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From new color 3D monitors to remote calibration software technology, vendors are gearing up their product lines to provide hospitals and imaging centers the best devices possible for soft-copy interpretation. The show floor was abundant with slimmed-down monitors, making it apparent that the industry is ready to adopt flat-panel liquid crystal displays (LCDs) as the new monitor of choice.

Siemens A &D Display Technologies unveiled Extreme 3D Display (X3D) created as a cooperative effort with 3D-developer X3D Technologies of New York City. The 18-inch medical-grade display offers users a number of advantages, including the ability to plan interventions with 3D models in real X3D visualization. Three-dimensional imaging apply for nearly all types of medical imaging, including angiography, CT, MRI and ultrasound.

Ampronix Inc. highlighted a desktop 3D LCD display at RSNA 2003. The display - produced by SeeReal Technologies GmbH and marketed and distributed by Ampronix - offers high-resolution images without the use of polarization or glasses of any sort.
SeeReal presented its current 18.1-inch display generation last year, with its intelligent tracking system designed to offer the user freedom of movement in front of the display without restricting the 3D impression. Cameras constantly check the position of the viewer's eyes and adjust the 3D visualization accordingly. SeeReal also presented a new 20-inch display in November 2003; the prototype provides a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels - up to five times higher than that of conventional displays.

Eizo Nanao Technologies used RSNA to springboard three new products added to its RadiForce series. R22, Eizo's 2MP color LCD monitor, is intended for CT, MRI and PET applications. Features include DICOM image modes with both clear base and blue base settings and a factory adjusted gamma curve. The monitors can be used with a choice of graphic boards and the company says it will soon have a calibration kit available for the color monitors (spring 2004).

The company also highlighted its much-anticipated RadiForce 5MP G51 and 3MP G31. Both models are equipped with an 11.5-bit Look-Up Table for a palette of 3,061 grayscale tones from which 1,024 can be displayed simultaneously. At the time of the launching, Eizo announced that it will be offering Matrox Graphic Inc.'s MED series of graphics boards alongside the VREngine series it has been supplying since 2003 for bundling with RadiForce monitors.

In its first showing to the world, Data Ray Corp. unveiled ADCal 11, a 3MP monochrome LCD with more than 7,000 shades of gray and self-calibrating techniques called auto display calibration. The flat panel is designed to detect 7,141 (12.8 bit) gray shades for static image mode and 1,786 (10.8 bit) for cinema mode. The company also exhibited its comprehensive line of Precision LCDs, which include 1, 2 and 5MP flat panel self-calibrating monitors.

Barco also brought color to its Coronis family, in the sense that the company will now offer a 2MP 20.1-inch color LCD that is compatible with 2D and 3D applications for softcopy environments. The display is appropriate for a variety of medical applications, including PACS, ultrasound, orthopedic imaging, cardiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, nuclear medicine and PET.

Barco's color 2MP LCD also can display grayscale images, comes equipped with the company's built-in color I-Guard technology and is compatible with MediCal Administrator software for remote calibration.

Barco also showcased its DICOM-compliant projection system called DICOM Theater. Released at last year's RSNA and gaining momentum, the system bundles a high brightness medical grade projector, flat-panel display, dedicated BarcoMed greyscale imaging board and management software for large screen consulting, reviewing and training applications. If a dark environment is unavailable, Barco also offers a DICOM Theatre rear projection system for ambient settings.

NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display showcased its future line of medical-grade LCDs, pegged for shipment by summer 2004. The release will include the company's new NEC MultiSync MD monitor line of a 21.3-inch color 2MP display and a 21.3-inch grayscale 3MP display.

The new flat-panel monitors for medical imaging will feature built-in backlight technology and calibration techniques, multiple lookup tables and GammaComp, a 10-bit gamma correction process built into the firmware of the monitor.

Image Systems