X-ray (CR & DR)

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Maximizing radiology department and imaging center resources, seamless integration, and systems that offer flexible viewing capabilities are just some of the common themes among x-ray vendors at this year's RSNA. Many vendors had systems on display that allow the technologist to stay closer to the patient during imaging for better patient care and the potential for lower radiation doses while also increasing patient throughput. Faster scanning times and larger, seamless images are also on tap from several vendors. You didn't have to go far to find flat panel detector technology or portable systems designed for the unique constraints of small facilities and easier access to immobile or trauma patients.

If you didn't make it all the way around the floor or not on the show floor at all, here are some details of what x-ray vendors had on display. Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Agfa HealthCare Business Group at RSNA highlighted its System Monitoring and Management Services (SMMS) that is designed to ensure high availability of the healthcare infrastructure, while reducing the administrative effort required to manage systems such as CR. SMMS is an integrated service that continually manages and monitors Agfa's applications, hardware, operating systems and databases throughout the hospital enterprise, identifying trends that point to potential future conflicts, notifying all stakeholders of the situation, and then providing a map to quickly track down and resolve the problem. By providing proactive monitoring, system management and reporting services, SMMS helps resolve issues quickly, and can manage issues after hours as well as during core business hours.

Agfa also showcased its new CR solution-DX-S, which combines two technologies unique to Agfa-DirectriX needle-based detector technology and Scanhead line-to-line CR stimulation and light collection technology. The DX-S is designed to bring a full range of imaging exams directly to the point of care in general radiography, pediatric and emergency environments, according to the company. The system requires limited adaptation of established workflow procedures. This enables users to derive maximum benefit from the solution, using common workflows. With projection radiography still representing at least 50 percent of general radiology exams, hospitals are seeking ways to make this environment more efficient and effective to meet the growing demand for high quality, affordable healthcare. DX-S helps do that by providing increased image quality, potential for dose reduction, high speed imaging, flexibility through its compact mobile design, portability of the detector, and patient proximity for clinicians.

Alara introduced the CRystalView R200, a CR system for single plate CR reader applications. CRystalView is designed to fill the need for a high-quality CR imaging system with daylight operation, integrated read/erase and throughput of approximately 50 plates per hour (14" by 17" cassette). CRystalView is a desktop CR reader with imaging plates housed in industry-standard sized cassettes of various sizes, from 8" by 10" to 14" by 17". The system is designed to be interfaced to a PACS or other imaging network so that scanned images may be forwarded to a printer or server for reading at review stations. The system also may be operated stand-alone, reading images at a workstation, and archiving to individual media.

In the networked mode, CRystalView conforms to DICOM standards. Patient information may be derived from DICOM modality worklists, image files are output in DICOM 3.0 format. The system can be readily interfaced to existing PACS that conform to these standards. CRystalView also can be mounted on a cart for mobility. The system operates from 100 to 240 VAC lines power, allowing connection to conventional wall outlets. The CRystalView system software provides radiation exposure indication and logging for each image taken. The software logs and tracks technologist exposure data and cassette usage. As each scan is completed, an exposure indication is displayed for operator feedback.

The CRystalView reader operates in conjunction with one or more workstations. The workstations are PC-based and are provided with an 18" flat panel display or an optional high intensity, high contrast 20" monochrome TFT display. The display is the operator interaction point for controlling the scanner, serves as the image display for quality control purposes, and may be used