Workstations: New Tools Solve Image Viewing Overload

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Ease of use, more applications and faster, faster, faster is the battle cry of doctors and administrators needing an overhaul on their workstations - and RSNA brought a variety of enhancements to fulfill all needs. Multi-modality breast imaging workstations proved popular this year, no longer tethering a digital mammography system and workstation exclusively with one vendor. Several new breast imaging workstations debuted with plenty of new software for x-ray, MR and ultrasound images. And whether you call it a workstation or workspace, new functionalities focused on stellar images, workflow and productivity abound.

(Note: companies appear in alphabetical order.)

Fujifilm Medical Systems USA at RSNA introduced the Synapse Multi-modality Breast Imaging Workstation. It is designed for any facility performing full field digital mammography (FFDM) and other modalities such as breast MR or ultrasound. It provides the functionality of Synapse PACS to add consistency and efficiency to the interpretation of breast imaging studies, Fuji said. 

The workstation configuration uses FDA-cleared display technology which permits the diagnostic display, analysis and interpretation of any FFDM exam, along with related multi-modality exams. It can be used as a full-featured diagnostic workstation for any imaging exam. It incorporates dual, high-brightness, 5 megapixel flat-panel monitors for softcopy diagnosis with an optional third, 20-inch color LCD monitor for productivity applications and viewing of color images. It combines a Windows desktop user interface with Synapse's advanced diagnostic tools. Features include: pre-sets, window/level, pan, zoom, annotation and magnification, and Fuji's patent-pending Reading Protocol technology, which automates the presentation of a information contained within Synapse, including documents and image processing parameters and results. Further, with the Synapse PowerJacket, users can access any image, report, or note for a given patient, all with a click of the mouse.

Fuji said added advantages will come when it can be coupled with the currently works-in-progress Fuji CR for Mammography (FCR m). Then it can be used by the reading radiologist to communicate, via notes or audio clips, with the technologist at the FCR m IIP technologist console.  This communication can take place within a single facility or even between separate sites. It will enable the technologist to use Synapse on the IIP FCR m console to access and view prior images and results to assure the diagnostic purpose of the current exam.

GE Healthcare showcased its new Centricity AW (Advantage Workstation) Suite as an "Advantage Workstation with the benefits of PACS."

Centricity AW fuses modality and PACS technologies and incorporates advanced tools (advanced analysis, post processing and 3D), allowing users to acquire, manage, store, review, analyze and report on information from a single workstation. Centricity modules include results review, CPOE, flowsheets with monitor capture, progress notes and census boards that combine to create a filmless, wireless and predominantly paperless care environment for a faster, more comprehensive information flow. There is virtually no limit to the images the workstation can manage, even outside of radiology to cardiology, podiatry and pathology.
Centricity AW works with the new Centricity PACS SE. Similar to the Centricity PACS Enterprise Edition, Centricity PACS SE utilizes powerful imaging applications, including Centricity RA 1000 radiology application, Centricity AW Suite for visualization for large data sets of PET/CT, CT, MR and XR, and Centricity Enterprise Web for image and information distribution.

Centricity AW is pending 510(k) clearance for mammography primary reading applications.

Hologic, Inc. showcased at RSNA its SecureViewDX multi-modality workstation, which gained FDA clearance in August, as well as sharing its "vision" for workstations of the future.

Hologic's SecurViewDX is a dedicated, multi-modality workstation for display and interpretation of any screening or diagnostic digital mammogram, as well as other modalities such as MRI, CT, PET and ultrasound. The workstation also supports digital computer-aided detection (CAD) programs.

What distinguishes the workstation, Hologic said, is the ability to view digital mammograms from any vendor, as well as images from other modalities. This will boost workflow for imaging centers since physician no longer have