Cardiac Imaging Goes Straight to the Heart

 With heart disease still the leading cause of death in the United States—as well as many other countries—imaging and health IT companies are putting forth an all-out effort to develop and connect cutting-edge diagnostic technology for cardiology. At the forefront of R&D efforts are ways to diagnose cardiovascular disease earlier with more and better information.

Vendors are showing great progress as they continue to arm practitioners with newer, better, faster solutions for cardiac care. Among the inroads are enhancements for CT and angiography, upgraded clinical IT systems geared for cardiology and a host of easy-to-use advanced visualization and analysis tools that show more and do more.

3mensio Medical Imaging (Booth 5750) is demonstrating an optional vascular package for its 3viseon 3D imaging workstation, which can be used for vascular analysis based on CT angiography or MR angiography. One-click segmentation of the vessels, (semi) automatic central-lumen line detection, and interactive correction functionality provide an accurate measurement tool for pre-operative planning of vascular procedures.

Agfa HealthCare (Booth 4106) is showcasing its modular approach to clinical-based informatics with the Impax Cardiovascular Suite.
The system provides the combination of a cardiology-centric application workflow and enterprise-wide resource management and data archiving. Cath lab- and ultrasound-dedicated modules for this product also are available.

Cedara Software (Booth 1316) is demonstrating software solutions for cardiac imaging applications, including: Advanced segmentation technology; registration technology; a new server-side rendering engine, Cedara ISG, for sending 2D and 3D compressed images over the web.

Emageon (Booth 8508) is showcasing HeartSuite Vericis Version 6, with features for: enterprise content management; next-generation clinical reporting; 4D echo visualization and analysis; CT angiography; advanced nuclear medicine module; electronic report distribution; ECG management; and HeartSuite pediatric reporting for echocardiography.

Fujifilm Medical Systems USA (Booth 1129), with the acquisition of ProSolv CardioVascular earlier this year, is demonstrating ProSolv CardioVascular’s cardiovascular image and information system (CVIIS) for any modality, including cath. They also are highlighting integrated Corridor4DM (previously known as 4DM-SPECT) capabilities.

 Cardiac image acquired using GE’s LightSpeed VCT XT 64-slice CT system

GE Healthcare (Booth 1729) is featuring SnapShot Pulse for the LightSpeed VCT XT 64-slice CT system and displaying the Innova 4100IQ flat-panel digital detector for vascular and interventional imaging. GE also is featuring VolumeShuttle for wide coverage for both dynamic angiography and perfusion in a single CT scan to enable whole organ anatomical and physiological assessment. The Innova 4100IQ flat-panel digital detector delivers 40 percent more field of view for vascular and interventional imaging than conventional 15.5-inch round intensifiers.

McKesson (Booth 2542) is showcasing its Horizon Cardiology 11.1 CVIS which supports hemodynamic monitoring, cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, vascular, nuclear reporting and CPACS on a single platform. It also supports reconstruction of CT angiography and ventricular function.

Medis Medical Imaging Systems (Booth 7032) is introducing new quantification software—QPlaque MR, which enables cardiologists and radiologists to measure thickness, area and volume of diseased cardiac vessel walls and plaque components.

Merge Healthcare (Booth 1122) is demonstrating ts MergeBox Video, a streaming video acquisition device that enables capture from multiple sources of patient data and images, and is fully integrated into the RIS/PACS workflow. MergeBox provides an efficient way to capture legacy data, as well as integrate specialized imaging into an existing RIS/PACS solution.

Philips Medical Systems (Booth 4129) is featuring the Xper Information Management Vascular Monitoring 5 and the Xcelera system for cardiovascular care. The company also is showcasing its Brilliance 64-slice CT scanner.

The Xper Information Management Vascular Monitoring 5 presents intuitive electronic charting, procedural monitoring, and report generation. The Xcelera cardiology information and image system streamlines clinical workflow. It integrates with third-party information systems, and offers scalable solutions to address various configuration requirements, Philips Informatics legacy systems.

New CT enhancements to the Brilliance system include—tube, detector and reconstruction.

Rendoscopy (Booth 4787) is demonstrating the features and capabilities of its new angiography application. The application provides automated segmentation of the entire vessel tree.

ScImage (Booth 2551) is highlighting cardiovascular capabilities of its PicomEnterprise image management application. The product delivers automatic multi-modality image and waveform presentation, measurement tools for echocardiography, single-click stress echo viewing protocols, and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) profiles for cardiac cath and echocardiography workflow.

ScImage also delivers a customizable reporting and workflow documentation application called PicomDOC. The module incorporates the DICOM Structured Reporting (SR) standard, but also uses rich-text formatting and macros to quickly and efficiently complete a variety of reports.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth 7713) is spotlighting its Soarian Cardiology cardiovascular informatics system, syngo Dynamics version 6, a new cardiology image management and reporting solution, and a work-in-progress syngo PE Detection tool. Cardiology combines an extensive cardiology clinical repository, workflow management technology, and documentation and reporting tools.

The work-in-progress syngo PE Detection application is a second-reader tool for the detection of segmental and sub-segmental filling defects in CT angiography studies of the thorax.

Siemens is spotlighting its X-class and P-class ultrasound systems, including the new Acuson X300 all-purpose ultrasound scanner that is capable of performing vascular age assessments using the syngo Arterial Health Package (AHP) for cardiovascular risk assessment. The Acuson X150 ultrasound system is compact and portable and features 3-Scape real-time 3D imaging for the construction of real-time 3D images during free-hand acquisition.

TeraRecon (Booth 7762) is showcasing its iNtuition edition of the Aquarius product suite which includes: support for dual-energy CT scanning; automatic anatomy identification and labeling; CT /PET fusion with automatic registration; fusion for blood pooling MRI contrast agents; parametric mapping for time-dependent MRI (such as breast studies); CT-CT angiography registration and subtraction for CT-dual subtraction angiography: and full cardiovascular clinical workup capabilities on a thin client.  

Thinking Systems (Booth 4583) is demonstrating its recently for ThinkingPACS. The new features include template-driven, structured reporting for nuclear cardiology and echocardiography.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth 7130) is displaying its biplane Invinix VF-i/BP x-ray system and introducing low-contrast imaging features as a work in progress for its Infinix line. The Infinix VF-i/BP system combines a versatile, multi-axis floor-mounted positioner that allows head-to-toe and fingertip-to-fingertip coverage and a ceiling-suspended omega C-arm featuring variable isocenter. High-resolution imaging is achieved with two flat-panel detectors.

Toshiba is introducing its low-contrast imaging feature as a work in progress for all Infinix products. This new capability allows for soft-tissue imaging in the angiography suite and will be available to customers in December. 

In cardiac CT, Toshiba is demonstrating the Aquilion CT line that delivers a 0.5mm isotropic slice thickness capability for 64-slice scanning.  

Viatronix (Booth 3303) is introducing the V3D-Cardiac module that the company hopes to release for sale by the end of 2007, pending FDA approval. The module has been developed around the needs of physicians, and contains a number of automated tools to provide optimized cardiovascular workflow and time-efficient analysis.

Visage Imaging (Booth 2591) is highlighting a new release of Visage Cardiac Analysis, a CT cardiac application based on thin-client technology.
The upcoming version will include calcium scoring, myocardial segmentation, wall thickening comp-utation, and improved reporting and efficient manual editing. The integrated cardiac analysis application is not bound to a specialized workstation and is delivered to a desktop via Visage thin-client technology.

 Cardiac image acquired using Vital Images Vitrea 4.0

Vital Images (Booths 6520 and 8301) is featuring cardiovascular enhancements and tools available on the recently released Vitrea 4.0 and VitalConnect 4.1 products and debuting Vital EP, an electrophysiology planning tool. The Vitrea 4.0 and VitalConnect 4.1 releases include cardiovascular application enhancements as well as improved web-based cardiovascular analysis and distribution capabilities.

Zonare Medical Systems (Booth 5305) is showcasing its new ultra system convertible ultrasound platform, featuring advanced software and hardware and transducer technology, including a work-in-progress basic cardiac package. Using the P4-1c transducer, the package includes 2D imaging with two harmonic and four fundamental frequencies. It also has M-Mode with a basic calculation package and 2D measurements for evaluating left ventricular function.