Industry Roundup: Agfa, GE, Hitachi, IMV, Medima

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Hitachi has announced its Ascent 5.0 software upgrade program for its Altaire and AIRIS II customers. Ascent is the operating system software for Altaire, AIRIS II, and AIRIS Elite Open MR systems. Ascent 5.0 provides many features for both Altaire and AIRIS II, including sequence enhancements such as Shared Echo FSE for simultaneous collection of high-quality PD and T2-weighted images, and Gated IR/FIR, which enables free breathing abdominal T1-weighted imaging. Altaire and AIRIS II users equipped with DWI can also make use of One-Button Acquisition DWI, which initiates all scans necessary for DWI and ADC images with one interaction. The addition of FatSep FSE will allow AIRIS II users equipped with Hitachi’s FatSep sequence to expand its application to T2-weighted imaging, combining the throughput advantage of FSE with fat/water separation. Additional options for Altaire users include CardioSuite, a cardiac imaging package, as well as RAPID parallel imaging software and receiver coils. Ascent 5.0 also offers all platforms the Workflow Plus optional package, a suite of interoperability features enabling conformance with IHE’s Scheduled Workflow integration profile.

Agfa HealthCare announced that Pinnacle Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Specialists has purchased and will be installing the company’s IMPAX for Orthopaedics at its eight offices in the Atlanta, Ga., area. Pinnacle will also install three of Agfa’s CR 25.0 digitizers and software for full-leg, full-spine imaging creating a complete digital working environment, from image acquisition to storage and distribution of pre- and post-surgical planning data.

IMV Limited’s 2006 ServiceTrak survey has named the GE Healthcare unit of GE as top-ranked in 13 performance categories for Radiology/OB Ultrasound Service -- including resolving problems, remote-service diagnostic efficiency, and overall service performance relative to charge.

Medima Solutions has signed a distribution agreement with the Syrian company MedTrade Middle East. MedTrade will distribute Medima Solutions’ PacsPrinter virtual printer for their PACS systems and the documents scanning system PacsScanner in the Middle East market.