Tracking Technology Trends on the Exhibit Floor

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  The Carestream Health PACS platform offers native 3D imaging and advanced cardiac features.

Whether you made it to RSNA 2008 or not, seeing all of the new and enhanced technologies offered on the exhibit show floor was impossible. So here’s an overview of the technology trends and what vendors had on display at the expanded exhibition show floor that this year stretched from the north and south halls of McCormick Place across the walking bridge to Lakeside Center. To get more details on specific products and vendors in each category, visit

RIS/PACS making connections with the enterprise

The technical exhibit halls of McCormick Place and Lakeside Center this year played host to a wide range of enterprise-capable imaging informatics systems ready for deployment for a variety of clinical imaging specialties offered by vendors from around the world.

In the RIS/PACS realm, the majority of vendors showcased new versions of their existing software that expand the application of their systems to diagnostic imaging beyond the radiology department.

From single-physician practices to multi-national integrated care delivery networks, leading-edge RIS/PACS products are at the heart of digital diagnostic imaging. In addition, the melding of PACS with other clinical informatics systems—such as electronic medical records and practice management applications—was on display to demonstrate integration throughout the healthcare enterprise.

Clinical reporting systems and PACS have become integrated components of the healthcare delivery system as the fundamental infrastructure for imaging data and reporting. Although radiology is still the central focus of these applications, its success in this field has opened new vistas for the deployment of these critical systems.

DR weds digital throughput with wireless convenience

Digital radiography made a big splash at RSNA 2008 with a host of vendors launching wireless flat-panel detectors. The slick, new systems answer users’ demands for increased flexibility, convenience and productivity by removing the cable from the x-ray process—literally untethering DR. The affordable wireless innovation is expected to boost DR deployments across the country. Some vendors are delivering the detectors, while others showed off works in progress with varying rollout dates.

But wireless wasn’t the only technology to make a digital splash in Chicago. One vendor aims to mimic wireless freedom with a new non-wireless solution that features detachable cables that can be removed during patient positioning and attached after the patient is in position. Another route to increased flexibility was featured as a mixed digital detector work in progress, which combines dual-detector productivity with portable flexibility.

DR vendors also touted a host of other new features to ramp up throughput and satisfy radiology’s quest for cost-effective investments. Features like automatic collimation, automatic tracking and organ-specific programming streamline radiographic imaging, helping techs complete studies in minimal time and fewer retakes.

Also on the financial side, vendors showed off systems designed for easy retrofit into existing rooms. CR’s continued viability was apparent, too. New systems that increase portability and automate manual process should keep this segment competitive.

Finally, vendors rolled out new features for departments seeking new C-arms or fluoroscopy solutions. Highlights included several dual-detectors or “2-in-1” systems that pair fluoroscopy and DR capabilities to optimize room utilization. New C-arms follow general radiographic trends; automation, user-friendliness and image quality features were on full display. Departments in the market for new digital x-ray solutions in 2009 are sure to find the ideal solution for their imaging needs.

?CT Diagnoses more, better, faster…and minimizes dose

After stealing the show in 2007 with next-generation volumetric CT solutions, vendors continued to highlight the applications or user successes of their newest CT systems. Some shared clinical results of early adopters, proving the cardiac merit of the scanners. They also shared early adopters’ plans for expanding clinical work, indicating that the systems may be used in neurology and other applications. At least one CT vendor announced plans for a large scale trial of its volumetric system. All touted the speed and efficiency of their units. In a nod