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.
Intel recently unveiled plans for a computer technology that is able to digitally recording patient vital signs, progress charts, and prescription information from remote locations. The systems are able to wirelessly transmit information to pharmacists, record-keeping databases, and physicians as needed. These clinical assistant devices will be introduced to the market next year by Texas-based Motion Computing. The devices will be RFID-capable and will be able to track to patients within a healthcare facility, and barcode scanning techniques will be used to route prescriptions to pharmacies.