Printers & Digitizers bridge images and caregivers

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Vendors displayed an arsenal of printing and digitizing solutions to meet the needs of any size healthcare facility. Compact designs and exceptional resolution are standard features of conventional medical imaging printers, as well as high throughput capabilities for centralized and decentralized environments. Highlights included the ability for a system to print multiple modalities, including mammography, nuclear medicine and PET/CT studies, as well as support multiple film sizes. Vendors also made a splash this year with their increased options in printing media for customers, including CDs, DVDs, larger film sizes and cost-effective paper.

Array Corp. USA highlighted upgrades to its DICOM Scan Pro Plus software for the Array 2905 laser film digitizer that now offers DICOM conformance for mammography. The software upgrade saves set-up time for multi-scanner locations by allowing the export of software configurations to multiple Array units for uniform scanning applications.

aycan Medical Systems showcased the aycan xray-print system that prints images on plain paper at near film quality and makes it possible to print images for less than 10 cents a piece. The system can be connected to almost any DICOM-capable imaging modality and workstation and can be integrated into existing or new networks.  

Codonics used RSNA to introduce two works-in-progress, Horizon XL dry long film and the Virtua integrated disc recorder.

The Horizon XL is a new digital, dry long film that is available in two sizes: 14-by-36 inch and 14-by-51 inch, for use with the company's Horizon multi-media dry imager. The film is suited for spine and scoliosis use, long bone hip-to-ankle studies, as well as pediatric and adult spines. It is expected to be available in March 2006.

Another works-in-progress is Virtua - an integrated disc recorder for recording and labeling CD and DVD media with radiographic studies. Availability is slated for April 2006.   

Fujifilm Medical Systems unveiled the DryPix 2000, a works-in-progress dry thermal tabletop imager that offers multiple film-size printing capability. It will have the capability to print 8-by-10 inch, 10-by-14 inch and 14-by-17 inch films while offering a throughput from 60 to 75 films per hour for the 10-by-14 inch size. It will be configured with one or two film drawers. A new film, DI-HT, is in development for the DryPix 2000. Both products are expected to be available in mid-2006.

iCAD debuted its new PureLook mammography film digitizer designed for the iCAD TotaLook and SecondLook product lines.

PureLook achieves an optical density range from 0 to 4.4 capturing the optimal ranges of grayscale from the darkest mammography film background to the lightest calcification.

Kodak's Health Group highlighted the newest version of the DryView 8900 laser imager that features 25 percent faster time to first print, is six inches smaller, supports five film sizes and produces every image at 650 dpi resolution.

Kodak also demonstrated its new Medical Image Central Software that enables images to be dragged and dropped into user-designed templates.  

Konica Minolta Medical Imaging introduced the DryPro 793 dry laser imager - designed for mammography applications - that delivers up to 4.0Dmax and 25 micron resolution. The compact printer also is suited for multiple modalities in CT and MRI departments.

Sony Electronics featured the new digital UP-D897 and analog UP-897MD monochrome ultrasound printers that offer high-resolution output in two seconds. The UP-D897 model has a USB 2.0 high-speed interface to connect easily to a digital ultrasound system.

The works-in-progress UP-970AD and UP-990AD models are designed for mobile C-arm, ultrasound, cardiac cath and other medical cart applications.

Sony also highlighted the UP-D72XR compact, high-speed monochrome digital imager for use with mobile C-arms and ultrasound systems - and the UP-D77MC color dye-sublimation DICOM-compatible imager for nuclear medicine applications, PET/CT and 3D CT.