PACS Packs the Choices

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Facilities in the PACS market will find a dizzying array of choices a RSNA 2004. Vendors are starting to key into the smaller hospital and imaging center PACS markets, and there are a number of products specifically tailored for these markets. Look for tighter integration across modalities and departments, specialized PACS for mammography and cardiology as well as souped up 3D capabilities. A number of vendors are also touting IHE support.

GE Healthcare (Booth #2700) is unveiling what the company describes as "uncomplicated, plug-and-play" PACS with the Centricity SE. The new solution simplifies and makes PACS more accessible for community hospitals (in the 100 to 400 bed range) and imaging centers. Centricity SE creates a fully filmless work process, with fast storage, and completely integrates into RIS. The fully integrated Centricity SE allows facilities to literally plug in and go live and avoid complicated installation. The modular, 'All-Images-Online' solution helps reduce operating costs, and improve radiology productivity and increase diagnostic confidence, GE said. Centricity SE features a state-of-the-art design with the power and functionality of GE's fully featured Centricity PACS scaled to meet the needs of community hospitals and imaging centers.

GE also will showcase the Centricity AW Suite, which streamlines modality workflow and puts all the tools onto one PACS. The Suite is designed with modality and PACS workflow in mind, fusing these technologies together to create one product to enhance diagnostic confidence, improve workflow, reduce cost and provide advanced tools for radiologists. AW Suite allows radiologists to acquire information, manage and store it, review, analyze and report it, then distribute all in one workstation - putting the power of advanced applications on any networked PACS PC.

IDX Systems Corp. (Booth #1936) is showcasing its Imagecast for Radiology solution. The Imagecast integrated RIS/PACS uses a totally web-based architecture that incorporates advanced workflow and image distribution technologies for each unique user from a single integrated database. Real-time, bi-directional communication is provided with more than 1,500 modalities, making filmless and paperless workflow a reality. IDX also is showing phase one of a new user interface strategy, an enhanced interpreting provider worklist and a prototype of the Imagecast for Cardiology solution.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #2729) is highlighting its SIENET Cosmos fully integrated, web-enabled RIS/PACS driven by a RIS workflow engine. Features of the system that debuted earlier this year include single sign-on, Siemens syngo common user interface, integrated digital dictation and voice recognition, image post-processing applications for general radiology, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, vascular and cardiology and fast-transfer protocol for multislice CT. In addition, the system's open architecture supports IHE, DICOM and HL-7 standards. Through the integration of Siemens Soarian clinical data repository and SIENET Cosmos, providers will be able to access relevant information anywhere, anytime, streamline workflow in departments and across the enterprise, track and monitor outcomes of procedures and processes and view images and reports via web-enabled image distribution.

Siemens also is demonstrating KinetDx specialized PACS for cardiology and radiology ultrasound. Ultrasound image presentation options include quick comparisons of new views and previous studies. The clinical reporting features enable rapid report automation including XML upload capability to brokerless HIS/RIS systems. Measurements, calculations, annotations and many other features are dedicated to ultrasound imaging with special emphasis on maternal fetal medicine (MFM). KinetDx's strength in cardiac ultrasound provides fast performance while imaging the motion of the heart. KinetDx can share storage infrastructure and web distribution of images and reports with Siemens SIENET PACS product line.

Fujifilm Medical Systems USA Inc. (Booth #7732) is showcasing its Synapse PACS and is demonstrating technologies to extend Synapse into new areas of the radiology practice and provide users with new methods for achieving consistent, clinical outcomes and positive business metrics. Fuji also is demonstrating its patent-pending reading protocol technology that contributes to the efficient navigation and interpretation of increasingly complicated