Advanced Visualization Software & Multimodality Workstations

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Increases in patient volume and image datasets, as well as the recent technological advancements to imaging equipment that enable physicians to obtain large amounts of anatomical and functional information, have made the world of medical imaging a data-intensive environment. RSNA 2005 made it apparent that advanced visualization software - and the range of sophisticated analysis tools integrated within the software - plays an ever-increasing role in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.

Not only are these post-processing tools and advanced applications available on dedicated workstations within an imaging department, companies at RSNA showcased innovations that allow the 3D software to be accessed on any number of PCs and shared across a dedicated network. Web viewing is a thing of the present, not the future. Vendors also displayed the integration of computer aided detection (CAD) tools within their software that help physicians detect and analyze lesions of interest.  


3mensio Medical Imaging BV used RSNA to springboard 3viseon 2.0 advanced visualization software that enables large medical datasets, generated by CT and MR scanners, to be displayed as three dimensional reconstructions using standard PC technology.

The newest version of the software has been enhanced with functionalities that enable both radiologists as well as referring physicians to rapidly process the generated DICOM images. In addition, the technology benefits referring physicians in the field of neurological, oncological, or vascular surgery where 3D is an increasingly important part in the operative planning process and communication to the patients, the company said.

Barco at RSNA demonstrated technology that provides healthcare providers enterprise-wide access to 3D medical imaging on standard workstations and PCs, as well as introduced an advanced analysis tool that provides clinicians with high-quality visualization of 2D, 3D and 4D images of the heart.

Voxar 3D Enterprise, a server-based technology that enables enterprise-wide access to advanced visualization software tools, accelerates the speed at which users can load, review, report and communicate patient cases with clinical colleagues. Whether the user is working on a high-performance diagnostic workstation or a standard PC, Voxar 3D Enterprise quickly delivers large volumetric studies and provides rapid updates of MPR and 3D views.

Voxar 3D Enterprise can be integrated with a hospital's enterprise-PACS where users of high-performance diagnostic workstations in the radiology reading room can have access to optional clinical applications, such as VesselMetrix for vessel analysis, and CardiaMetrix for CT cardiac analysis. When using standard, off-the-shelf PCs throughout the enterprise, users can rapidly load and review volumetric image studies with the most commonly used 3D visualization tools.

Barco highlighted a new visualization software tool called CardiaMetrix that is designed for the rapid evaluation of multi-phase cardiac CT studies. CardiaMetrix is available within the company's flagship 3D software product, Voxar 3D.

CardiaMetrix includes advanced tools for structural and functional analysis of contrast-enhanced computed tomography angiography (CTA) studies. Several advanced clinical application modules within CardiaMetrix include coronary vessel analysis, calcium scoring, 4D cardiac analysis and cardiac (left ventricular) functional analysis. The software also has tools for the automatic calculation of heart function parameters and quantitative analysis of cardiac anatomy, including the coronary vessels.

Barco also announced at RSNA a new partnership with workstation graphics accelerator provider ATI Technologies Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, ATI will provide Barco with access to ATI's FireGL hardware and software graphics technology. The agreement will enable Barco to utilize ATI's graphics processors units (GPUs) to meet the specific needs of medical imaging applications.

Cedara Software, a Merge Healthcare company, showcased at RSNA lung and colon advanced visualization software, a coronary screening analysis tool, as well as introduced a works-in-progress software designed for the oncology community that addresses cancer screening, diagnosis and radiotherapy treatment and planning.

Cedara's CalScore Review software, which is designed for coronary screening, provides clinicians with quantification tools for arterial