Breast Imaging: Images and business made better

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Integration is the name of the game for breast imaging vendors. Look for mammography PACS solutions and products to ease the transition from analog to digital. A number of vendors will provide a sneak peek of the future of breast imaging and highlight advances in tomosynthesis as well as new platforms to facilitate advanced breast imaging. Breast imaging centers and mammography providers also will find new software to streamline the business of mammography.

Hologic Inc. (Booth #7713) is showcasing the SecurView DX, a dedicated multimodality workstation for display and interpretation of any screening or diagnostic digital mammogram, as well as other images including MRI, CT, PET and ultrasound. It also supports CAD. SecurView is intended to serve as a complete system with bi-directional communication capabilities for the radiologist, technologist and peripheral users. The HIS-RIS integrated technologist workstation enables techs to review prior images, route images and receive electronic directions from the radiologist to further enhance digital efficiencies.

Other highlights from Hologic include the launch of iCAD's SecondLook CAD on its Selenia softcopy workstation and new features on its osteoporosis assessment system including QDR Mobility mobile reporting tools to enable physicians to receive BMD studies and generate reports using a wireless network. Hologic also is providing an overview of its progress on direct capture breast tomosynthesis. The company expects to integrate results from tomosynthesis clinical trials into its product development path in the next six to nine months with commercial release anticipated in 2006.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #2729) is highlighting the Mammomat Novation full-field digital mammography system at its first RSNA meeting, having received its pre-market approval application (PMA) in August. The Mammomat Novation provides digital screening, diagnosis and stereotactic biopsy capabilities in one system. It features a flat-panel detector based on amorphous selenium (aSe) detector technology enabling a direct conversion of x-rays to digital information. The aSe detector technology has the potential to provide higher spatial resolution and greater clinical detail, according to Siemens. At 25 by 29 centimeters, the image detector size of the Mammomat Novation also enables imaging of a larger range of patient sizes, and the system features a new paddle designed for easier and more comfortable patient positioning.

The product also features the MammoReportPlus dedicated workstation for mammography, which provides high-volume mammogram reading and optimized workflow.

GE Healthcare (Booth #2700) is featuring the Senographe DS. This digital breast imaging system allows a woman to go through her screening mammogram, diagnostic work-ups, and biopsy (if needed) on the same system. The system has a patient-centric design and intuitive controls that allow the technologist to focus on the patient and makes the mammography exam an easier and more comfortable experience, according to GE. The company is demonstrating how the Senographe DS can serve as the platform for many advanced applications currently in development such as tomosynthesis (3D breast imaging), imaging fusion of FFDM and ultrasound and contrast media mammography.

GE also is showcasing its LOGIQ 9 ultrasound for breast imaging as well as other breast imaging tools, including Vibrant (Volume Imaging Breast Assessment) on its Signa 1.5 tesla MR system.

Another tool in GE's breast imaging arsenal is the Discovery ST PET-CT scanner for precise localization and Breastcare Essentials, a complete imaging and information management solution.

Philips Medical Systems (Booth #7113) is displaying a new digital mammography system it acquired the rights to from Fischer Imaging Corp. last month. Philips and Fischer inked a three-year, global agreement under which Philips will sell, service and support a specialized version of Fischer's digital mammography system integrated with Philips' UNIQUE image processing and user interface.

R2 Technology, Inc. (Booth #8532) is debuting new DigitalNow software, an archiving enabler designed to help prepare for the transition from film-based to digital mammography.  DigitalNow facilitates the transition to softcopy reading and improves the digital reading environment and workflow by eliminating the need for lightboxes next to high-resolution monitors. It features universal compatibility with