendors launching ASP (application service provider) solutions. Vendors also are focusing on second- and third-generation buyers and touting their ability to transfer legacy data. Workflow of course remains a hot issue, and new systems are rolling out to streamline workflow and enhance communication with and service to referring physicians. Buyers can expect to see an assortment of standalone RIS and PACS/RIS solutions on the show floor, too. Several vendors are launching new solutions designed to connect and streamline the assortment of technologies and systems that comprise the 21st century digital enterprise. Expect to see tighter integration among various systems. Other essential solutions on the show floor include peripherals like furniture optimized for the digital environment and speech recognition solutions.

AMICAS (Booth #4010) is showcasing RadStream, Vision Series PACS Version 5.0 and Vision Reach. RadStream creates a significant increase in radiologist productivity, supports the automation and documentation of results communication and integrates disparate PACS viewers within AMICAS RealTime Worklist.

AMICAS Vision Series PACS Version 5.0 RadStream is fully integrated with the AMICAS RealTime Worklist and complements the new Vision Reach referring physician tool to combine and deliver image management and workflow technology.

Vision Series PACS 5.0 incorporates advancements to support digital mammography, 3D rendering and orthopedic templating, and it includes powerful upgrades to the core infrastructure, including the latest operating system from Microsoft and the latest database and archive technology from IBM. The entire system utilizes the latest in web services from Microsoft and Java.

Vision Reach is focused on helping grow the imaging enterprise by providing unrivalled service to referring physicians.

BRIT Systems (Booth #6019) is showcasing the Roentgen Router DICOM routing module and BRIT Lite CCOW-enabled workstation.

The Roentgen Router provides auto-routing and prefetching of DICOM studies based on a user defined study criteria, with sophisticated tools to schedule routes eliminating human intervention and automating teleradiology environments. The company is launching the product for use with any vendor’s PACS.

BRIT Lite utilizes the vendor-independent HL7 CCOW (Clinical Context Object Workgroup) standard to facilitate the viewing of medical images and reports within a patient context set by disparate clinical applications at the point of care. BRIT Lite integrates multi-vendor and multi-specialty applications with a single interface, single log-on and sharing of patient context information among different applications associated with the electronic medical record.

DR Systems (Booth #1845) is demonstrating new features for Unity RIS/PACS such as a new Patient Link capability, which is designed to help hospitals and imaging centers consolidate patient records, without requiring the customary, time-consuming and expensive creation of an enterprise master patient index (EMPI). It also is showing examples of its capability to migrate significant amounts of data from a legacy PACS to a new DR Systems PACS and presenting how the DR Systems PACS is accessible from electronic medical records (EMR) and health information system (HIS) web portals.

Dynamic Imaging (Booth #7117) is showcasing IntegradWeb PACS and RIS and Guardian Diagnostics.

The company is demonstrating the new AutoFetch PACS feature, which speeds local and remote reading workflow for digital mammography interpretation as well as all other modality types. AutoFetch is enabled via IntegradWeb PACS’ Study List, automatically retrieving prioritized unread studies and their relevant priors to the local workstation regardless of location and optimizing performance regardless of the network bandwidth.

IntegradWeb PACS Version 3.7 is being developed for scalability to 1 million annual PACS exams and beyond. And IntegradWeb PACS image viewer is being developed to improve on contemporary industry speeds by 50 percent or more. IntegradWeb PACS Version 3.7 is anticipated for early availability in Q2 2007.

Dynamic Imaging also is demonstrating IntegradWeb MAMMO, which provides complete digital mammography interpretation workflow, including customizable reading layouts and sequences for any third-party full-field digital mammography system as well as full support for the functionality of IntegradWeb PACS;  IntegradWeb RIS/PACS integrated, single-desktop RIS/PACS featuring end-to-end web-based workflow from scheduling through billing, with document management and digital dictation to fulfill the complete web-based workflow needs of ambulatory providers regardless of size and complexity.

Dynamic Imaging is discussing its proactive monitoring tool, Guardian Diagnostics, that enables complete remote monitoring of hardware, software and network connectivity.

Kodak’s CARESTREAM PACSEastman Kodak (Booth #1611) is unveiling new additions to the KODAK CARESTREAM PACS platform including a global worklist. The global worklist makes imaging exams readily available from all sites and facilitates workflow grid computing. These new capabilities are designed to deliver enhanced information access and storage capabilities for facilities with multiple sites throughout a city or region. Workflow grid computing can increase the availability and redundancy of a multi-site system, for example, and provide efficient management of distributed storage systems and rapid delivery of archived data to any review location.

FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA (Booth #5737) is highlighting its acquisition of cardiology PACS vendor Problem Solving Concepts, Inc. (ProSolv) that strengthens its PACS portfolio. 

Combined with Fujifilm’s worldwide PACS development headquarters in Stamford, Conn., ProSolv’s tools enable Fujifilm to extend its enterprise information management approach to include cardiology and provide a broader array of integrated technology solutions to a rapidly growing market. Synapse and ProSolv software applications share similar software technology approaches that have already enabled rapid systems integration, providing enhanced access to all clinical imaging data for customers using both products.

GE Healthcare (Booth #441) is showcasing Centricity PACS 3.0, Centricity Imaging AW Suite 2, Centricity Imaging Radiology, Centricity Imaging Application Service Provider (ASP), Centricity Practice Solution and Centricity Business Solution. 

Centricity Imaging PACS features new tools to help hospitals and imaging centers improve efficiency.  For example, new IHE profiles within Centricity PACS version 3.0 will automate exam acquisition, reporting and communication for referring physicians.

The company is showing Centricity Imaging AW Suite 2 (Advantage Workstation) combined with Centricity Imaging PACS. Centricity AW Suite 2 offers five optional modules such as CardIQ (Cardiology), Advanced Lung Analysis (Oncology), Advanced Vessel Analysis (Cardiovascular), Autobone and CT Colonography. The addition of these modules digitizes the diagnostic process providing unparalleled capabilities to manage large complex sets of patient data. Through advanced visualization and analysis tools, clinicians can manage increasingly sophisticated data available from today’s diagnostic imaging modalities, to speed diagnosis and treatment.

Centricity Radiology brings together Centricity PACS product with the Centricity RIS-IC (formerly known as IDX Imagecast). The combined Centricity Radiology solution allows radiologists and other care providers to manage workflow and leverage a common radiology information system across geographically dispersed locations.

Centricity Imaging ASP provides an outsourced and truly scalable DICOM archive solution that enhances, protects and optimizes radiology and cardiology workflow through a pay-per-exam model.

Centricity Practice Solution is a single clinical and financial practice management solution aimed at helping to improve practice efficiency and patient care. GE’s Centricity Electronic Medical Record (EMR) enables ambulatory care physicians and clinical staff to document patient encounters, streamline clinical workflow and securely exchange data with other providers, patients and information systems. GE’s Centricity Practice Management solution provides patient and financial management, document management, decision support and connectivity tools.

Centricity Business Solution maximizes business performance for hospitals, integrated delivery networks and large physician organizations.

McKesson Corp. (Booth #1215) is sharing its portfolio of solutions designed to make healthcare safer and more efficient, including Patient Compass and Horizon Clinicals.

Patient Compass solution improves patients’ ability to pay bills by providing 24 x 7 online bill payment access.

Horizon Clinicals is a suite of next-generation, integrated solutions for physicians and other clinicians. It includes the Connecting Physicians offering, which leverages e-prescribing and online physician-patient communication solutions.

Neurostar Solutions (Booth #4206) is featuring its version 6.4 Virtual Radiology Network (VRN) clinical image workflow platform.

The turnkey solution enables conversion to a digital radiology environment. Users can connect to the VRN through the internet to access the full advantages of digital workflow as well as connect with radiologists worldwide to outsource reading or take on new clients to boost income.

NovaRad’s NovaPACS 6.5NovaRad Corp. (Booth #1262) is releasing NovaPACS 6.5 and NovaRIS 6.5 at HIMSS.

New NovaPACS 6.5 features include an additional administration console tool to enable better sorting, reporting and information gathering and viewing. For the referring physician, the “Referring Physician Specialist Viewer” provides the complete set of tools available on the PACS workstations. The latest version also provides NovaRad with the ability to monitor the NovaPACS installation in real time to help further enhance its support capabilities.

To complement NovaPACS 6.5, NovaRad offers NovaRIS 6.5, a Health Level Seven (HL7) and HIPAA-compliant RIS developed using the same database as NovaPACS to ensure seamless integration. As standard practice, installation, hardware, maintenance and training are included in one price, on one contract.


Philips Medical Systems (Booth #6137) is demonstrating iSite PACS versions 3.5 and 4.0, iSite Advanced Visualization, Xcelera Cardiovascular Information Solution, ViewForum workstation and iSite upgrades.

iSite PACS employs an enterprise approach to enable enterprise-wide access to diagnostic-quality images and relevant information and extend the power of radiology to all caregivers in the enterprise. iSite Advanced Visualization brings interactive advanced visualization tools to all caregivers. It enables faster, easier and more confident diagnosis and review of image data. By means of iSyntax integration these tools offer transparent enterprise wide access to slab MPR, MIP and advanced Volume Visualization for improved results sharing and decision making.

Xcelera Cardiovascular Information Solution is an integrated solution that unites information from all cardiology imaging modalities such as interventional cardiology, cardiovascular ultrasound, cardiac CT, cardiac MR, nuclear cardiology and electrophysiology. It combines advanced clinical analysis tools giving 2D and 3D analysis of echo images and processing Cardiac CT and MRI images.

ViewForum clinical workspace offers true multi-modality and multi-vendor viewing and clinical applications, enabling faster, more confident diagnosis and review of image data.

iSite upgrades include a new core IHE-compliant database, HL7 workflow engine, back-end system architecture harmonized with Philips user interface design standards, and a localization framework that provides internationalization support.

ScImage PicomEnterprise 3.0ScImage (Booth #5411) is featuring PicomEnterprise Version 3.0, a unified multi-department workflow system that enables exams from multiple departments to be scheduled, tracked, reported, archived and distributed via a single web-based logon by employing a single database to organize varied data from each of these departments. At its core, PicomEnterprise boasts one database and a shared infrastructure that simplifies workflow for multiple departments. The solution features several clinical applications for radiology, cardiology, nuclear medicine and orthopedics. 

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #4037) is showcasing Soarian workflow management solution and syngo Suite and highlighting partnerships with SAP and NextGen Healthcare.

Soarian helps organizations synchronize workflow across the entire enterprise to help drive and direct workflow processes to reduce handoffs and promote standardization for more measurable and predictable outcomes. Its smart user interface responds to the needs and work processes of individual users with the right data delivered to the right user at the right time.

Siemens’ partnership with SAP brings workflow management expertise, deep IT domain experience and committed customer service to bear to help healthcare organizations attain productivity improvements as well as a lower total cost of technology ownership. 

IT Peripherals
AFC Industries (Booth #3819) is debuting its adjustable, mobile Point-of-Care Cart that features a work surface that adjusts from 28-1/2 to 39 inches in height to accommodate both seated and standing work positions and retractable keyboard and mouse trays. It features a small 21 x 24 inch footprint and large casters for easy mobility and is constructed of sturdy rolled steel.

Compressus (Booth #7423) is showcasing MEDxConnect Enterprise Systems Integration software that provides seamless connectivity and interoperability between diagnostic acquisition devices, PACS, HIS, RIS, and related information systems. Key components of MEDxConnect Enterprise Integration solution include: the Medical Message Mediator (M3), the Systems Management Dashboard and the Virtual Worklist.

Systems Management Dashboard (SMD) locates workflow inefficiencies and bottlenecks to provide the needed overview in monitoring enterprise activities to ensure smooth and efficient workflow. 

Virtual Worklist runs on the MEDxConnect M3 server and leverages the M3 capabilities. Jointly, the Virtual Worklist and M3 enable users to build a complete and flexible system to efficiently manage diagnostic and reporting radiological services.

Crescendo Systems Corporation (Booth #5121) is showcasing MD Center-XL, a dictation and speech recognition application that allows the use of back-end and front-end speech recognition on one single license. MD Center-XL enables healthcare facilities to leave their document creation options open.

Eizo Nanao Technologies (Booth #6021) is showcasing its RadiForce series, the 30-inch RadiForce RS410. EIZO’s Digital Uniformity Equalizer (DUE) function offers stable, consistent brightness from corner to corner. A dual link input function achieves a clock frequency of 60 Hz.  A CAL Switch function with various calibration modes for different modalities such as CR, CT, and endoscopy is included.

EnovateIT (Booth #2959) is demonstrating its new push button, ergonomically adjustable wall mounted workstation series that addresses patient confidentiality, proper ergonomics and infection control.

ETIAM (Booth #1556) is releasing a new version of its worklist broker, WillB — which is a smart agent that interfaces imaging modalities with information systems. WillB efficiently automates the workflow of healthcare organizations by eliminating repetitive data entry, streamlining scheduling of patient examinations and linking images with reports and medical records. The new version of WillB enables operators to create a study order and a patient encounter including the identifiers when a message has not been received from the information system.

NEC Unified (Booth # 369, 7547) — sister company of NEC Display Solutions of America — is demonstrating some of NEC’s display products the MD series and large screen models. The MD series includes medically certified 21.3 inch grayscale 2 MegaPixel and 3 MP displays that feature the X-Light backlight system.

RIS Concepts, Inc. (Booth #4000) is showing the RAD-RIS web-based radiology group workflow application that creates an integrated worklist combining studies across multiple enterprises and locations, while simultaneously interfacing PACS solutions in use at different hospital and clinics. Other features further streamline workflow.

Swearingen Software (Booth #511) is launching Radiologist Task Center that integrates a one-stop radiologist dashboard into RISynergy. Task Center provides a single screen where radiologists may perform all of their tasks, such as viewing procedures, schedules and viewing, editing, and signing off transcribed reports.

PACS Training
RSTI (Radiological Service Training Institute) (Booth #2580) is announcing its latest training program for the PACS industry, the PACS Engineer and Administrator Certification Series. Two 2-week classes carry users through a series of rigorous testing towards certification as a RSTI-PACS Master. Those certified will possess a complete skill set to administer or trouble-shoot any PACS system in the industry.

SG&A Consulting (Booth #2727) and its School of PACS Administration is showcasing its PACS, EMR, and other healthcare informatics consulting services and educational resources including contracting formats for those deploying PACS and EMRs. SG&A’s One Day Assessment and Total Support Program are low risk investments that can help validate an organization’s current health informatics strategy —  at any phase of the project plan. The Total Support program allows a healthcare organization to utilize SG&A Consulting as a supplemental resource for the in-house project team; a mix of on-site and off-site services can be contracted for a pre-determined amount per month. The Total Support Program allows an organization to access objective, third party expertise in a low risk, contracting format.

Advanced Visualization
Kodak Health Group (Booth #1611) is showcasing the advanced visualization features of its KODAK CARESTREAM PACS. Kodak offers specialized cardiac functions (including cardiac review and analysis, cardiac cage removal in 3D imaging and cardiac calcium scoring), as well as MIP (maximum intensity projection), MinIP (minimum intensity projection), MPR (multiplanar reconstruction), volume rendering, tissue definition, and vessel tracking functionality. Kodak’s PACS platform also provides bone removal and vessel analysis enhancements that are used with CT exams of arteries and veins throughout the body. All of these features are part of Kodak’s native real-time 3D capabilities.

Philips Medical Systems (Booth #6137) is highlighting its iSite Advanced Visualization designed to bring interactive advanced visualization tools to all caregivers for fast, easy diagnosis and review of image data with more confidence. By means of iSyntax integration, these tools offer transparent enterprise wide access to slab MPR, MIP and advanced Volume Visualization for improved results sharing and decision making. This system allows all users to navigate through large and volumetric datasets, without having to download the full dataset first or having a dedicated server infrastructure to provide the reconstructed views to the client.

Vital Images (Booth #1310) is featuring its next-generation product releases at HIMSS including Vitrea 3.9; new accessibility tool, VitreaACCESS; and ViTALConnect, Version 4.0.

Working together as a robust advanced imaging solution, Vitrea, VitreaACCESS and ViTALConnect provide the power and speed of workstation applications bolstered by the communication and distribution flexibility provided by the internet.  For example, physicians using Vitrea 3.9 can manipulate studies creating key images, then push them to the ViTALConnect 4.0 solution where enterprise users both inside and outside of the facility can restore the Vitrea workflow and continue further analysis and manipulation utilizing a web interface. VitreaACCESS-Remote extends this capability by allowing radiologists to access their advanced visualization desktop from a remote location utilizing their VPN (Virtual Private Network).