Works-in-progress showcase imagings near-term future

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CHICAGO, Nov. 25—The annual RSNA conference this week in Chicago is the world’s premier launch pad for innovations in diagnostic imaging. The exhibition halls of the 93rd annual meeting at McCormick Place are the venue for the introduction of products and technology that transform the practice of medicine, offering new devices for diagnosing disease more effectively and providing new tools for sharing that information more efficiently.

In addition to the debut of new devices and software, developers this week are showcasing works-in-progress equipment and applications. For healthcare professionals eager to take a peek behind the curtain to see what’s next over the technical horizon, these exhibits offer a tantalizing glimpse of near-term technologies for diagnostic imaging.

Although not yet quite ready for deployment in the clinical continuum, or still waiting approval for use in the United States, the products described below offer a look behind the doors of research and development departments around the globe.

Advanced Visualization

Philips Medical Systems is spotlighting its works-in-progress iSite Colonography and iSite Pulmonary Embolism applications.

Philips iSyntax3D technology, employed in the iSite visualization products, provides rendering performance and scalability without additional server cost and complexities. In addition, iSyntax3D utilizes minimal bandwidth to load volumetric (DICOM) datasets. 

The iSite 3.6 and 4.1 advanced visualization tools are designed to speed the reading of volumetric datasets such as multidetector CT and MRI cases. The toolset sports a dedicated user interface and workflow features specifically tailored to facilitate PACS workflow.

The iSite Colonography and iSite Pulmonary Embolism applications features MIP/MPR/3D Volume rendering, on-demand task guidance, and a simplified volume user interface provide step-by-step help. Philips said it anticipates general market availability of the applications during the first quarter of 2008.

The iSite advanced visualization suite is bolstered by iSite Volume Vision, which features task-guided segmentation and classification tools, the capability for protocol-based and freestyle movie generation and capture. Advanced review protocols will allow for easy review of complex cases and merging and color mapping of CT and MRI datasets is provided. The iSite Volume Vision is scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2008.


Medipattern Corporation is showing works-in-progress for computer-assisted detection (CAD) on whole-breast ultrasound. CAD is the key to effectively reading the multiple images acquired during whole-breast ultrasound, according to Medipattern.

Next-generation B-CAD capabilities read the images in cine loops, automatically detecting and characterizing lesions. The CAD results are reviewed by the radiologist for editing and then B-CAD automatically enters the evidence and findings into a natural language report.

Cardiac Imaging

Siemens Medical Solutions is unveiling a works-in-progress syngo PE Detection tool, a second-reader tool for the detection of segmental and sub-segmental filling defects in CT angiography studies of the thorax. The application supports commonly applied CT acquisition protocols for detection of pulmonary embolism. The second-reader product is integrated with the syngo Circulation application to enable an efficient reading and reporting process.

The syngo PE Detection tool is available currently for sale outside the U.S. market, Siemens said.

Toshiba America Medical Systems is introducing low-contrast imaging features as a works-in-progress for its Infinix line.

This new capability will allow soft-tissue imaging in the angiography suite and help physicians provide better patient care by improving CT-like imaging at the point of treatment, as opposed to having to transfer a patient to a CT scanner, the company said.  The feature will be available to customers in December.

Zonare Medical Systems is unveiling a works-in-progress basic cardiac package for its new ultra system, the company’s next-generation convertible ultrasound platform.

Using the P4-1c transducer, the package includes 2D imaging with two harmonic and four fundamental frequencies. It also has M-Mode with a basic calculation package and 2D measurements for evaluating left ventricular function. Additionally, PW Doppler for basic evaluations and measurements is included as well as color Doppler for valvular