Printers know when only hardcopy will do

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Despite widespread implementation of digital imaging of late, film will not be eliminated any time soon. The industry's reliance on film and hardcopy output continues and companies at RSNA are debuting and showcasing a variety of printer designs that meet centralized and de-centralized printing regiments - with a common focus on compact footprint and exquisite resolution with fast throughput.

Codonics (Booth #3538) is introducing a works in progress digital, dry long film capabilities for its Horizon Multi-media dry imager. The long film will provide specialized orthopedics with digital film needed for long bone and scoliosis studies, the company says. Available in two sizes, 14-by-36 inches and 14-by-51 inches, the dry long film is suited for spine and scoliosis, long bone hip-to-ankle studies as well as pediatric and adult spines.

Fujifilm Medical Systems (Booth #7157) is introducing a new imager to its comprehensive line of DryPix imagers. The company also is showcasing the DryPix 4000, introduced last year, that features a compact design making it ideal for all mid-range imaging environments.

Kodak's Health Group (Booth #4312) is showing a faster and smaller version of its flagship DryView 8900 laser imaging system. The newest version of the DryView 8900 laser imager features 25 percent faster time to first print and 20 percent faster throughput. The imager can now output up to 225   8-by-10 inch films per hour and up to 195 14-by-17 inch films per hour.

Kodak also is demonstrating its new Medical Image Central Software works-in-progress technology, which will equip users to more efficiently assemble images into a desired format for display and printing. The software enables images to be "dragged and dropped" into user-designed templates. The image files can be printed on film or paper, stored on CD/DVD and/or displayed on a monitor. The new software enables printing to DICOM printers from all vendors and Windows-based paper printers.

Konica Minolta Medical Imaging (Booth #3545) is showing its new DryPro 793 dry laser imager designed for mammography applications. While the printer delivers up to 4.0 Dmax and 25 micron resolution, which is ideal for breast imaging, the printer also is a suitable unit for multiple modalities in CR, CT and MRI departments. The compact imager measures slightly over 2 feet by 2 feet in length and width and just under five feet in height.

Additional features of the DryPro 793 are film capacity of 120 films per hour, 90-second delivery of the first film, 43.75 µm or 25 µm pixel sizes, an intuitive color touch-screen user interface with web access, three film-drawer capacity, optional six-bin sorter, up to 16 input DICOM ports, and 8-by-10-inch or 10-by-12-inch film size capacity for mammography.

Sony Electronics (Booth #5129) is debuting new compact, ultrasound system-compatible printers, a new photo-realistic color printer that supports PET-CT and 3D CT imaging and showing the Sony FilmStation diagnostic quality dry film imager.

The digital UP-D897 and analog UP-897MD monochrome ultrasound system-compatible printers deliver crisp 325-dpi A6 output in about two seconds. Both printers feature a lightweight design and user-friendly controls. The UP-D897 model has a USB 2.0 high-speed interface to connect to a digital ultrasound system.

Shown as works-in-progress in A4 monochrome printers are the UP-970AD and UP-990AD models, which are designed for mobile C-arm, ultrasound, cardiac cath and related medical-cart applications. The UP-990AD model prints on both blue film and thermal paper, while the UP-970AD printer supports paper only.

The UP-D72XR is another compact, high-speed monochrome digital imager for use with mobile C-arms, ultrasound and cardiac cath images.  The device supports both USB digital and parallel interfaces.

In addition, Sony is highlighting the UP-D77MD color dye-sublimation DICOM imager, with crisp 300-dpi letter size output that is suited for nuclear medicine applications, PET-CT and 3D CT. The imager can fine-tune color output to match a display without altering grayscale values.

Sony also is showing its flagship FilmStation diagnostic quality 14-by-17-inch dry film imager.