Medical Displays

Display vendors will be showcasing their latest color and grayscale displays on the HIMSS exhibit floor, with a number of recently introduced models ranging from 1 megapixel (MP) all the way up to 4 MP. So, there's a large scope to consider, depending on your budget and needs.

Many of the monitors now include more elaborate and flexible ways to be mounted and moved around to facilitate ease-of-use whatever the application. Whole networks of displays can be run remotely with various types of software to keep administrators informed when one of them goes out of whack, even if they've gone home for the day.

Advanced display controller boards are enabling further flexibility. The option exists to use one large monitor to view multiple images, or put two displays side by side, or even add a third display, or perhaps project on a wall at high quality.

Here's a sampling of what display vendors and distributors are showing off from their portfolios, organized in alphabetical order.

Barco (booth #2129) is showcasing the next generation of its Coronis diagnostic display systems, which includes a 2 megapixel (MP) grayscale system, a 3 MP grayscale system, a 2 MP color system and a 3 MP color system featuring the company's Diagnostic Luminance technology, which corrects luminance non-uniformities. The 3 MP color Diagnostic Luminance technology is bundled with an ATI-powered display controller for fast and smooth image loading, roaming and manipulation in 2D and 3D.

Another addition to the Coronis Color 3 MP Diagnostic Luminance display system is the intelligent Ambient Light Compensation (ALC) system. ALC assures that the system remains DICOM-compliant under all lighting conditions by adapting its Look-Up Tables in response to ambient light conditions, the company says.

Featuring an integrated pedestal concept, the new Coronis also enables customized multi-head configurations.

Along with the Coronis, the company's new web-based softcopy QA product called Medical QAWeb also will be at HIMSS. This software can be used in combination with the upgraded I-GUARD sensor which continually guards and adjusts the luminance output of the diagnostic viewing area. Thus, the new QA software provides an easy tool for calibration and QA, ensuring continuous diagnostic quality of the display.

Barco also is featuring its new NIO Fusion 4MP, a high-resolution, large-screen, color display system designed for PACS visualization throughout a hospital or within an OR. The NIO Fusion features a 30-inch screen surface and can seamlessly fuse two portrait 2 MP displays into one integrated desktop without a distracting bezel in the middle. The display system also includes 2560 x 1600 resolution and a wide screen format. Additionally, the NIO Fusion 4MP includes Backlight Output Stabilization (BLOS) technology, which provides fast power-up and continuously stabilizes the luminance output of the system's backlight.

Eizo Nanao Corp. (booth #1953) is highlighting its newly enchanced RadiForce R23 2 megapixel (MP) 21.3-inch, color TFT, dual-domain IPS (in-plane switching) LCD monitor. The monitor is designed for color and grayscale MRI, PET and CR images, and can support image fusion and 3D color rendering. The displays also include the following upgrades: increased brightness of 500 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 500:1.

The new R23 comes with the company's image rotation technology which allows users to easily adjust from landscape and portrait modes. The displays also eliminate the need for special software and provide grayscale rendering without the worry of banding or color seepage, the company said. Like the RadiForce R22 color monitor, the R23 is DICOM part 14 calibrated with the company's quality control software RadiCS, and network QC Management software RadiNET Pro.

Matrox Graphics Inc. (booth #1512) is featuring its new agreement with NEC Display Solutions Europe. NEC is bundling the Matrox AuroraVX Series display controller boards with its MD Series medical grayscale displays - including the MD21GS-2MP and MD21GS-3MP - which are well suited for the new AuroraVX Series display controller boards, Matrox said.

The AuroraVX Series of display controller boards maximize display output options, powering three displays from a single low-profile PCI Express board. The AuroraVX Series supports a Navigation Console (NC) up to a resolution of 2 MP, and two Twin Imaging Displays (TIDs) of up to 3 MP each.

Equipped with Hardware Pivot, the AuroraVX Series is capable of driving various combinations of color and grayscale displays in portrait and/or landscape modes, and features an 8- or 10-bit display output for 256 or 1024 simultaneous shades of gray, depending on the available displays attached.

NEC Display Solutions of America Inc. (booth #951) is previewing its 90 Series of professional LCD displays. This new line of displays, to be officially launched in March, will offer more than 25 new and improved features. The new 90 Series will be the company's most advanced series of professional displays, NEC said.

These displays will improve on the current Professional Series (80 series), by offering a new cabinet and stand design and offering capabilities that, in the past, additional software or hardware would be needed.

Selected new features of the 90 Series include:

  • ColorComp: Compensates for slight variations of the white uniformity level of the display;
  • Overdrive: improves gray-to-gray response time black level adjustment; allows for the black levels of the LCD to more closely resemble the levels of a CRT (backwards compatibility)
  • GammaComp: allows for preset or customized gamma curves to be displayed;
  • GammaComp MD supported: DICOM compliant for medical (radiology) applications 12-bit LUT (look-up tables); provides more levels of shading between white and black;
  • Ambix3 Technology: Enables up to three systems to be hooked up to the display at one time; RoHS & WEEE compliant - lead-free for environmental discarding requirements; and
  • AmbiBright: Automatically reduces the screen brightness as the ambient brightness in the room is reduced; Eco-Mode - dims the backlights by 50 percent or 75 percent to use less power and extend the life of the display.

NEC also is providing information regarding its four year warranty on high end models.

Planar Systems Inc. (booth #6341) is showcasing its new Dome EX line of medical displays, the latest in the company's evolving lines of products, which premiered at RSNA 2005 in November.

Planar's Dome EX line, available in color and grayscale, provides faster performance, smoother image rotation and higher brightness and contrast ratios for use in areas such as radiology, cardiology, nuclear medicine and the operating room. Included is Planar's Dome E4c, the first 4-megapixel color diagnostic display medically certified for the healthcare field, featuring a widescreen format that simplifies comparison studies by eliminating the image split associated with dual-head monitors. The Dome E4c, along with the other color displays in the Dome EX line (Dome E2c and E3c), enhances visualization of various color modalities, 2D color imaging, image fusion, and 3D imaging. The new grayscale line includes the Dome E2, E3 and E5.

Siemens Display Technologies (booth #1237) is highlighting its 1 MP and 2 MP flat-screen monitors which are an addition to the company's range of high-resolution color displays for medical applications. The SCD 19100 (19-inch diagonal) 1 MP color display and the SHD 21205 (21-inch diagonal) 2 MP color display feature the latest viewing angle technology and CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) backlighting. The 2 MP display with high luminance up to 450 cd/m2 (candelas per square meter) has an especially long service life: for example 50,000 hours in 200 cd/m2 mode. This is about twice as long as conventional displays and corresponds to the typical period of use in practice of five years, according to the company. The SHD 21205 21-inch display can be used universally for color or grayscale applications as well as in hybrid applications with color and grayscale representations. Both color displays are available in landscape and portrait orientation and with an optional, non-reflective protective glass screen.

The monitors include in-plane switching (IPS) technology which guarantees an extremely wide viewing angle for every grayscale and fast image change between grayscales. Continuous color calibration and monitoring of the backlighting offer a constantly homogeneous image when viewing displays arranged side-by-side. Like the grayscale displays, the color displays also offer ILS (integrated look-up-table storage) technology with five integrated look-up tables (LUTs) in which practice-oriented settings of high image quality are stored at the factory. From these, the user chooses a suitable table for adapting the display according to requirements. The stored calibration data simplify installation and maintenance: Even if the standard graphics card or the work computer is replaced, or the monitor is connected to a different server, the settings are retained and there is no need to re-calibrate the monitor. The color display can be set and re-calibrated in accordance with the CIE or DICOM standard, for example, using calibration tools such as SMfit ACT Calibration or the SMfit ACT Basics tool supplied.

The CCFL technology of the SHD 21205 2 MP display has a service life of 50,000 hours at a luminance of 200 cd/m2 under typical conditions. Conventional displays only offer about half the power for this period at 120 cd/m2.