SCAR/SIIM 2006 Vendor Wrap-up

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AFC IndustriesAcuo TechnologiesAgfaAMICASAmirsysAspyraAycanBarcoBRIT SystemsCalgary ScientificCandelisCanon U.S.A.CernerCoActivCodonicsCommissureCompressusDatCard SystemsDouble Black ImagingDR SystemsDynamic ImagingEMCEastman Kodak Health GroupEizo NanaoEmageonEmdeoneRadETIAMFujifilm Medical Systems USAGE HealthcareIBMi3ArchiveImaging DynamicsInfinitt North AmericaInSiteOneInteleradKonica-MinoltaMcKessonMatrox GraphicsMedicalisMercury Computer SystemsMerge HealthcareMisys HealthcareNECNetAppNeurostar SolutionsNovaRadODS MedicalOrthoViewPACSGEARPlanarPhilips Medical SystemsPlasmonQuest InternationalRADinfo SystemsR2 TechnologyRIS ConceptsRichardson Electronics’ Display Systems GroupRiverain MedicalScImageSectraSencorSiemens Display TechnologiesSiemens Medical SolutionsSornaSwearingen SoftwareTDKTeraReconThinData SystemsU.S. ElectronicsVIDARVital ImagesVocadaXIMISXtria


AFC Industries Inc. last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, showcased the Ergo Tier Deluxe, a new addition to its MaxFlex of customizable workstations for radiology reading.
   
The Ergo Tier Deluxe is a single-tier table with a tilting work surface and electronically adjustable monitor arms. AFC said the work surface and display height can be adjusted (forward, backward and tilt positions) to a user’s desired reading level at the touch of a button.
   
The workstation comes with a range of accessories, including: cable management, dimmer controlled task lighting, adjustable phone and dictation and equipment supports. Other useful features include a CPU/UPS platform, sturdy footrest to ease back strain, a stable cup holder and locking casters to facilitate easy movement, AFC said.



Acuo Technologies demonstrated at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) 2006 annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week its DICOM Services Grid software products that manage medical image storage and retrieval and integrate them with existing technology platforms.

“Explosive growth – both in terms of volume and data-size – of next-generation medical images has created an extremely challenging environment for all healthcare industry stakeholders,” said CEO Gary Haycox. “Because the scale of imaging is expanding so rapidly, many imaging centers and enterprise healthcare organizations are encountering formidable barriers in managing their imaging assets.”

Acuo believes that as more medical data moves online, healthcare IT professionals need to integrate existing data, reconcile and synchronize data among various systems and allow for safe and secure retrieval at the point of clinical need. Technology from Acuo allows the storage of all medical imaging objects and related information in a DICOM-friendly and supports IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) integration profiles to promote optimal patient care.

Acuo Technologies’ systems demonstrated at SCAR included:
  • AcuoMed Image Manager – a peer-aware image management, including routing, reconciliation, data migration and HIS/RIS integration;  
  • AcuoStore Digital Asset Manager – a storage virtualization system enabling storage to any media, SAN, NAS, DAN, and even CAS (Content Addressed Storage);   
  • Acuo DICOM Assisted Migration Tool (ADAM) – native and automatic data migration is available as software or a turnkey system allowing the migration of data from one repository to another;
  • Acuo DICOM Content Router – a content-aware DICOM router capable of routing by any DICOM tag, standard or private, highly scalable and easily configurable;
  • Acuo Reconciliation Gateway – is able to bring DICOM Modality worklist to non-connected modalities assuring that meta-data is cleaned prior to checking into the storage repository or PACS;
  • Acuo RIS/PACS Synchronizer – designed to enhancing Acuo's RIS/PACS synchronization, ARPS brings native support for HL7 and XML, as well as conversion of HL7->DICOM SR; and
  • Acuo IHE Audit: Acuo fully supports DICOM Supplement 95 for Audit Trail Messages within a DICOM framework


Agfa HealthCare announced two new flexible financing programs last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas. IMPAX OnLine and Pinnacle are designed to assist customers that require financial flexibility for system upgrades, new products, digital transitions and more. The company also shared the CR 30X computed radiography system, a work in progress.

IMPAX OnLine is an acquisition plan that transfers the financial responsibility of PACS ownership from a healthcare facility to Agfa through a pay-per-exam subscription service. Agfa HealthCare assumes responsibility for all server and storage hardware and guarantees the PACS configuration. All images are stored for the life of the contract on spinning disc for rapid access with an additional copy off-site for disaster recovery.
   
Pinnacle updates a healthcare facility's current PACS technology, frees up capital dollars and creates a predictable operational model to refresh existing hardware and software, the company said. Under this program, Agfa buys back an existing PACS and uses the transaction to maximize a facility's needs-including the use of IMPAX 6.0, Agfa’s web-deployable application for image-based planning, interpretation and results distribution.
   
The new programs complement Agfa’s Four-Point Guarantee, which enables healthcare facilities to fully enter the digital world with little financial risk by eliminating prohibitive costs, resolving IT issues, and working closely with users. Agfa HealthCare eases the transition from an analog to a digital imaging environment by guaranteeing the reduction of quantifiable analog imaging supply costs. The four points of the guarantee include operational, clinical, technical and financial commitments. "SCAR has evolved to embrace all aspects of mainstream radiology, which gives us the opportunity to speak with many radiology departments of all sizes so that we can help them afford the technology they need to provide the best patient care possible," said Lenny Reznik, director of enterprise imaging and information, Agfa HealthCare, Americas.
   
Agfa’s new CR 30X is a smaller CR system deigned for lower volume or decentralized applications. It should be released in the second quarter, Agfa said.



AMICAS, Inc. highlighted its just-completed acquisition of exclusive licensing and worldwide distribution rights to RadStream last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
   
RadStream is a next-generation software product designed to accelerate radiology workflow, significantly improve radiologist soft-copy reading productivity and both improve and fully document communication of positive results of radiology studies. The software was designed and developed by the Radiology Informatics Research Core at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in collaboration with researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Business.
   
Cincinnati Children’s, an early adopter of PACS, has been filmless for more than five years with integrated RIS/PACS across 18 facilities where clinical services are offered. Additionally, they are fully deployed with integrated voice recognition (VR) software and complete self-edit workflow for radiologists. “We built RadStream to improve our existing filmless radiology system,” said Mark Halsted, MD, associate professor of radiology and chief of the Radiology Informatics Research Core at Cincinnati Children’s. “The PACS, RIS and VR systems provided a good foundation to our operation, but we saw a way to significantly improve the overall imaging workflow and communication to referring physicians. The fundamental improvements we made to our workflow could be used to improve the delivery of radiology as a complement to any PACS system.”

The system has improved radiology report turnaround by 40 percent, with the department's average for outpatient results down to 36 minutes, and radiologists staffing outpatient imaging centers have increased their productivity by 25 percent. AMICAS President Peter McLennen cited relatively high dissatisfaction with PACS among radiologists as a rationale for RadStream. “PACS needs to re-focus on radiology. RadStream interjects control into the process,” noted McLennen.
   
RadStream’s modular design improves workflow efficiency and serves as a radiology results communication and documentation tool. The technology is designed to decrease radiologist interruptions and improve report turnaround time while increasing referring physician satisfaction. “It is often difficult and time-consuming for radiologists to reach ordering physicians with important results, but good communication is critical to providing high-quality patient care. The system streamlines communication between radiologists and referring physicians so radiologists can concentrate on interpreting cases accurately and efficiently. RadStream brokers communication of critical results to referring physicians without breaking radiologists’ workflow” said Halsted. Cincinnati Children’s saw overall departmental productivity increase as though two additional FTE radiologists were added. In addition, the system provides referring physicians with consistent, final results quickly communicated to them every time they request a call report.
   
RadStream is planned to be commercially available by AMICAS in the second half of 2006. It will be offered as a stand-alone product utilizing AMICAS integration capabilities and AMICAS Insight Services in cooperation with Cincinnati Children’s team for deployment to any vendor’s PACS. Thereafter, it will be completely embedded into Vision Series PACS for a fully integrated RadStream/AMICAS offering.
   
See related story: Amicas acquires exclusive rights to RadStream workflow optimization tool; http://www.healthimaging.com/content/view/4274/146/



Amirsys used the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, to demonstrate its STATdx as an integrated clinical decision support tool with Sectra’s IDS5 PACS workstation.  

According to Amirsys, the integration enables PACS users to automatically obtain point-of-care, diagnostic clinical decision support information while at the PACS workstation, increasing the speed, accuracy and diagnostic confidence in complex cases.

In addition, Amirsys said that this fall, the company will release a companion normal anatomy module to STATdx to assist radiologists and surgeons with a detailed understanding of very complex anatomic areas. STATdx-anatomy will be loaded with thousands of labeled and captioned normal images along with hundreds of correlative color illustrations to complement the radiologic images being viewed in STATdx. Because STATdx-anatomy is integrated with PACS, the study being viewed can launch the display of a related normal image series, color illustrations, and concise, descriptive text to provide the radiologist with a better understanding of the anatomic area physicians may be less familiar with, Amirsys said.



Aspyra demonstrated its AccessRAD, an integrated RIS/PACS, at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas last week.
   
AccessRAD is designed for acute-care hospitals, enterprise-wide delivery networks, and large imaging enterprises as an “end-to-end” system that is able to automate processes at each point of radiology workflow.



Aycan demonstrated at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week, its x-ray-print system which combines the company’s software with Xerox Workgroup laser printers. The system is designed for use by physicians who prefer to have a tangible copy of a study in their hands. The aycan x-ray-print prints medical images on plain paper at near film quality and prints images for 5 cents a pop, whereas a film print at the same dimensions (14x17) would likely cost about $2. X-ray print also allows users to quickly share very high-quality images; can reduce film costs by up to 90 percent; and improve communications with referral physicians and patients.

The aycan x-ray-print is able to integrate with hospital networks using DICOM 3.0, the industry standard for medical image communication, fitting seamlessly into both traditional and electronic workflows.

Features of the system include Presentation Look-Up Tables (PLUT) which allows you to set defaults and adjust image quality output settings (brightness, grayscale and contract, etc.) for each modality.



Barco announced last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, that it is now offering 3D image viewing enterprise-wide after receiving FDA clearance.
   
The new Voxar 3D ENTERPRISE accelerates the speed at which technologists, radiologists and physicians can load, review, report and communicate large volumetric image studies throughout the enterprise. The system combines high-performance graphic cards with powerful off-the-shelf client-server technology – and it offers rapid access to Voxar 3D’s advanced visualization tools inside and outside the radiology reading room. This means 3D is available on both radiology workstations and standard PCs – for which 3D views are created at the server and streamed to the remote computer for review.
   
Voxar 3D ENTERPRISE can be integrated directly to an existing PACS, providing one-click integration with advanced visualization tools. It also can be integrated into the radiology workflow without PACS.
   
At the show, Barco also highlighted its Coronis suite of black-and-white 2MP and 3MP grayscale and color displays with Uniform Luminance Technology, the Coronis Color 3MP Diagnostic Luminance, NIO Fusion 4MP for viewing multiple PACS images at the same time or for working with large CT data sets throughout the hospital and CardiaMetrix, an integrated suite of cardiac analysis applications for CT angiography.



BRIT Systems at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, featured a new Server Dashboard tool that displays a variety of information relating to PACS data storage. The software is a resource for tracking data, archive, and cache capacity, and also provides users with up-to-the moment information regarding CPU load, network rates, as well as a breakdown of the number of patients in the system along with stories held in the system. BRIT developed this as a way to monitor the speed at which storage is being used up, which can be a sort of abstract. This tool – which literally looks like a car dashboard – offers a clear visual representation of the data contained in a system.

Another system highlighted at the show is the new Discordance Tool, which represents a joint development between the Roentgen RIS and The Radiology Workbench for Linux. Through the tool, ER physicians are able to communicate with radiologists regarding what reading they've made, and for the radiologists to mark any discordance. This information can then be communicated back to the ER area so that statistics can be generated to track how often there are disagreements.

The company also discussed Roentgen RIS, a web-based transcription product for radiology reports. Integrated into the database, this module provides the tools for radiologists to record a report, store the recording in the database, pull the recording to a transcriptionist's workstation where it can be transcribed and place it back in the server for the radiologist's sign-off. 

Additionally, BRIT previewed a works-in-progress mammography module for The Radiology Workbench for Linux. This new module will provide mammography specific reading tools, including support for the CAD overlays, over-reading tools with statistics, special hot-keys and icons and animated hanging protocols.  


There’s a new entrant in the 3D image software market, but we’ll have to wait until the fall to get a peek at the company’s products. Calgary Scientific, based in Calgary, Alberta, used the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) meeting in Austin, Texas, last week to introduce its executive team and mission: “3D for Every MD.”
   
“It is our belief that financial incentives and economy of scale will ensure that GPU-based technology can provide viable real-time, high-quality visualization of medical datasets on commercial, off-the-shelf desktop and laptop systems,” the company said in a release.
   
The ResolutionMD product family will feature viewing and analysis tools for CT, MR, PET and ultrasound images to the desktops of clinicians, medical practitioners and researchers. The company is claiming it will be five to 10 times faster than standard desktop products (Mac or PC), offer texture, MIP, MPR and full color modes and dynamic window and level settings through interactive histogram. It doesn’t require dual processors.
   
A full product launch is expected at the Radiological Society of North America meeting in November. The company’s website is: www.calscimed.com.
    


Candelis Inc. last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, showcased software version 1.2 for ImageGrid that features new user management features and an improved user interface.

ImageGrid is a line of fully-integrated, DICOM server appliances that speed digital image access and routing, as well as provides highly-reliable storage and archive capabilities. The storage technology is designed specifically for medical imaging applications.

Software upgrades within the new version of ImageGrid include extended tape archiving service, storage retention, DICOM transfer services, multiple user support, and an improved graphical user interface. The tape archiving service provides considerable storage extension by integrating information lifecycle management and disaster recovery policies. The storage retention functionality enables recovery of storage space by automatically deleting redundant studies and those that have been migrated to a tape archive, Candelis said.

In addition, Candelis said the improved GUI features a new theme, a query/retrieve functionality based on date range, patient level representation of query/study, backward navigation in user interface, and an explicit logout mechanism.

Candelis also showcased the ImageGrid 1000 and 700 with a new software release.



Canon U.S.A. Inc. showcased the latest addition to its family of portable DR systems – the Canon CXDI-50C – at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week.

The new system, dubbed Canon CXDI-50C portable is a lightweight DR system providing high-end filmless image capture for a broad range of radiographic applications, including trauma, ICU and bedside exams. The large 14 x 17-inch imaging area and portable design – just under an inch thick and weighing only 10.6 lbs – allow the system to be especially useful with patients who have limited mobility and for capturing images at angles that are difficult to set with fixed devices.

Featuring proprietary Canon LANMIT (Large Area New-MIS Sensor and TFT) detector technology, the CXDI-50C DR delivers diagnostic images efficiently with minimal x-ray exposure to patients, making it ideal for pediatric and orthopedic use, Canon said. This new portable DR system consists of a Canon Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Flat Panel Detector and a Cesium Iodide (CsI) scintillator, allowing for extremely effective x-ray absorption and high signal-to-noise performance.

The system has network capability and is compatible with the latest standards for medical device communication. Its Ethernet 10/100 Base T connectivity and DICOM 3.0 compatibility enables seamless data transfer to any DICOM hard-copy output device, PACS or RIS for printing, archiving and remote viewing of images.



Cerner Corp. highlighted at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) 2006 annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week a CPOE-based new decision support tool called Smart Orders that is geared for radiology. The tool was created out of a new partnership with Medicalis.

Cerner also demonstrated its MultiMedia Foundation (MMF) that supports the inclusion of diagnostic images, ECG waveforms, fetal monitor strips, photographs, video images and other multimedia components into the patient's electronic health record. New features include pathology DICOM imaging through a partnership with Olympus.

The company also emphasized its push for “zero click workflow” as part of its Radiology Desktop system. As a result, processes are automated within reporting by auto-displaying essential details radiologists need.
Looking to Q2, a new tool will be introduced to Radiology Desktop that is the result of yet another partnership – this time with Nuance. No details were available at the show regarding this partnership, but keep your eyes peeled.



CoActiv Medical Business Solutions will soon release its next-generation EXAM-PACS and previewed new capabilities of the system at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) 2006 annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. The company emphasized several new features that it feels are unique and set apart the EXAM-PACS DICOM radiology viewing system, including:
∑ 3D-EXAMINER – this new software provides full function 3D color visualization and is included as part of the diagnostic workstation of EXAM-PACS. To offer this, the company partnered with 3D medical imaging company Biotronics3D based in London. Now healthcare facilities no longer have to make major investment in separate 3D software. Once the 3D processing is complete, the results are automatically saved back into the PACS for immediate distribution;
  • 3D-Localizer with Cursor Spot Indicator – allows users to see a 3D visualization of the current series superimposed in three dimensions on any image select from either a scout of from a second series. The image is movable and can be rotated, animated, zoomed, or transparent, the company said;
  • MP (Multi-Planer) Localization – Shows an exact cursor spot in 2D on all visible series on different planes in an interactive fashion that instantly follows all cursor movements;
  • Spyglass-Viewer Mode – A throwback to traditional film reading, this tool provides a circular view port at the cursor position and blanks out all other sections of all displays; and
  • Viewer Thumbnail Window – Adds to traditional thumbnail images of available series with two-digit series indicators and various new navigation tools such as drag and drop of thumbnails. Another feature is activated when a cursor is hovered over an item to reveal a small box of text that provides a complete series description.


Codonics showcased a CD/DVD publishing system to complement its Horizon Multi-media Dry Imager product line at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week.

The Codonics Virtua Medical Disc Publisher, a network-based peripheral, records and labels diagnostic studies onto CD and DVD media. Used in combination, the Horizon Multi-media Imager and Virtua provide a comprehensive image documentation system.

The scalable Virtua provides referring physicians with a digital record of their patients’ studies. Each device can stand alone, but together Horizon and Virtua provide referring physicians with the tools they need for professional patient consultation.

These multi-media products can immediately cut costs over traditional film copies and completely eliminate wet film processing needs, the company said.

Virtua integrates dual CD/DVD drives, a high-speed disc label printer, an easy-to-use touch screen monitor, and a high-performance, embedded computer into a compact design. Virtua provides a high degree of automation that makes production of IHE PDI compliant CD and DVD media fast and easy.



Commissure, Inc. last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, launched its new RadCube Suite that empowers hospital radiology departments and imaging centers with rich multidimensional data mining tools through an easy to use, highly secure and intuitive web interface.

"For years, hospital radiology departments have accumulated massive amounts of data associated with imaging and radiology, but they really had no effective way to make use of it," explains Commissure CEO Michael Mardini. RadCube Suite mines years of critical data to reveal any number of trends and tendencies within radiology departments.
   
RadCube Suite's components include: Business Productivity, Quality Assurance, Utilization Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Educational Effects, Clinical Research, Throughput, Critical Communication Management, Financial Analysis, Trending and Forecasting and Benchmarking. RadCube Suite provides instantaneous answers to such challenging questions as the productivity of critical resources including individual radiologists, technologists, modalities, PACS, RIS, billing and other reporting systems. It offers quality assurance metrics, including “positivity” and recommendation rates for each and every radiologist and modality. It also reports on trends in referring physician ordering practices. RadCube Suite can analyze examination utilization by referring physician, modality, location or indication. It can detail the effects of decision support on exam volume. It also provides benchmark analysis of a department compared to industry standards. RadCube Suite is able to evaluate the effects of education on productivity and clinical practices, as well as reveal candidates for clinical trials. The application also is quite adept at exploring disease discovery, progression and treatment. “Our goal in creating this product is to help medical facilities reduce costs and significantly improve their workflow,” says Mardini.

RadCube can tie into Commissure’s other reporting solutions or be used as an independent utility management solution, the company said.



Compressus Inc. showcased its comprehensive suite of integrated digital medical imaging and data management solutions at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. The heart of the company’s exhibit was the MEDxConnect System which enables integration of disparate data systems such as PACS, HIS/RIS, EMS and CIS tools, regardless of vendor, the company said.

The communications gaps between traditional PACS are caused by proprietary technologies used within the systems. Compressus’ has designed its MEDxConnect System to addresses this problem which the company believes often forces medical facilities to settle for a sub-par system with a single vendor just so there aren’t communication problems. Therefore, MEDxConnect acts as a communications hub, enabling various PACS, HIS, RIS and other data information systems to connect and communicate across the enterprise.

The cornerstone of the system is the ConnectServer with open-architected software that creates a virtual archive and database, enabling high-speed enterprise-wide data transfer from any acquisition device to any workstation. These DICOM diagnostic images (angiography, cardiac ultrasound, intravascular ultrasound, as well as radiological images) can all be viewed on the MEDxConnect diagnosticStation Workstation or MEDxConnect webStation, remote review solution, the company said.

Once a study is received at the ConnectServer, it is then available for prompt review by the radiologist, or for forwarding on to another specialist for a second opinion. Once stored, the images are accessible from any site in the client network and ultimately the authoritative version of the file is stored and protected on each facility’s existing data stores.

MEDxConnect users can manage their activities via a patient work list generated from multiple PACS or network systems, and route images to participating physicians based upon any combination of modality, body part, and/or referring physician. In addition, all physicians using MEDxConnect will immediately have the capability to create complete reports using the MEDxConnect voice recognition tools or existing voice transcription services and protocols used in connection with each facility’s PACS/RIS system, the company said.



DatCard Systems showcased at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week both its PacsCube and MammoSmart systems.
   
PacsCube is able to provide an automated, cost-effective alternative to laser film that operates as a DICOM CD-R/DVD-R publication device for distributing digital images to patients, referring physicians and medical institutions that request to see patient studies. To accomplish this, PacsCube embeds a “lite DICOM” viewing tool which enables users to view images on a standard PC.
   
MammoSmart places on a CD-R/DVD-R a woman’s complete mammography record in a very user-friendly manner viewable within a customizable XML-based interface. The tool also acts as an information source for women concerning mammography, the company said.



Double Black Imaging (DBI) last week announced the release of several new products at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) 2006 annual meeting in Austin, Texas, including the DICOMetrix PACS Performance Monitoring software, a 45-inch color distant view LCD, and a 3 megapixel (MP) high-bright color self-calibrating LCD which is an addition to the existing line of self-calibrating LCDs with remote administrative software, the company said.

DICOMetrix is a proactive DICOM image flow and network performance monitoring software that is designed to enable PACS administrators, directors and IT personnel to actively monitor, historically track system performance, and alert radiology and PACS support staff about system slow-downs and outages.
   
Also at the show, Double Black exhibited a 45-inch high-brightness, high-contrast color LCD suite for ORs and ERs for viewing images at a distance. This LCD monitor has full 1920 x 1080 resolution, 500 cd/m2 brightness and a contrast ratio of 800:1, and also includes a metal enclosure with dual cooling fans. Multiple inputs including Digital DVI-D, component video, composite, S-Video, VGA and RS-232 enable the LCD to operate with any system. The LCD is also resistant to image retention or burn-in effects, the company said.   

Double Black Imaging also showed a 3 MP color high-bright LCD with retractable front sensors for auto-calibration, and is an addition to the company’s current M-Series line consisting of 2 MP Color, 2 MP Monochrome, 3 MP Monochrome and 5 MP Monochrome LCDs. The Double Black Imaging  “M” series of Displays feature an electronic front sensor that emerges from the bezel then retracts when DICOM grayscale calibration is complete, eliminating any permanent protrusion into the active area of the LCD.
    
LumiCal Calibration Software is designed to work in conjunction with the DBI “M” Series. This software and hardware combination allows each display to be remotely calibrated to the DICOM grayscale display function and monitored from a central workstation, send notifications to the central workstation or administrator when the LCD requires service and allow the administrator to adjust and perform DICOM 3.14 Calibration on each LCD from the remote location.



DR Systems demonstrated at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) 2006 annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week its multidetector CT diagnostic capabilities with the latest advanced 3D imaging feature now integrated in the company's PACS workstations.

DR System's collaboration with Vital Images and BarcoView has enabled 3D imaging for the Catapult Technologist QC and Dominator Diagnostic Reading Workstations, in conjunction with Vital Images’ Vitrea and BarcoView's Voxar 5.1. Both integrations share images and demographics with PACS and automated routing of completed 3D studies. 

Details regarding the integrations include:
  • The Vital Images Vitrea integration brings advanced visualization workstation performance to DR System's PACS, including 3D functionality such as automated Vessel Probe, CT Brain Perfusion, CT Colonography, Automated Vessel Measurement and others;
  • BARCO Voxar 5.1 with VesselMetrix provides Voxar 3D customers with a clinical protocol-based workflow system for quantitative analysis of contrast-enhanced CTA and MRA studies including stenosis evaluations, stent graft planning and surveillance in Abdominal Aorta, Carotid Arteries, and Renal Arteries.


Dynamic Imaging introduced a new marketing program to enable customers to effectively market their PACS services, announced a new systems monitoring tool and demonstrated enhanced integrated capabilities for its IntegradWeb PACS last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

Dynamic Imaging debuted its new Boost marketing program that provides IntegradWeb PACS customers with a number of PACS marketing tools. At no additional cost with all new IntegradWeb PACS purchases, the company said, Boost includes 150 customized sets of marketing materials specifically targeted to increase referrals from referring physicians and their affiliated group practices.

Targeted materials include print collateral, silk-screened CDs, page prints of IntegradWeb’s best-in-class reports and key images, and response cards contained within an attractive, glossy box positioned for medical imaging, Dynamic Imaging said. Existing customers can receive the benefits of Boost, the company said, with 25 free customized sets of marketing materials. Additional sets of Boost materials may be purchased upon request.

Dynamic Imaging’s new Guardian monitoring tool enables complete remote monitoring of hardware, software, and network connectivity. Furthermore, the company said Guardian peers into the actual performance of the IntegradWeb software application, monitoring routine performance criteria such as image acquisition and compression queues to alert support teams of system performance.

Dynamic Imaging also presented extended integration with hospital and radiology information systems, including systems from MEDITECH, McKesson, Siemens, Cerner, Emdeon, Amicas and GE Healthcare’s IDX Imagecast.

In the clinical applications arena, Dynamic Imaging showcased IntegradWeb’s integration with Dictaphone PowerScribe for voice recognition, Barco Voxar 3D for embedded image visualization, OrthoTools powered by Orthocrat TraumaCad, TeraRecon AquariusNET for server-based 3D rendering, Vital Images Vitrea 2 for 3D and advanced visualization and MedImage MedView for advanced nuclear medicine applications.



At the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week EMC Corp. emphasized its recent acquisition of Captiva Software. The acquisition pairs Captiva’s expertise in input management software with EMC’s enterprise content management platform to create an end-to-end solution for the capture, storage and retrieval of digital data, said Bruce Lynn, director of global healthcare-life sciences for EMC.

Input management software provides for the conversion of paper-based information to digital formats; it has become increasingly strategic as companies electronically capture, digitize and categorize more of their information. This transforms costly and inaccessible paper records into instantly usable electronic business information, resulting in faster business processes and more accurate and timely response in regulatory compliance situations. Through this process, organizations gain a richer understanding of their information and become better equipped to classify it, create policy based workflow and automate information lifecycle management.



Eastman Kodak Co.’s Health Group last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, showcased KODAK CARESTREAM Radiology Solutions, Kodak information management solutions, KODAK DIRECTVIEW DR 3000, a software upgrade for its KODAK DIRECTVIEW CR 800 and CR 900 Series Systems and KODAK DIRECTVIEW CR Long-Length Portable Imaging System.

The new software release contains feature enhancements for KODAK CARESTREAM RIS and PACS platforms. In addition to a common look and feel, Kodak’s CARESTREAM Radiology Solutions deliver enhanced integration with third-party radiology, clinical or hospital information systems. Tighter integration between Kodak’s RIS and PACS and easier integration with third-party information systems creates a highly productive desktop and a more efficient information exchange. “Our RIS streamlines workflow by efficiently collecting and communicating information about patient exams and scheduling throughout all the steps that lead to generation of the radiology report,” said Michael W. Jackman, general manager, Healthcare Information Solutions, and vice president, Eastman Kodak Company. “The RIS also drives our fully featured PACS, which now offers capabilities that are tied to each individual user and not a specific workstation. As a result, our CARESTREAM Radiology Solutions provide much greater flexibility for our customers, while simultaneously reducing licensing costs.”  
   
New RIS features include color-coded visual indicators of patient status to address patient wait times; single-click generation of normal reports and workload indicators for single-click access to studies in different stages of completion; the ability to interrupt, and then resume, report dictation to address urgent cases without loss of work and remote diagnostic dictation and report signing through a web module that increases convenience for reading radiologists through flexibility of location.
   
New CARESTREAM PACS include user-centric architecture that supports individual preferences, such as display protocols, menus and tools, from any workstation at any location inside or outside the institution. This provides vastly improved flexibility for users who no longer need to use a specific workstation at a designated location to access tools required to perform desired tasks, and it is more cost-effective, since institutions can have floating licenses that are tied to user needs and not restricted to an individual workstation. The PACS also incorporates automated installation and software updates via the internet for a more efficient thin client environment; more interactive MPR functionality, more detailed reporting from automated vessel analysis and minimum intensity projection; calcium scoring, automated heart axis detection and rib cage removal, and coronary analysis tools and reporting and the ability to integrate 3D key images, 3D analysis reports (such as 3D vessel analysis and calcium scoring) and the radiology report into a single electronic report for distribution to clinicians and referring physicians. CARESTREAM Radiology will be available in June.
   
Kodak’s portfolio of information management solutions provide efficient, intelligent life cycle management of data, while enabling access to images and information stored in many platforms and locations across a healthcare enterprise or regional community.  KODAK CARESTREAM Information Management Solutions include KODAK CARESTREAM Enterprise Information Management (EIM), KODAK CARESTREAM Hosted Information Management (HIM) and KODAK CARESTREAM Regional Information Management (RIM). These solutions are composed of software, hardware and professional services that can include network analysis and upgrades, data migration, secure email service and other options.
   
KODAK DIRECTVIEW DR 3000 System for digital radiography boasts time-saving features and reduced space requirements. The DR 3000 system’s operator console enhances productivity while the motorized positioning arm enables the efficient capture of a variety of general radiography exams. In addition to capturing upright and table exams, the Bucky’s tilting feature facilitates angled projections. Automatic positioning for upright and table projections and the constant alignment of the x-ray tube and detector can save time for radiographic technologists and patients.

Preview images are available in less than eight seconds Kodak said. The detector also features a large 17-x-17 inch image area (43 x 43 cm) that eliminates the need for rotation. The compact system features an optional moveable table and a floor-mounted stand that does not require wall mounts or ceiling suspension provisions. This creates greater placement flexibility and reduces the cost of installation. The system’s large cesium iodide detector matrix (3121 x 3121) with 143 micron pixels, combined with Kodak’s proprietary image processing software, produces sharp, detailed images of superb quality. KODAK DIRECTVIEW DR 3000 will be available in June.
   
The KODAK DIRECTVIEW CR 800 and CR 900 Series Systems software upgrade contains enhanced security and virus intrusion prevention through use of CISCO Security Agents (CSA). This proactive technology can intercept and block both known and unknown malicious software (malware) threats. By providing a preventative shell for each device, CSA delivers added layers of protection against internal attacks or attacks that penetrate the healthcare organization’s firewall. With CSA, any attempt to modify programs or applications is prevented so the need for continuous virus definition updates is greatly reduced. Security agents can provide temporary protection until operating system patches become available and can be installed.
   
The new CR software also enhances administrative analysis and reporting of all networked CR devices and offers automatic orientation of mammography images. The software equips administrators to easily track the equipment, cassettes and radiographers associated with exam repeats and exposure variation within their department. With this detailed information, administrators can provide additional training for radiographers and order preventative maintenance or repairs to equipment and cassettes before performance degrades. The software will be available this summer.
   
KODAK DIRECTVIEW CR Long-Length Portable Imaging System is designed for use in hospital x-ray rooms, surgical suites and orthopedic clinics, and can be used for bedside portable exams. It adds supine and portable exams to the erect long-length image capabilities currently available with Kodak’s DIRECTVIEW CR platform. Kodak’s proprietary stitching software provides long-length images that are ready for diagnosis without any need for manual intervention by technologists or radiologists. The system will be available for sale this summer.



At the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week, Eizo Nanao Technologies Inc. introduced a new RadiForce 3 megapixel (MP) monochrome LCD monitor dubbed the GS310. The monitor is built for use with a number of medical applications such as PACS, chest radiology, CT, and MRI and will be commercially available this summer.
   
The GS310 includes a number of features including a digital uniformity equalizer (DUE) which controls luminance non-uniformity; CAL switch function, so that calibration modes can be selected for specific images from the front panel buttons; and ScreenManager Pro for Medical can be installed to provide auto-calibration through use of the Auto CAL Switch.
   
Two controller boards – MED3mp-PPP and the VREngineSMD5-PCI – both contain twin DV-I outputs and support portrait and landscape viewing that requires no additional software, the company said.



Emageon at last week’s Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, introduced RadSuite, a suite of integrated, enterprise productivity tools that offers enterprise body transparency, integrated 2D/3D capability, technologist quality control workflow and web administration support, PowerScribe integration, personal content manager with JPEG2000 for remote fast access, StudyNotes a customer success program. A Personal Content Manager with JPEG2000 compression allows access from home, office, or the hospital.



Emdeon featured last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, its Practice Services that offers EHR with task management, imaging, and point-of-care documentation; scheduling; billing; electronic data interchange (EDI); business intelligence; radiology workflow; and web-based PACS, which is powered by Dynamic Imaging’s IntegradWeb.



Web-enabled PACS and teleradiology provider eRAD recently announced at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) meeting in Austin, Texas, the release of its eRAD PACS version 5.2 software. The new software is now generally available for new installations and as an upgrade for existing eRAD customers, the company said.

Features of the upgraded PACS include: technical refinements such as applying embedded overlays and DICOM presentation state objects from the modality; performance enhancement for very large data sets; cine mode temporal synchronization; prior study search on all configured archives and third-party devices; and administrative access to system task queues.

eRAD said version 5.2 includes the integration of optional third-party products, such as Dictaphone’s PowerScribe speech recognition software. Imbedded speech recognition is another example of third-party product integration. When the viewer launches from a designated workstation, a Dragon Naturally Speaking plug-in module is enabled. Tools such as microphone voice level calibration and voice training are applied. Then, the radiologist’s dictated report is transcribed and displayed on the report panel, ready for approval by voice command, eRad said.

In addition, a consolidated worklist server with automatic redirection and archive retrieve optimization allows radiologists, from any location, to have access to all studies, with appropriate authorization, on the network. Automatic redirection provides a fast data pathway to the studies when invoked. Archive retrieve optimization controls the distribution of relevant prior studies, and informs the user that the study is on its way.



ETIAM used last week’s Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, to debut a new version of its Open LiteBox DICOM viewer that is an extended version of the company’s DICOM LiteBox viewer.

Several hundred CD/DVD recorders already installed throughout the world produce more than 3 million CDs per year including a DICOM LiteBox viewer, the company said. Open LiteBox is a universal viewer for DICOM images stored on all types of media, or exchanged over the image network. Easy to use and intuitive, it is appropriate to both medical imaging specialists and physicians who prescribe examinations. It runs on all existing PCs, ETIAM said.

The new release of Open LiteBox offers increased performance with the addition of a local database, background data exchanges, and faster reading of images from CDs.

Images can be displayed with presentation states resulting from the clinical image treatment of the radiologist. These objects associated with the image provide a better understanding of the examinations. In addition, a new film composer expands printing capabilities to Windows and DICOM printers, the company said.
ETIAM also showcased enhancements to its WillB IHE Data Broker. According to ETIAM, the WillB manages the conversion of HL7 information messages from hospital information systems, radiology information systems, and operating room scheduling systems into DICOM services for medical imaging modalities.

In addition to DICOM Worklist services, the WillB converts the DICOM Modality Procedure Steps (MPPS) statuses into HL7 messages for integration with HIS and applications.



Fujifilm Medical Systems USA showcased its Fuji computed radiography for mammography (FCRm) and its Focused Phosphor DR technology last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
   
FCRm currently has a pending pre-market approval application before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FCRm system is a four cassette slot CR mammography reader providing both 18 x 24 cm and 24 x 30 cm fields-of-view, as well as Fuji's patented dual-side reading technology and 50-micron pixel sampling. The FCRm system also offers the ability to perform mammography, general radiography and pediatric imaging.
   
Focused Phosphor DR technology improves image quality and will be available shortly in Velocity Table and Upright products, Fuji said. It has been proven to dramatically increase DQE (detective quantum efficiency) and image clarity. Like Fuji's entire line of digital x-ray systems, this new imaging detector is made of a storage phosphor-based material albeit in a crystalline structure that greatly improves signal to noise ratio. The columnar architecture of the phosphor produces dramatic reductions in light scatter and the thicker phosphor design provides twice the DQE. Images appear naturally clearer before any of Fuji's advanced image processing tools are even applied, the company said.



GE Healthcare last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, displayed new technologies that optimize the radiology environment specifically for the demands and challenges of large dataset navigation, its new Volume Imaging Protocol (VIP) and Centricity RIS-IC as a work in progress.

“Many of today's radiology reading rooms are not designed for long hours in front of the computer, translating into spine, shoulder, wrist and back injuries as well as vision problems,” said Steve Roehm, chief engineer for GE Healthcare Integrated IT Solutions. “These injuries could result in lost productivity and workflow. As the quantity and complexity of healthcare data continues to grow, the need for improved reading room design is increasingly clear.”

GE has worked with engineers and architects to help customers, like Baltimore VA Medical Center, design modern radiology reading rooms. “Working closely with the facility and its architects to design the room, we took many facets of workflow into consideration. From lighting to ventilation to desk and chair height, it’s all adjustable so many body types and work habits can be accommodated,” said Roehm. “Allowing users to experiment and experience a variety concepts and applications will allow us to solicit feedback for further development efforts as we continue to transform radiology reading rooms.”
   
GE Healthcare’s VIP imaging capability allows clinicians to acquire, optimize and analyze volumetric data to redefine their workflow, improving productivity and increasing diagnostic confidence. The platform enables sonographers to sweep across a target area of a patient’s anatomy and collect true, raw data. After image acquisition, the radiologist can virtually re-scan the patient in a 3D planar view by manipulating the raw data with new protocols. “Ultrasound capabilities have historically been challenged by long acquisition times, user-variability and complex workflow compared to other imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance and computed tomography imaging,” said Terri Bresenham, general manager of GE Healthcare’s Global Diagnostic Ultrasound business. The new system delivers advancements in image acquisition and automation to significantly speed patient exams and report turnaround times, while simultaneously improving consistency.
   
The VIP platform is enhanced on the LOGIQ 9 and LOGIQ 7 ultrasound systems in conjunction with the LOGIQWorks workstation, which creates volumetric and multi-dimensional images in real-time, allowing clinicians to more thoroughly visualize and assess anatomy, masses and lesions. With LOGIQ 9 and 7, clinicians can acquire and construct volumetric images enabling the scan of an entire organ, such as a kidney, within seconds. The acquisition of more complex information and the ability to manipulate and analyze data after the exam can reduce the number of re-scans and decrease patient scan time.
   
Centricity RIS-IC is the first combined GE-IDX solution. The technology weds ImageCast RIS and Centricity PACS and should be released this summer. Other summer releases from GE include PACS 3.0, which will include AW Suite for advanced applications and Centricity Business Intelligence Portal radiology dashboard.



IBM highlighted its software and hardware infrastructure to simplify the information management environment last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

IBM’s SVC (SAN volume controller) provides a virtual layer between an application and storage to make all applications available to any server, eliminating the conventional silo approach, said Scott Cleare, medical imaging sales executive. IBM’s new GMAS (grid medical archive servers) solution offers virtualization for wide area networks.



i3Archive featured at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) 2006 annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week its myNDMA Program. myNDMA is a consumer-focused product that enables breast imaging centers to provide patients an online ‘locker’ for storage, access and management of their complete breast medical history, medical records and breast health information.



Imaging Dynamics (IDC) showcased at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week its IDC Xplorer technology that provides high-quality, affordable DR systems. The Xplorer 2200 and Xplorer 1590 are IDC’s newest comprehensive systems that offer high-resolution image capture, with lower dose, in less than 6 seconds. The 2200 has a flexible, dual-detection system that comes in at a lower cost than comparable systems in the industry, IDC said.
   
Another differentiator, the company said, is its three-year warranty on detectors which puts customers on an upgrade path if the detector fails or becomes obsolete. IDC will also repair detectors.
   
Next up for the company is a digital mammography product that is currently in research and development and expected to be shown for the first time at RSNA 2007.



Infinitt North America (formerly SmartPAC) highlighted at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week its Infinitt Rad Suite, a web-based, modular solution that fuses RIS, PACS and 3D functions on a 64-bit Windows operating system.
   
Infinitt also emphasized its EIMS (Electronic Image Managing System) that uses a fee-per-study model that does not require a facility any capital investment. Interestingly, as part of the deal, a facility is given on-site personnel support on an ongoing daily basis.
   
Otherwise, the company feels that the key differentiator between its competitors is its high-level customer support and service. Also of note is that Infinitt produces all of its products in-house and performs all services itself, including HL7 integration.



InSiteOne recently announced InDex Link as a new offering to their InDex suite of premiere services. The company demonstrated the system for the first time at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week, showing how the tool helps clinicians directly share patient exams across multiple healthcare providers via any PACS DICOM platform in a secure fashion.

In instances when prior imaging exams must be sent, InDex Link bridges HIPAA- compliant systems via the DICOM exchange. Also, InDex Link is able to securely transmit exams between any provider’s PACS without requiring re-archiving of studies. The system is also able to deliver flexibility in sharing critical patient data across multiple enterprises – completely controlled by the end user/facility, the company said.



At the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week, Intelerad unveiled a number of new components to its INTELEPACS product as well as gave attendees a sneak peak at the new standalone version of the INTELEVIEWER workstation soon to be available. 

Intelerad will soon launch a new standalone version of its INTELEVIEWER Workstation. This diagnostic workstation software is intended for hospitals and imaging centers and features full DICOM support, including DICOM query/retrieve, store, print supporting presentation state key images, and runs on a standard pc workstation running Windows OS. The workstation includes a number of other features including thumbnail display, cine, linked stacking, MPR, annotations and measurements, key image creation, one-click CD burning, and others. The workstation also is highly customizable — by user and by modality — and is standards-based. The company expects the workstation to be available by August.

Also highlighted were two new features of INTELEPACS. These include the Statistics Module, a set of real-time, web-accessible PACS administrative, statistical and auditing tools. These new tools will provide PACS administrators the ability to efficiently manage their users, monitor their PACS remotely, and optimize their PACS network and performance.

Also new for INTELEPACS is a Reporting Worklist Manager that enables PACS Administrators to assign cases to individual radiologists, allowing for better balance of case workloads and improved efficiency for large facilities and virtual reading centers.

Lastly, Intelerad has introduced new MPR functionality, including oblique and double oblique reformats, to its INTELEVIEWER Enterprise. The need for easy multi-planar reformatting within the diagnostic viewer have grown, said Intelerad, and these tool are designed to give users instant access to reformatting functionality within INTELEVIEWER.



Konica-Minolta at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, showcased its new REGIUS 370 upright CR system. The unit makes use of a new type of phosphor-based detector plate that is lower cost but produces images that are high quality with a columnar fiber crystal structure that provides a straightforward path for x-ray energy, the company said.
   
Other products highlighted at the show included upgrades to the company’s Xpress CT with v2.0. This system is designed for department data analysis such as work load balancing as well as evaluation of equipment usage.
   
Finally, Konica-Minolta also offers an upgraded DRYPRO 793 dry laser imager product that can handle mammography images, and also various modalities such as CR, CT and MRI.



McKesson Corp. launched a new solution to streamline interactions between radiology and the emergency department (ED) last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

Horizon Medical Imaging ED reduces the unpredictability and delay in the ED/radiology communication process by enabling one-click responses and supporting voice clips. The technology will be migrated to departments across the enterprise to streamline communication and workflow, McKesson said.



Matrox Graphics Inc., announced at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, its new Matrox MED4mp display controller board, the latest in the company’s MED Series.

The Matrox MED4mp was demonstrated as part of a mobile point-of-care station using a Dome by Planar E4c color display which can be switched between portrait or landscape orientations. The controller board is designed to support recent 4 MP display technologies to broaden display configurations for imaging professionals. The Matrox MED4mp includes a variety of color and grayscale modes supporting analog and digital displays.

Matrox MED Series display controller boards – including the MED2mp-DVI, MED3mp-DVI, MED4mp-DVI and MED5mp-DVI with 256MB of onboard memory –are configurable and support landscape and portrait modes ranging from under two through five megapixels (MP).

The Matrox MED4mp is suitable for use in a variety of uses, including:
  • RIS/HIS and/or PACS - Users can select a single 4 MP color display in lieu of two 2 MP color displays, eliminating space limitations;
  • Private practice & clinical review;
  • Point of Care - A mobile cart can be configured to tie into a hospital RIS/HIS/PACS network to provide, supporting a single display, 4 MP system; and
  • Orthopedics - Suitable for viewing ‘near life-size’ images of patient x-rays in a preferred portrait mode.


In addition to radiology order entry and decision support, Medicalis last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, demonstrated the ability to fully automate prior-authorization and radiology benefits management programs required by managed-care companies. 

Incorporating prior-authorization guidelines into the Medicalis decision support engine, the company said the system can automatically make requests to payer systems through electronic data interchange (EDI). In one implementation, users of Medicalis Percipio for radiology orders have been completely exempted from having to make any prior authorization phone calls, greatly improving the efficiency of the ordering process while ensuring the appropriateness of the tests ordered, Medicalis said.



Mercury Computer Systems Inc. used the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, to demonstrate integrated 3D visualization and analysis capabilities within a PACS workflow.

Mercury said it has fully integrated its web-based Visage PACS software with the Visage CS Thin Client/Server 3D visualization system, enabling users to utilize the 3D functionality of Visage CS within the workflow of Visage PACS, throughout the hospital enterprise. Physicians and radiologists can utilize MIP/MPR, volume rendering, and other advanced 3D viewing, navigation, and measurement functions for diagnosis directly from the PACS system.

Mercury's 3D to the Core platform for OEMs is composed of the Visage family of integrated products that span the diagnostic workflow and accelerate the processing of large amounts of medical imaging data. The Visage 2.0 CS Thin Client/Server expands 3D viewing capabilities to an unlimited number of users everywhere in a hospital and at remote sites, using existing PCs or even mobile computers. Through the thin-client technology, the full viewing and diagnostic functionality becomes available anywhere, anytime throughout the hospital enterprise, without requiring special hardware on the client side.

Additional highlights of Visage CS 2.0 include enhanced image quality, extremely short loading time for multi-thousand slice image series; advanced analysis tools, a new user interface, and streamlined usage profiles that provide access to all key functions within a few clicks.

Mercury said availability of Visage CS 2.0 is planned for early this month.



Merge Healthcare highlighted its FUSION Matrix PACS 64-bit processing technology last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

The 64-Bit Edition of FUSION Matrix PACS enables radiologists to easily load and manipulate studies regardless of size, making it possible to compare with as many priors as needed. Performance testing has supported loading more than 10,000 images simultaneously without any erosion of workstation performance. When combined with the FUSION RIS, users gain full clinical and business workflow that can substantially accelerate productivity.



Misys Healthcare emphasized results from PACS integration last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
   
Demonstrated results include increased productivity, efficiency and workflow, said Penny Reiman, product manager. Reducing the tech data entry burden translates into better patient care and allows sites to do more with less, she said.



In its big new booth, NEC Display Solutions of America showcased at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, every display they offer in the medical space, including the company’s Professional series LCD displays and an assortment of other displays and peripherals. The new NEC Professional series contains more than 20 new features, and includes the 19-inch LCD1990SXi, the 20-inch LCD2090UXi and the 21-inch LCD2190UXi. By utilizing a high-end IPS panel and developing features such a 12-bit look up table for crisp, clear images; selectable gamma settings including a DICOM GSDF curve for grayscale image viewing; and ColorComp for grayscale and color uniformity, the new display family are designed specifically for the needs of radiologists and other healthcare professionals.
   
NEC also demonstrated the quality of several large screen monitors for use in the OR where they could be helpful for reference when diagnosis has already been completed. The company believes a huge market for these large screen monitors exists, which for NEC includes the MultiSynch “10 series” (4010, 4610, and 3210). These large screen monitors can be placed in portable carts giving them high mobility in and OR, for example.
   
NEC also featured its current line of the LED backlight enhanced color displays at SCAR. Looking ahead, NEC will launch additional backlight monitor at RSNA, the company said.



Network Appliances (NetApp) at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, gave attendees a view of their complete product and service offerings, focusing of course on their application in radiology. This included the company’s Fast Series (FAS) storage system which is tooled for radiology use. The company demonstrated how its products – such as the NearStore R200 – provide on-demand storage that enables customers to comply with government regulations such as the HIPAA. Additionally, NetApp discussed its business continuity emphasis which facilities can use to protect themselves from disasters and other problems.
   
As a result of NetApp’s recent acquisition of Decru, the company also offers data encryption tools for data protection of information being stored on spinning disk technology.
   
Overall, NetApp emphasized that all of its products are available to current customers that wish to upgrade their current storage or data management services.
    


Neurostar Solutions debuted last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, the Virtual Radiology Network (VRN) v. 2 enhanced with a range of features designed for cross-enterprise workflow, customization and remote system access.
    
New Universal Workflow Management (UWM) integrates images from multiple facilities into a single, unified worklist. Neutrostar said this is supported by workstation- and user-based routing rules that push worklists to users, wherever located. A new version of the MediView application combines a pull and push paradigm, including real-time and background streaming of images, streamlining the physician’s experience with the universal worklist, the company said.
   
Also new in VRN v. 2 is a Study Life Cycle Management (SLCM) engine that facilitates prioritization and workload balancing, enabling comparison of study processing times against client commitments in a multi-client environment. Supporting this, Neurostar said a Control Dashboard feature provides group administrators a real-time view of their group’s workload and retrospective performance reports for members.
   
Other innovations include a Diagnostic Viewer that downloads automatically over the web, enabling any user, wherever located, to access the same application.
   
VRN v.2 also provides additional support for Neurostar’s Virtual Radiology Community (VRC) website, which creates a platform for sharing imaging services, resources and information for VRN users and other imaging professionals. This includes support for radiology user groups such as imaging facilities, radiology groups and referring physicians.  



NovaRad Corp. featured its new radiology information system as well as demonstrated features and functionalities of its NovaPACS OR Viewer at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

A web-based, open standard RIS, NovaRIS generates reports, measures profitability and facilitates paperless management of patient records. Productivity features include the systems’ ability to track exact reimbursement costs, which insurance companies paid for what, and which procedures are currently making or losing money. It also can track the productivity of individual radiology techs, NovaRad said.

Featuring voice recognition and transcription, NovaRIS also contains specialized worklists and interfaces for administrative assistants, technologists, radiologists, transcriptionists, and billing specialists. Additional NovaRIS features include: scheduling, auto fax and auto e-mail, HIPAA logging, HL7 interfaces, electronic signature for radiologists, audit trail and integration with NovaPACS or other third-party PACS or HIS.
NovaRad said it developed NovaRIS on the same platform as its PACS product, NovaPACS. Together, the systems enable fast retrieval of images and information from any web-enabled computer. 

The company also showcased its new viewing application designed specifically for the operating room called OR Viewer. The application allows physicians to compare old and new images side by side and view images in a large-scale format on a 30-inch monitor, NovaRad said. 

In addition to standard window, level, pan, zoom, measure, and cross localize functions, the NovaPACS OR Viewer features single-click viewing of radiologist reports, the ability to preset window/level preferences by login for instant call up, and plain-paper print.



ODS Medicaldisplayed at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) 2006 annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week its V2.4 feature/function release and product redesign for PACScomm, a CD/DVD image recording system and complete mini-PACS archive with 400GB of storage and optional RAID drives. The system is fully integrated and provides a single, space-optimizing footprint, enabling the unit to be adaptable for multiple surface options, including tables or shelving.



OrthoView, which exhibited for the first time at the recent Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) meeting in Austin, Texas, has signed up two new partners to distribute their orthopedic digital templating system, OrthoView.

BRIT Systems will be integrating OrthoView into their PACS and distributing the system across the United States. In addition, OrthoView said Infinitt of Korea signed an agreement to distribute the orthopedic digital templating system in Korea.  Among the first customers to receive OrthoView will be Seoul University Hospital, Korea’s largest teaching hospital, OrthoView said.



PACSGEAR showcased at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, its PacsSCAN FORM that provides users the ability to fill out forms electronically. Intended to enhance workflow, the application allows users to import and customize any existing form by defining pull-downs, text areas, check boxes, and even auto-fill fields with data directly from the RIS.  It also allows users to draw free-hand using any standard PC or handheld tablet, and send completed forms directly to a PACS.



Planar Systems Inc. showcased its entire line of displays, including its latest Dome EX line of medical displays at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas.

The EX line includes Planar's Dome E4c – for use in radiology, cardiology, nuclear medicine (NM), PET/CT, dermatology and the OR – which features a widescreen, 16:9 format that eliminates the image split associated with dual-head monitors. The E4c, as well as the Dome E2c and E3c also included in the EX line, are built to improve visualization of various color modalities, 2D color imaging, image fusion, and 3D imaging.

Other attributes of the DOME E4c are the ability to display more than 90 percent of a CR image and the option to show as many as 15 full-size 512 x 512 color and grayscale images at the same time.
Planar also demonstrated its color and grayscale displays in 2 MP and 3 MP, along with a new 5 MP grayscale display that are part of the EX line. The new grayscale line has been designed for viewing images from CT, MR, ultrasound, CR, DR, NM, digitized film and mammography.  

Each of the displays is DICOM-calibrated and features the company's Dome DA4 hardware architecture, enabling the use of select, commercially available graphics controllers for open standards support. Open standards, such as OpenGL and DirectX, allow for textured mapping, volumetric rendering among other functions typically used in interactive 2D and 3D applications.

Additionally, the Dome EX line is compatible with Dome CXtra – that monitors and controls DICOM calibration of Dome displays – and Dome Dashboard software, a console application which enables PACS administrators and IT managers to centrally manage display functions.
    


Philips Medical Systems highlighted its partnership with EDDA Technology to increase the detection rate of lung lesions with digital radiography and showed its PCR Eleva solution last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
   
Under the agreement with EDDA, Philips licensed IQQA-Chest CAD technology. The technology, designed to help clinicians identify, quantify, evaluate and report pulmonary nodules, will be available as part of Philips digital radiology portfolio including DigitalDiagnost. Studies demonstrate that IQQA-Chest can increase the discovery rate of small nodules up to over 85 percent in comparison to detection without IQQA assistance, which varies between 35 and 65 percent. The high detection rate coupled with a false positive rate of 2.5 per study increases CAD workflow and acceptance among radiologists, Philips said. The interactive diagnostic analysis system integrates advanced computer analysis technology into the diagnostic process. Advanced tools such as filters to suppress background information, segmentation tools and a DICOM report creation feature round out the solution.
   
Philips emphasized the small footprint and user-designed interface of PCR Eleva. “Digital radiography is a culture change,” asserted Scott Burkhart, vice president, general x-ray, “and Philips solutions are designed to demystify technology and focus on people and workflow.”



Plasmon highlighted its UDO (Ultra Density Optical) Archive appliance for PACS at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas. The technology offers write-once storage and includes software that makes it appear as a network attached system. Plasmon has had good success with this product and a number of major companies are currently offering it with their technology packages, for example GE Healthcare, Merge, eRad, and AMICAS. Other companies that are currently certifying the UDO for PACS include Agfa and McKesson.
   
Next up for Plasmon is the second-generation 60GB UDO which is currently being developed by the company’s research and development facilities. The first phase of the product demonstrates full specification 60GB media capacity and 12 MB/sec maximum sustained read performance.

The new system builds on the first-generation 30GB UDO. It will double media capacity and increase the read and write performance by 50 percent. Full commercial product availability for 60GB second-generation UDO is scheduled for April 2007.



Quest International, Inc. at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week showcased both its Medical Docking Station (MDS) and the new Totoku ME551i2, 5MP monochrome medical imaging display which the company is now offering.
   
The MDS is for the radiologist “on the go” and is designed for use with PACS or for teleradiology. MDS can be used with a standard laptop to drive Quest’s Totoku or NEC medical displays with single- or dual-display configurations using 2 MP, 3 MP, 5 MP displays.
   
The ME551i2 display, the latest in the “i” series, which is FDA cleared for use with mammography studies, is high-brightness, includes a luminance conformity correction and advanced luminance stabilizing system, and is relatively low cost, Quest said.



RADinfo Systems showcased its entry-level PACS Micro PowerPACS (MPP) at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas last week. The compact system is vendor-neutral and can integrate with any DICOM modality. It also supports DICOM modality worklist to register or retrieve patient information from a RIS/HIS.
   
The company sees its MPP system as very useful as a peripheral auxiliary system for larger healthcare systems, such as for outlying offices, which could integrate with the larger facility. In this sort of configuration, data could be passed to and fro between departments, RADinfo Systems said.



R2 Technology, Inc. debuted Citra mammography applications suite and highlighted ImageChecker CT chest CT CAD system at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas.
   
Citra is designed to work with the Sectra multi-modality breast imaging workstation and PACS and provides CAD-enabled reading workflow and decision support capabilities. The RightSize feature helps readers assess changes in the breast over time to improve temporal comparison workflow and accuracy. It automatically and optimally scales the current mammogram to the display window and matches the prior mammogram presentation size with the current image. RightOn high precision CAD marks pinpoint the radiologist’s attention to the region of interest to provide faster workflow. EmphaSize variable size CAD marks draw the radiologist’s attention first to regions the algorithm deems to be more indicative of malignancy. PeerView Digital enhances the suspicious region to help the radiologists visualize and analyze specific features that may indicate malignancy. LesionMetrics CAD information toolset provides additional decision support parameters such as lesion size, R2 CAD score, mass density and calcification. “Citra moves CAD closer to computer-assisted diagnosis,” said Isam Habboush, director, enterprise solutions marketing for R2. Citra could be integrated with other vendors’ products in the future, said Habboush. Hologic, with its pending acquisition of R2, may be at the top of the integration list. (See related story: Hologic to acquire R2 Technology, posts strong Q2 gains; http://www.healthimaging.com/content/view/4233/89/)
   
ImageChecker CT automatically detects actionable lung nodules. Volumetric segmentation excludes normal anatomy and detects nodules based on size, shape, density and anatomical context. Instant measurements help support clinical decision; and the system’s CAD-drive toolset and automated 2D, 3D and density measurements enable in-depth analysis, according to the company. The AutoPoint temporal comparison tool leverages CAD to automatically register and compare nodule size changes over time to minimize intra-reader measurement variability and expedite case review. Current and prior studies are correlated, eliminating the need to scroll through images to locate and compare nodules. Nodule doubling time, volume change, diameter change and average density change are automatically calculated. The AutoPoint Growth Report provides comprehensive reporting to facilitate patient care and follow-up.



RIS Concepts Inc. introduced at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas., its new web-based radiology information system that provides a cross-vendor worklist, combining data from an unlimited number of PACS manufacturers’ systems into an integrated worklist. 

According to RIS Concepts, the functionality enables enhanced workflow for radiologists who read for multiple facilities, day and night hawk services and practices with multiple locations using different image management systems.

In addition, the browser-based application supports a range of RIS features, including: real-time scheduling, workflow, dictation, transcription, patient demographics, scanning and HL7 integration into PACS, and billing. The RIS also enables complete web-based communications with referring physicians, offering connectivity to scheduling information, radiology reports and images, patient status and other documents. It also completely automates distribution of radiology reports through fax, email and the internet.



Richardson Electronics’ Display Systems Group launched a new brand identity for the Image Systems line of displays, controllers and calibration software at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. The new logo will appear on all forthcoming products in its line of medical imaging display solutions, including grayscale and color LCDs, video graphics cards, calibration hardware, touch panels, custom LCD and CRT displays, mounting solutions and accessories, the company said.

“This new identity signals the potential we believe the Image Systems product line has in the healthcare market,” said Larry Blaney, VP, general manager, Richardson’s Display System Group. “We are excited to offer Image System’s longstanding and valued customer base a growing variety of complementary products and services.”

In addition, the company introduced three new Image Systems products: Two new displays (the FP2080C, a 3 megapixel (MP), color LCD; and the FP2080DL, a 3 MP, grayscale LCD with open standards functionality) and the new Calibration Feedback System (CFS) add-on sensor for Large Screen Displays.



Riverain Medical debuted at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas, improvements in sensitivity and specificity to RapidScreen lung CAD. The company also showed Dual Energy CAD images and lateral CAD chest images, which improve the ability to detect early stage lung cancer in the difficult area partially hidden by the heart, the company said.  



ScImage at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week showcased its PicomRIS, a fully web-based, IHE compliant Radiology Information System as a complement the company’s flagship web-based enterprise-wide PACS, PicomEnterprise. Built to scale for smaller acute care facilities and imaging centers, PicomRIS will come either as a stand-alone RIS or fully integrated RIS/PACS, the company said.
       
PicomRIS will provide tools for exam ordering, scheduling, film tracking, reporting and billing. The standards based system leverages DICOM and HL7 to satisfy IHE requirements for interoperability with any number of clinical information systems.



Sectra showcased Sectra OrthoStation Package and Sectra PACS for orthopedics at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas.
   
Sectra OrthoStation optimizes medical image management processes — image acquisition, image viewing, archiving and pre-operative templating — to meet the needs of orthopedic surgeons. It provides orthopedic surgeons with desktop access to images, tools and reports to work productively, cost-effectively and securely, Sectra said. The workstation enhances workflow and facilitates flexible staffing by enabling the review of an exam on any workstation regardless of where the study was acquired. The package includes hip, knee and fracture reposition modules.
   
Sectra PACS for orthopedics provides images archiving and distribution, accepts images from multiple modalities, offers a scalable platform for upgrades, includes customizable worklists and features digital templating.



Sencor highlighted at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week, its new CD/DVD creation service that – through an internet connection – is able to create CDs and DVDs with DICOM standards, including multiple viewers and labels to save healthcare facilities from making the investment to do it themselves. The service operates on a fee-per-disc basis. A facility can electronically transmit data to Sencor and the company will ship the completed discs back to the same day. The company has plans to expand to international distribution of these operations – with the first potential site being Australia, the company said.

Sencor also showcased its newest product designed to solve a problem facing most mobile imaging route trucks, which is easily getting acquired data from the acquisition modality to the patient or healthcare facility.  The company’s new Sencor Mobile Imaging (SMI) was created to solve this problem by providing an automatic means to output data, change configurations and log exams.



Siemens Display Technologies showcased a number of its display products last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) 2006 annual meeting in Austin, Texas. The products included the company’s SCD 19100 (19-inch diagonal) 1 megapixel (MP) color display and the SHD 21205 (21-inch diagonal) 2 MP color display which both feature the latest viewing angle technology and CCFL backlighting. In addition, Siemens featured its high-resolution, grayscale flat-panel monitor for medical applications called the SMD21302.
   
Siemens emphasized general characteristics of all of its displays, such as:
  • Integrated Look-up-Table Storage: LUTs are stored within the company’s displays, making them compatible with most commercially available graphic cards, including the latest developments, such as Open GL and PCI Express;
  • Five DICOM-compliant LUTs allow easy adaptation to ambient light conditions;
  • Factory calibration to DICOM standards; and
  • Options include protective glass panels and color-matched bundles.


Siemens Medical Solutions highlighted the role of syngo Suite in the fully integrated workflow environment and its partnership with NextGen Healthcare last week at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
   
syngo Suite unites image acquisition, RIS, PACS and post-processing with the clinical and administrative cycles addressed by Soarian HIS. Soarian features a longitudinal clinical repository that gives clinicians browser-based, real-time access to the complete patient record. Through syngo, all healthcare workflow — from scheduling to image viewing and reporting — is role-based and available at the clinician’s fingertips.
   
syngo Suite includes syngo Imaging, syngo Workflow and syngo Dynamics. syngo Imaging Radiology PACS is scalable to meet the needs of large academic medical institutions to smaller diagnostic imaging centers and features the Smart Select tool that allows the radiologist to perform viewing and post-processing functions without diverting the eyes from the image display. The iMaxcess fast transmission protocol enables the workstation to send and retrieve images to and from the central server up to five times faster than standard DICOM. In addition, many modality-based post-processing applications can run integrated within syngo imaging.
   
syngo Workflow drives radiology workflow from order entry to image and report distribution. New referring physician and radiologist portals combine the traditional HIS, RIS and PACS information into a single user interface and workspace.
   
syngo Dynamics multi-modality, dynamic image review, diagnosis and archiving system enables evidence-based reporting to help improve the efficiency of clinical procedures for cardiology, general imaging and OB-GYN. The scalable solution offers optional interfacing to clinical or hospital information system, according to Siemens.
   
The Siemens/NextGen partnership combines NextGen Enterprise Practice Management and syngo Workflow to meet the healthcare IT needs of diagnostic imaging centers and specialty practices, Siemens said. The combined solution integrates diagnostic imaging center workflow processes to streamline scheduling and results reporting and optimizes revenue and cost management. A NextGen-powered ambulatory EMR supports specialty practices such as cardiology and orthopedics. The solution was shown as a work in progress at RSNA last fall and now boasts more than 30 installations, Siemens said.



Sorna Corp. highlighted new HL7 software that enables connectivity with any RIS system at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. The company also previewed a new capability within its eXpedo system that can import data from a CD (or other media) into a PACS. Moreover, the feature is able to organize data (i.e. patient name, unique identifier) so that it matches the format of existing information within a PACS.

Sorna also has expanded its family of FilmX networked DICOM CD/DVD recording systems with its introduction of eXpedo Lite.  eXpedo Lite is a lower priced DICOM recording space-saving system that is being offered in two configurations – a single 50-disc capacity and a dual 100-disc capacity automated robotic system. Both feature a small footprint in which the ruggedized robotics hardware is stacked on top of a compact, rugged PC console.



RIS developer Swearingen Software Inc. announced its new RISynergy, built upon its RMS product with several new features, at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. The new features include a fully integrated billing component, streamlined connectivity features, a DICOM Worklist Manager, daily worklist screens, and ongoing customer service. 

The RISynergy Billing module is a fully integrated, flexible component that allows facilities to perform all of their needed billing tasks onsite, quickly and effectively. This new feature eliminates double-keying and the need for an outside billing agency.

RISynergy also offers a wide range of comprehensive and flexible connectivity options that seamlessly integrate the software with virtually any HIS, PACS, voice recognition software, or additional systems used by a facility.

Another new feature is DICOM Worklist Manager that allows communication between the RIS and facility modalities, such as CT, MRI, or x-ray systems. The DICOM Worklist Manager closes the gap between the modalities and the RIS, enhancing the system’s ability to manage the daily workflow, the company said.
   
Also, real-time activity within the system can be viewed through the Front Desk, Technologist, and Radiologist Worklists components contained within RISynergy, allowing the clinicians to complete tasks by priority.



At the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week, TDK showed its DICOM Media Creator, the DMC-2000, a medical DVD and CD recording system that incorporates an integrated PC. The DMC-2000 can be connected to any DICOM network and enables on-demand recording of patient studies to DVD or CD. The product is designed to reduce film costs and streamline workflow, the company said.

TDK also demonstrated its full line of medical-grade, archive-quality recording media. All TDK medical-grade DVD media features TDK’s DURABIS hard coating technology that offers 100 times greater scratch resistance than standard DVD media, the company said.



TeraRecon announced workflow enhancements and clinical tools for its Aquarius product family of diagnostic workstations and enterprise-wide 3D servers at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas.

The Aquarius workstation version 3.5 offers protocol-based workflow tools that simplify the interpretation process by automatically presenting the 3D volume based on the study type selected by the operator. For cardiovascular CT, the enhanced software offers new soft plaque analysis, automatic vessel segmentation and extraction, measurement, interpretation and reporting tools. For CT colonography, the entire colon is automatically segmented upon loading with flight paths automatically generated providing the ability to easily switch from 2D synchronized views to 3D fly-though mode.
   
The AquariusNET Server version 1.7 offers several new clinical workflow and cardiovascular analysis enhancements. Enterprise workflow improvements include support for Single Sign On (SSO), which allows central administration of passwords to avoid the need to maintain password lists on multiple systems; online processing engines that automatically remove the CT table and rib cage, or calculate registration information if desired; and Patient Information Reconciliation (PIR), through which AquariusNET will respond to messages from an institution’s RIS containing updates to header information for studies already present on the server.
   
New clinical workflow features included in the new AquariusNET software release include advanced vessel and soft plaque analysis with stenosis calculations, multi-monitor support for review of single modality or multi-modality images, perspective rendering using the thin-client and multi-modality fusion support using manual overlay. Also included as a standard feature is support for EliteAccess workflow technology, which allows access to high-end workstation applications already installed on the client PC through the convenience of the AquariusNET user interface. The Aquarius Workstation and AquariusNET Server are designed and optimized to work together for efficient diagnostic workflow and maximized throughput. After the CT scan is completed, slices are directly routed to the AquariusNET Server to allow immediate and interactive 3D review by radiologists and clinicians from regular client PCs anywhere throughout the enterprise.

For advanced 3D analysis and more time consuming post-processing tasks, CT and MR scans can be sent to the Aquarius Workstation for initial or complete post-processing by the technologists or physician. Once this post-processing is completed on the workstation, a file describing the work performed can be transferred to the AquariusNET server so that physicians may open the exam and pick up where the previous clinician left off. This enables a highly efficient workflow where radiology technologists can use the Aquarius Workstation to perform initial processing and the diagnosing physician can open the examination and proceed directly to the diagnostic step of reviewing relevant morphology and pathology. The original axial images (as well as interactive 3D and MIP/MPR reformats) are always available for reference on the server, so there is no dependence by the physician on the decisions of others when forming a diagnosis.



ThinData Systems showcased last week its new TeleRIS RPV software, an extension of the company’s previous tools for remote access and methods for radiology at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas. The company has taken its TeleRIS system and added a number of new features, including DICOM receive, and route and view capabilities, to provide what it refers to as a “turnkey solution” for teleradiology groups, multi-contract reading services, large group consolidators and hybrid organizations. Other features of the company’s system include:
  • Automatic order creation based on DICOM demographic header information;
  • Routing of images to radiologists based on case assignment parameters;
  • Defining multiple reading locations/image destinations for each radiologist;
  • Manual routing of images; and
  • Web viewers from 2D with MPR to 3D.


U.S. Electronics showed the Totoku model E551i2, a 5 megapixel (MP) grayscale LCD with front sensor, 7/24 DICOM conformance check and built- in protective filer at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. The monitor includes a front sensor that is able to do 24/7 DICOM conformance testing. The monitors have been FDA cleared for use in independent mammography within PACS.  The 5 MP monitor also features:
  • Simultaneous display of 11 bit (2048 shades of gray);
  • Clear-base/Blue-base LCD panel;
  • Calibration capability for DICOM part 14 compliant grayscale presentation;
  • Luminance stabilizing system "l-sentinel 2" for stable display of medical images;
  • Ambient light sensor;
  • Easy evaluation of comformity to DICOM GSDF with the use of Totoku "PM-Medivisor" remote performance check LCD;  
  • Uniform brightness by Luminance Uniformity Correction Function;
  • Hardware pivot function on the main board for fast drawing in portrait orientation; and
  • External LED indicator for operating status
The company also has dual 3 MP color/mega color monitors that are suitable for any diagnostic application.
   
The same calibration kit can be used with all of the company’s monitors which is somewhat unique as some display companies have different software for each monitor they sell, U.S. Electronics said.



VIDAR Systems Corp. unveiled its new VIDAR VISION Digital Radiography (DR) product line of full-featured, affordable DR systems at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas. The systems are designed for all radiography environments, including imaging centers, orthopedic practices, small to medium hospitals, private clinics, and outpatient areas of large hospitals.

The systems offer flexibility by performing the full range of general radiology and orthopedic diagnostic procedures.  The VIDAR VISION 4000 — featuring a 4K detector for higher-resolution imaging needs — is designed for high-volume imaging centers, orthopedic practices, and hospitals, while the VIDAR VISION 2000, with a 2K detector, is ideal for lower volume office-based use, according to the company.



Vital Images, Inc. demonstrated “Your ViTAL Solution” scalable and customizable enterprise-wide advanced visualization and analysis solutions at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas.

Vital Images next-generation ViTAL Solutions suite features ViTALConnect, its web-based solution for the deployment of advanced visualization and analysis tools across the clinical enterprise. The company demonstrated its Vitrea solution with CAD-driven workflow optimization and feature improvements to Vital Images' clinical applications, as well as support for the large datasets. Vitrea was shown integrated into many PACS partners’ solutions that provide the benefits of advanced visualization and analysis, integrated into the PACS review workflow. The latest version of ViTAL’s flagship advanced visualization and analysis product, features the seamless integration of R2 Technology’s ImageChecker CT Lung CAD software and Fusion7D capabilities.  
   
ViTALConnect, the company’s web-based visualization and distribution solution, can review datasets from a variety of other medical imaging modalities. ViTALConnect includes a collaboration mode which enables multiple physicians in different locations to confer while interacting with the same images in real time. New features shown at SIIM/SCAR included improved speed and image quality and integration features with the Vitrea system.
   
Vital Images also showcased workflow tools that enable more intelligent deployment and access throughout a radiology enterprise. With the Vitrea-to-Vitrea (V2V) feature, users are able to transfer data from one Vitrea to another and to the PACS while maintaining the continuity of workflow.  The floating license option enables physicians to “float” a license between multiple workstations. This feature allows physicians to access and restore advanced visualization wherever they have installed the Vitrea application. Together, V2V and the floating license option provide radiologists a high level of flexibility, an efficient workflow and increased speed, Vital Images said.



Vocada, in partnership with Commissure, showcased VoiceLink system at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. VoiceLink ensures that critical test results reach ordering physicians in time to make a difference for the patient, and the system automates the process of complying with rules and guidelines for communicating critical test results. As a hosted system, VoiceLink requires no investment in new hardware or software



XIMIS Inc. demonstrated its XIRIS Enterprise 6.0 (eXtended Internet Radiology Information System) at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (formerly SCAR) annual meeting last week in Austin, Texas. The system is designed as a tool to coordinate an entire radiology practice, from the front office to reporting results, the company said.
   
New features include:
  • Enhanced scheduling;
  • Case management;
  • Communications center;
  • Patient tracking with additional milestones;
  • Added features to the EHR;
  • Billing;
  • Extended radiology worklist;
  • Voice recognition;
  • Mammography tracking;
  • A physician portal;
  • Mobile RIS;
  • Time matrix engine;
  • An improved security infrastructure;
  • Self-registration; and
  • A marketing module.


Xtria featured its EISS (Enterprise Integrated Solutions & Services) at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, last week. The company focuses on coordinating disparate networked information systems, integration, storage strategies, and disaster recovery, towards a holistic, comprehensive approach to technology across an enterprise.