RSNA: Agfa extends x-ray technologies, among other offerings

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Agfa HealthCare (Booth 8336) is highlighting a variety of radiography technologies—both DR and CR—that are currently works in progress, as well as a new patient-centered kiosk  and business intelligence tools, among a multitude of other technologies at the annual conference of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, Nov. 28 to Dec. 3.

At RSNA 2010, Agfa will showcase its floor-mounted DX-D 400 DR x-ray as a work in progress. Different configurations are possible from the basic analog with hard console, over manual digital with soft console, up to automatic digital with auto-positioning and soft console, according to the company, which said the DX-D 400 can be used with film, CR cassettes or with its DR detectors offering an upgrade path to digital. The technology is supported by MUSICA 2, Agfa’s image processing software, built on the NX platform.

Also as a work in progress, Agfa will display its DX-D 10C portable detector with needle crystals. The DX-D 10C is the size of a film cassette, thereby able to fit into an existing analog bucky. System integrators can therefore use this detector (or another one from Agfa’s DR detector range) to transform analog x-ray units into digital with Agfa’s DX-D Integrator Packages, the company said. The packages contain an acquisition workstation running the NX software, including the company's MUSICA 2 image processing and a DX-D detector.

The company is introducing its DX-M, a DR that can handle CR mammography, as well as both needle-based detector plates (NIP) and standard phosphor plates (PIP)—though it is not available in the U.S. The mammography needle-based detector is compatible with existing breast imaging modalities, Agfa said.

Another new introduction at this year’s RSNA is Agfa’s Impax Kiosk, which is a self-serve kiosk for patients to identify themselves, check in and sign documents electronically.

Agfa also is introducing its Business Intelligence technology, as a work in progress. The system is designed to provide historical, current and predictive views of operations in the form of dashboards, management reports and ad-hoc queries against an Impax data warehouse, in a single browser. The company said the dashboard can provide an overview of the expected workload or the patient waiting times, and management reports can provide a view of department activity.

Finally, Impax for Breast Imaging extends Agfa’s PACS into mammography with new features. The technology implements the IHE Mammography Image profile, allows image display in mixed vendor environments (orientation, size, justification, consistency of grayscale contrast, completeness of annotations). Impax for Breast Imaging is configurable for two workflows: screening and diagnosis, the company said. New to Impax for Breast Imaging is the support of Agfa's MUSICA MCE (Micro Calcification Enhancement) technology, which is not available in the U.S., designed for the enhancement of potential microcalcifcations; and 1:1 Navigator, which enables a sector-by-sector review of an image at full resolution, including cursor indication of which quadrant is being viewed. The technology also offers background suppression, displaying a black background after inversion and during window leveling. Impax for Breast Imaging also supports computer-aided detection (CAD) support from vendors, like iCAD and Siemens Healthcare.