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, 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. The system's dedicated keypad and roaming/panning function gives full spatial resolution and allows users to switch between eight-view mammographic studies in less than one second. MammoReportPlus also is designed to meet future imaging needs and is prepared for digital computer-aided (CAD) applications.

GE Healthcare (Booth #2700) is featuring the Senographe DS. This advanced 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. Signa is powered by Excite, which uses advanced imaging software to enable a non-invasive imaging procedure of both breasts simultaneously in a single patient visit.

Other tools in GE's breast imaging arsenal include the Discovery ST PET-CT scanner for precise localization and Breastcare Essentials, a complete imaging and information management solution to help healthcare professionals detect breast cancer earlier and treat it more effectively.

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