Sony debuts new printers for mammo, ultrasound applications

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CHICAGO—Sony showcased new additions to its line of medical imaging printers, along with a work in progress designed specifically for mammography, during the 94th annual meeting and scientific assembly of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) this week.

The company’s flagship product during the show was a work in progress—its FilmStation Mammography Film Imager, model UP-DF750. With a high-resolution thermal printing system and specially engineered blue thermal high-density film, the new printer is optimized for full-field digital mammography applications and designed to help facilities meet Mammography Quality Standard Act regulations, according to Sony, who expects to receive 510(K) clearance from the FDA for the product sometime in 2009.

When available, the imager will yield high-resolution, detailed images in 606 dpi at a print time of approximately 90 sheets per hour.    

In addition, the UP-DF750 will meet a range of general radiology printing needs. It will feature the FilmStation imager’s flexible configuration that enables both vertical and horizontal positioning and, if desired, will be able to stand upright alongside a PC under a desktop.

Sony told Health Imaging News that it is “perfect for the imaging center where real-estate is prime, or for mobile applications.”  With a one-minute warm-up time, it should “be ideal for today’s digital mammography sites that often switch between soft and hard copy output,” according to Sony.

The new FilmStation imager has front-mounted controls, a built-in DICOM 3.0 interface, accepts film in multiple sizes and provides automatic calibration.

Sony also debuted a new dye-sublimation printer, model UP-DR80MD, among the range of core radiology products highlighted at the show, which included DICOM color printers, ultrasound printers in black and white or for fetal ultrasounds, as well as analog and digital printer, for those centers still transitioning to digital.

The company said that the UP-DR80MD is “an ideal choice for full-page ultrasound applications that combines excellent image quality with ease-of-use and low cost of ownership.” The new printer measures 12.5 inches x 16.75 inches x 8.13 inches, and weighs 25 pounds. It supports USB 2.0 connectivity and prints reports that combine text and high-resolution images, Sony said.

A color-adjustment feature enables close matching of print color to images displayed on the screen. The printer has a 310 dpi resolution, fast print speed and front-panel controls for easy replacement of letter-size print media and ribbon.  It supports Windows 2000, XP and Vista operating systems. The printer is expected to be available in January at a suggested list price of $1,999, according to the company.