X-ray: CR, DR, Analog and Specialty Systems

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Radiology's workhorse technology is going strong, with a large selection of new computed radiography, digital radiography, specialized x-ray systems for cardiac and vascular work showing their strength around the exhibit floor at RSNA. Stop by for a peek yourself.

Fujifilm Medical System USA Inc. (Booth #7732) will be at RSNA showcasing its FCR Velocity-T digital x-ray table system with a throughput of up to 240 images per hour and a fully processed image available in less than nine seconds. Fuji also is demonstrating Flex-UI for handheld devices that debuted earlier this year. The company has combined the customizable user interface of its Flex-UI computed radiography software application with the convenience of remote workflow via wireless tablet PCs or PDAs.

GE Healthcare (Booth #2700) is introducing a new remote R&F system, the RXi. The compact device is fully functional for tabletop, tomographic and dynamic imaging. The RXi is GE's new premium standard in the line of R&F systems, with low dose, for imaging during G.I. and vascular exams. It is designed to carry out exams in hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers, where space is limited. Variable speed scanning movement, controlled from identical tableside and control room console panels, assures that gantry movements are swift and precise.

GE also is highlighting its GE Innova 4100 and 3100 all-digital cardiovascular imaging systems. Both units, which utilize flat-panel detector technology, incorporate the Bolus Chase design to allow physicians to more clearly see the vessels and anatomy from the abdomen down through the legs for arterial run off procedures.

Philips Medical Systems (Booth #7113) is highlighting a variety of x-ray offerings at RSNA this year. The Allura Xper FD20 is the latest addition to Philips cardio/vascular X-ray program. The system is the first cardiovascular unit in the market to provide a 2Kx2K imaging chain for up to four-times the resolution of conventional angiography systems. With its compact detector (12" x 16") and large coverage ability, it is designed to support all cardiac and vascular interventions. The Allura Xper FD20 is designed around Xper (X-ray Personalized), improving workflow by system customization for each specific user. The FD20 features advanced interventional tools like 3D-RA and StentBoost and comprehensive patient record integration for optimal lab efficiency.

Philips Eleva family of multi-functional radiography and fluoroscopy systems consists of the EasyDiagnost Eleva, OmniDiagnost Eleva and MultiDiagnost Eleva. The Philips Eleva family enables exam-, operator- and patient-related pre-sets to be programmed for each user, enhancing efficiency and improving workflow. The family leverages ViewForum, Philips integrated viewing and processing software to enable users to access multimodality images and information in their preferred layout.

The OmniDiagnost Eleva combines digital, computed radiography (CR) and conventional imaging applications and can be used in a variety of settings, including orthopedics, gastro-intestinal, s, uro-genital, angiography/interventions and traumatology. This is the only Eleva system, which has integrated digital tomography. Like other members of the Eleva family, the system allows clinicians to conduct analysis, measurements and reconstructions in the control room. If required, the results can be simultaneously displayed in the exam room.

The EasyDiagnost Eleva is a conventional radiography/fluoroscopy system designed with functionality to perform a wide range of applications from gastro-intestinal and various iodine and vascular procedures through to standard radiography.

MultiDiagnost Eleva is a universal x-ray system with a multi-functional design that delivers exceptional performance across a wide range of applications. The MultiDiagnost Eleva is especially suited for vascular and interventional procedures and R/F exams.

As the inventor of mobile C-arm solutions, Philips BV family addresses all mobile fluoroscopy imaging applications. The BV Libra is geared for routine procedures, the BV Endura for routine and vascular surgery and the BV Pulsera for routine, vascular, cardiac and interventional procedures. BV family workstations are compatible with Philips standards-based IT systems, or Vequion competent as the vendor calls it. All BV family systems comply with x-ray safety requirements (IEC 60601-2-43) and offer integrated DICOM functionality.

The Philips Computed Radiography (PCR) digitizes the radiography department with minimal investment and can be installed to rapidly upgrade conventional systems onto a digital platform. PCR integrates with the digital hospital environment (including RIS and PACS) to bring full digital workflows to conventional radiography departments. PCR solutions offer different products to meet different workflow and application requirements. All of these systems can be clustered.

The DigitalDiagnost is Philips digital radiography imaging system that covers all general rad examinations. The DigitalDiagnost offers a fully integrated computed radiography (CR) solution that is unique in the digital radiography market. Scheduling, verification and common post-processing for DR and CR can now be accomplished at a single acquisition console. This CR integration is a valuable solution for portable examinations, such as bed lung exposures, and offers the same outstanding image quality and ergonomics of the DigitalDiagnost.

Lastly, the BuckyDiagnost is a universal x-ray system made of building blocks that cover the full radiography spectrum. Due to its modularity, BuckyDiagnost is fully scalable, allowing a flexible set-up. Future expansions or digital upgrades of systems are easily possible.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth #7149) at RSNA is showcasing the Infinix VC-I, which features streamlined workflow through an all-digital system for clear imaging and highly efficient vascular exams. Advanced technology features include: flat-panel upgrade at component level for flexibility in acquiring new technology; most powerful image processor offered; comprehensive dose management system; liquid metal bearing x-ray tube with triple focus, which provides optimal imaging for the selected anatomy; asynchronous frame rates provide dose savings with no loss of performance; simultaneous processing and transfer for increased productivity; 3D angio for intervention and follow-up planning developed with Johns Hopkins University; full DICOM also is standard.

Toshiba's Kalare digital x-ray system is designed to enhance productivity, resource allocation, asset utilization, and clinical outcomes at a value-oriented price. Features include: dose management to protect staff and patients; new image processing for more accurate diagnosis; better accommodation of larger patients with best detector-to-table top distance, increase weight capacity, and larger x-ray tube for better penetration; a user interface designed for quick access with right or left hand; exam and processing that can be performed at the same time; and DICOM capability.

The T.RAD Plus Digital x-ray system brings together digital technology with productivity solutions to help overcome the everyday challenges facing today's radiography departments. Through digital efficiency and accuracy, the company said this new system offers: faster exams resulting in increased throughput and productivity; wide dynamic range resulting in greater visualization of bone and soft tissue from same study; fewer retakes due to instantaneous image preview and wide dynamic range; significant savings through the elimination of film and film handling costs; seamless integration into PACS networks for optimized workflow; and a full 17" x 17" imaging receptor.

Toshiba's Ultimax x-ray system is one room that works like three to handle a wide range of angio, R&F and non-vascular interventions. It features include: triple focus; dose delivery managed through pulsed fluoro with a wide range of frame rates; bi-direction bolus chase that handles widely different leg flows; low loading position to easily accommodate all patients; integrated C-arm allowing the patient to rest comfortably during exam; simultaneous exam and processing; and DICOM capability.

Orex Computed Radiography (Booth #2768) is debuting the Orex ZR, a mobile CR scanner on wheels that can move without need for external power or network connections. It features a 4.5-hour battery and Wi-Fi networking capabilities. This new offering will be exhibited along with Orex's ACL CR scanner line, which can be configured to process imaging plates at 20, 40, 60, and 75 plates per hour on a single device. The recently introduced Orex Or-PACS software also will be on display. The software is intended for use in general radiology, orthopedics and radiation therapy. The Orex Or-PACS, which comes bundled with all Orex CR units, streamlines expansion with support for multi-modality viewing stations, dual high-resolution monitors, single-media archiving and scalable short and long-term storage, according to the company.

Canon Medical Systems (Booth #4500) is displaying its CXDI-50G DR sensor panel in multiple portable x-ray configurations. The panel's design lets the user take digital radiography wherever portable x-ray goes, Canon said.  In addition, the full-size DR sensor panel puts superior images at bedside in three seconds and its 14‰ X 17‰ image area allows the capture of images from almost any position or angle.

Canon is also showcasing its CXDI-40G, which  integrates with a wide variety of general radiography systems, from a ceiling suspended multi-positioning unit, to an upright wall stand, and to a R & F tilting table. The CXDI-40G, with an imaging area of 17‰ x 17‰, allows the capture of chest and abdominal digital x-rays without the need of rotating the sensor panel.
Finally, designed to meet the productivity demands of both trauma and bedside care, Canon's new Mobile Access Station (MAS) offers a DR option that manages patient and study information and streamlines workflow at every phase: order issuance, patient worklist acquisition, examination, image QA, and storage. Canon also is exhibiting the DR Image Viewer for viewing high-quality images from Canon DR systems. The company is focusing sales on orthopedic practices, emergency rooms and mobile x-ray services that want to streamline workflow, save time and maximize throughput.

Konica Minolta Medical Imaging (Booth #1343) is introducing the world's first "self-learning" computed radiography system, the new IQue CR. The new IQue CR System automatically recognizes each exam view and applies the processing algorithm appropriate for that image.  IQue has a self-learning capability that routinely adjusts images to a user's preference, enabling any technologist, with or without prior experience, to consistently produce optimized diagnostic images.

The company also is showing a quality assurance program for the Xpress CR system. The CR QA program enables users to monitor the performance of their CR systems, thus ensuring that they continue to perform to their design specification throughout the lifetime of the systems. The CR QA program includes a manual, which provides more than 12 test procedures, an all-inclusive phantom with several test patterns, and an MS Excel-based data tracking worksheet. The CR QA program includes a manual, which provides more than 12 test procedures, an all-inclusive phantom with several test patterns, and an MS Excel- based data tracking worksheet.

Cardinal Health (Booth #2721) is showing five new products focused on fine-tuning x-ray systems.

The CR RADCHEX is a comprehensive test tool that measure performance with computed radiography standards. Comprised of an electronic cassette, universal calibration fixture, and software, CR RADCHEX can be used to calibrate and access the performance of CR plate readers, cr-AEC systems, and density selector/control systems.

The TRIAD TnT allows the x-ray field service engineer or physicist to perform a broad array of highly sensitive measurements. It covers an expanded range of equipment, including dental and other units with filament preheat.

The CT Dose Phantom provides one complete set of QA dose phantoms for children and adults. It consists of three parts: an adult body phantom, an adult head phantom that doubles as a pediatric body phantom, and the new pediatric head phantom.

MAXANT Illuminators provide quality and flexibility for accurate film interpretation. The Techline illuminator boasts the Even Vue Reflector System for uniform lighting along with cluster switching. The MVP illuminator includes a standard two-lamp light source that can be incorporated into configurations from a one panel up to a six over six, surface or recessed mounting.

The Medicanvas Illuminator has the latest TFD-LCD technology, which enables the film illuminator (only 2.5 cm or one inch thick) to be located in close proximity to the PACS monitors.

Varian Medical Systems (Booth #4917) is exhibiting the company's full line of x-ray tubes and is introducing two new PaxScan digital x-ray products. PaxScan digital imagers incorporate a flat panel amorphous-silicon sensor array, a command processor, a power supply, and all interconnecting cables.

New this year are: The PaxScan 2020, designed for the diagnostic C-arm market, and the PaxScan 4030CB for cone-beam x-ray imaging. The PaxScan 2020 small panel is ideal for applications utilizing 9-inch image-intensifier tubes, Varian said. It offers enhanced real-time imaging. The command processor is very fast, and optimized with extended memory for operating in different acquisition modes, from 1 to 60 frames per second. The active imaging area is close to the panel's edge, for unrestricted access to the patient. An optimized pixel structure ensures low image lag and an improved signal-to-noise ratio.

The PaxScan 4030CB meets the needs of the emerging cone-beam x-ray imaging market. This panel is geared for medical diagnostic x-ray equipment requiring a large 20-inch diagonal imaging area. It features multiple programmable sensitivity ranges and an extended dynamic range capability. The 4030CB is based on Varian's flagship PaxScan 4030A product, which has a 40 x 30 cm imaging area and a 194-micron pixel pitch.  These panels offer excellent low-dose performance, achieved through Varian's proprietary readout electronics and a highly sensitive cesium iodide scintillator, according to the company. The 4030CB is a key component of Varian's radiation oncology treatment technology, including the Acuity radiotherapy simulator and the Trilogy linear accelerator. 

Fischer Imaging (Booth #5109) is showcasing at RSNA the VersaRad that is designed for general- purpose radiographic imaging. The system performs all standard radiographic views on a full range of patients. The expandable U-arm design is clinically proven to be fast, efficient and cost effective, Fischer said. The VersaRad brings the imager to the patient instead of the patient to the imager. It is a ceiling suspended U-arm featuring a 72-inch source-to-image distance (SID) to accommodate a full range of radiology exams that gives the technologist procedural versatility through multiplanar motion of the U-arm design. The tube and bucky may be rotated independently of each other so a full range of head, chest, skeletal, extremity, and trauma exams may be performed. The VersaRad is available with a traditional film bucky (VersaRad-A) as well as a digital array (VersaRad-D). The VersaRad-A also can be configured with any existing CR technology, giving the clinic or hospital the flexibility to be digital while staying within budgetary constraints. VersaRad-D system has the capacity to improve productivity by using automatic image processing and integration of patient demographic through DICOM Work List Management connectivity to the RIS. The VersaRad-D has already been validated with the many DICOM compliant devices such as PACS archive and workstations as well as DICOM printers.

Lodox (Booth #2401) is showcasing Lucid, an automatic image-processing algorithm designed for the company's Statscan Critical Imaging System. Lucid creates an automatic "best view" image of x-rays taken during critical trauma assessment and makes those images instantly available to the clinicians without any manual processing requirements. Lucid is designed to save valuable time during a patient's critical "golden hour."

The company also will feature VersiRad, a radiographic x-ray device designed for smaller body part positioning on the company's Statscan full body radiography system. VersiRad will allow smaller field of view x-rays to be completed in a more traditional manner, for doing upright, supine or prone views of extremities, chests, abdomens, and similar body areas.

Imaging Dynamics Company (Booth #4938) is debuting at its first show the new IDC Xplorer 1600 - a complete DR solution with a floor-mounted, multi-axis positioning device, attached x-ray tube and collimator, and x-ray generator.  It performs all radiography imaging, including cross-table examinations, without requiring any overhead structure in the room. The system received FDA 501(k) clearance in September.

Imaging Dynamics is showing off its new IDC Xplorer 1600, a complete DR solution with a floor-mounted, multi-axis positioning device, attached x-ray tube and collimator, and x-ray generator. It performs all radiography imaging, including cross- table examinations, without requiring any overhead structure in the room. RSNA is the first opportunity to showcase the Xplorer 1600 since it received FDA 501(K) clearance in September.

InfiMed (Booth #1309) comes to RSNA with the PlatinumOne Cardiac, PlatinumOne Combo, and PlatinumOne EP Systems - the newest members of its cardiology product portfolio. The PlatinumOne Cardiac is a premium in-room digital acquisition system that provides advanced imaging capabilities for interventional procedures. It features advanced imaging processing features, expanded DICOM 3.0 interface, and enhanced image quality using InfiMed's newly designed CCD camera system. The PlatimumOne Combo system adds real-time digital subtraction for interventional vascular procedures as well as full cardiac functionality. The PlatinumOne EP system is designed to provide advanced imaging features and low-dose pulsed fluoroscopic acquisition required for complex electrophysiology procedures.

Eigen is announcing new digital enhancements for Fluoroscopic Dose Reduction and DICOM 3.0 X-ray and Echo Interfacing. The Digital Fluoro Loop (DFL) is designed to significantly reduce physician and patient radiation dose in studies requiring extensive fluoroscopic imaging, such as TIPS and EP. Fluoro runs are immediately viewable on existing video monitors. Handheld functions include last image hold, mag/roam and 10 guide shots. A CD writer can be added.

The Digital Processor Interface (DPI) and the Echo DICOM Interface (EDI) provide a cost-effective means to add DICOM gateway capability to an existing analog cardiac cath lab or echo system, according to Eigen. The DPI and EDI convert analog video signals to DICOM 3.0 format and transmit them to an archive network. Eigen CD writer, workstation/View and EigenNet and CardioNet options are available.

Del Medical Systems Group (Booth #1314) is showcasing its remote R/F room. Apollo is a remote-controlled system from Villa Sistemi Medicali, designed for maximum patient throughput and application flexibility with maximum patient comfort. Four-side open access and a low tabletop will ease patient loading operations, as well as procedures requiring support personnel to operate in the table area. Fast, smooth and accurate movements reduce patient preparation time and increase workflow with the additional benefit of improve efficient. Special attention is given to patient's dose reduction, by employing a number of provisions, such as low absorption table-top materials, reduced skin-to-film-distance, fully automatic collimation, retractable grid, automatic parameters setting in both fluoro and exposure. Apollo matches the DIVA digital acquisition systems to obtain a filmless RF or DSA room with the highest patient throughput and full DICOM connectivity for integration into PACS networks, according to Del.

CMT Medical Technologies (Booth #4354) at RSNA is showing two new families of products, SmartRAD and SmartSPOT PrimaX. SmartRAD offers a complete range of digital radiography products including SmartRAD Elite, a single detector upright system for chest applications; SmartRAD OmniX, a single detector multipurpose Universal Arm system covering all radiographic examinations; and SmartRAD GeminiX a dual-detector system covering the entire range of radiographic exams. These integrated systems complement the SmartRAD retrofit system that was introduced at RSNA 2003. SmartSPOT PrimaX is a high-resolution digital photospot and angiography imaging system for the retrofit market. It will be available in the first quarter of 2005.