Furniture & Carts
RSNA 2005 featured a broad assortment of furniture and carts to enhance the comfort or radiologists and other specialists when reading images. Some make working a bit less strenuous, others help operating rooms tight on space or bring modalities to the point-of-care, while others are just a plain good ideas (providing many 'why didn't I think of that' moments for attendees, or at least to this one).
For operating rooms and the point of care, the good news is that COWS (carts on wheels) are getting smaller, smarter, and safer for use in tight spaces where they are needed. The carts can support a diverse set of monitors and can essentially bring PACS right next to the operating table.
A large number of products are addressing the needs of radiologists who sit for hours and hours at workstations. New ergonomic workstations are remarkably well suited with pain- free ways to adjust monitor, keyboard, and table positions and heights. Even coffee holders are high-tech these days!
Other deceptively simple products such as chairs and seat cushions may not look like much, but they pack an assortment of ingenious ideas in them that will aid our clinician friends in doing their important work.

AFC Industries introduced the Ergo Tier Deluxe, an ergonomic radiology reading station with an electronically powered, fully adjustable tilting work surface. The unit is also electronically height-adjustable and features a retractable monitor stand capable of holding up to three displays, the company said.

In addition, the reading station can be customized as to its dimensions and surface shape for individual user needs, and includes a corner unit to make the most of limited space. The workstation is available in a range of attractive colors and finishes.

AFC also introduced two adjustable, mobile Point-of-Care carts at the show. These carts have been designed to allow physicians to bring PCs to patient bedsides, operating rooms and elsewhere. The new pneumatic adjustable cart is capable of independent movement of both the keyboard and the standard desktop and is ideal for bedside use. The electronic version - powered by a rechargeable battery - is able to move the same way but more simply through the use of a simple button controls. Both models have a 21 x 24 inch footprint and large casters for easy mobility, as well as a retractable keyboard and mouse tray, the company said.

Anthro showcased a variety of new products and features for some of its core radiology furniture offerings, including the company's new Elevate Wrap and additions to the Carl's Table radiology station.
The Elevate Wrap is the latest in the Elevate Electric Lift Table family. The product is curved in a half-moon, cockpit-like shape to keep everything within easy reach, and has a large keyboard surface to provide plenty of room for a keyboard and mouse, leaving extra space for a notebook. By simply using the keypad, the Wrap surface quickly and quietly electrically raises and lowers.

The surfaces can be placed at a wide range of heights for multiple users. The silver-colored frame of the table is composed of 16 gauge steel, and the electrical components in each leg assembly are UL tested and approved. The large, 34 inch wide by 21 inch deep keyboard of the ELT Wrap is attached to the underside of the curved surface. A manual tilting keyboard surface can be adjusted to a negative or positive tilt to provide a flexible ergonomic angle for multiple users.

Cables from equipment can be routed through the Wrap's cable trough feature. If the ELT Wrap is used for PACS applications, the transformers for the monitors fit inside the cable trough so they're hidden. Also, mounting of a CPU on the side of the Wrap is possible with the ELT Siderack. Flat-panel monitors have additional flexibility with arms that raise them off the work surface. The Elevate Wrap is expected to be commercially available in January, the company said.
Anthro also showcased new additions to Carl's Table with an improved keyboard area; a redesigned coffee surface which is now able to move left or right and features a new more durable vinyl surface and is 50 percent larger; a mouse surface which is suede and also 50 percent bigger; and improved cable access management.
Also at the conference was the new charging workstation called eNook which has been designed for powering up laptops, PDAs or other rechargeable electronic devices. eNook can be locked for security and wall-mounted at any location so that healthcare professionals can recharge devices safely and conveniently. eNook should be commercially available in the first quarter of 2006.

Biomorph debuted at RSNA its Flexo Level 3 PACS workstation which features a sit-to-stand design, an all-steel frame, and comfort edges. The station has height-adjustment from 17.5 to 51.5 inches which can be changed through a fast crank or electric power. Height settings also can be stored in the system's memory. The Flexo Level 3 PACS includes a height-adjustable keyboard surface with positive/negative tilt action and a 10 inch above or below range related to the main station work surface. The workstation can accommodate three to five monitors and includes grasp springs for increased lifting ease.

Ergotron rolled out the StyleView Dual Display Cart, a new computer workstation designed to provide comfortable access to information. The cart is now available, the company said.

The StyleView Dual Display Cart allows two LCDs to be mounted side by side especially for PACS use. Ergonomically designed, the cart brings Constant Force (CF) technology to healthcare mobile computing, which provides fluid one-touch vertical movement. Healthcare workers can adjust the StyleView workstation 20 inches straight up and down, ensuring comfortable, ergonomic data entry whether sitting or standing. The cart's high-performance dual casters provide stable movement over carpet, hard floors and thresholds. A small 18 inch x 18 inch footprint is another benefit of the cart, and allows users to fit a complete imaging system in areas where space is limited. A slide-out keyboard tray easily stows away when not in use, the company said.

The StyleView Cart's fabricated parts are aluminum, zinc-plated steel and plastic to prevent rust and provide a durable, easy-to-clean exterior. Additionally, with the optional UL 60601-1 listed and certified AC powered system, the StyleView Dual Display Cart can accommodate future hardware upgrades and reduce future costs.

Planar showed its line of Dome Surgery Review Carts that have been designed to make remodeling an OR easier in the case of PACS workstations use. The company's Dome CXtra software and an optional photometer provide DICOM conformance and calibration. Dome Cxtra software also provides enterprise management capabilities, enabling administrators and IT staff to monitor display performance and calibration from a central location. The on-site integration of cart can be done in about five minutes, the company said. The carts come in different configurations including Dual Dome C3i, 3MP displays; Dual Dome Q2, 2MP grayscale displays; and Dual Dome P2, 2MP color monitors. Other features include (depending on model):
  • Dome video card; and
  • Drapable and cleanable for infection control

Quest International Inc. displayed its two mobile display cart products as an addition to its line of NEC and Totoko medical displays. The carts are geared for widespread use, such as operating rooms or point-of-care use, and generally increase portability. One of the carts is lighter weight and is best suited for dual-head monitor configuration or a single larger display but without a stainless steel LDC enclosure. The other is more heavy-duty and can handle the weight of a large LCD with steel enclosure, which is suitable for operating rooms due to the protection it provides for the monitor. Both carts run on a battery which is located on the cart itself. One core benefit to the mobile carts is to provide flexibility to surgical teams in confirmation of operating rooms where space is limited, Quest said.

RedRick Technologies Inc. showcased its core product, the Comfort View Height Adjustable Workstation. This product now includes a sensor, which acts as an electronic control center for ambient lighting and height adjustment.  The workstation also includes a "personal environment device" which is able to control air quality through a filtered recirculation system and white noise. All ComfortView Height Adjustable Workstations are custom built for the end user, the company said.

Many accessories are available to enhance the ergonomic design and function of this product. One such item displayed at the RSNA is the SYN View Box Mounting Arm.  This articulating arm allows you to mount existing view boxes on the workstation in order to do comparisons between film and digital with ease. Other items include a telephone/dictaphone holder, CPU hangers, lighting, chairs, and partitions, among others.

RedRick also demonstrated the Quad Monitor Mounting System. It can accommodate 4 monitors, with forward/backward movement, tilt and swivel features. The company also provides Monitor Mounting solutions to accommodate as many monitors as the end-user requires. 

RedRick also promoted its ergonomic solutions for reading room design at the conference. The company's architectural design team takes into consideration such factors as physical space, workflow, ergonomics, light, air quality and acoustics when designing or re-designing radiology reading environments.

Sound Ergonomics highlighted a number of its ergonomic products, including a new PACS Desk System. The desk is electronically height-adjustable from 26 to 49 inches with a keyboard that is independently adjustable. Adjustable monitor mounts also make the system accessible to a variety of individuals, regardless of their size.
Also showcased was the company's HAG Capisco Ergonomic Chair. Designed by the HAG Company of Oslo, Norway, the chair is geared for ultrasound use. Key features include a backwards tilt; lockable seat adjustable; seat height-adjustable from 28 to 35 inches; seat depth adjustment; back height adjustment; footbase with sloping footplates; independent backwards tilt resistance adjustment; 265 mm lift; a foot ring; standard nylon casters for carpet; and rubber casters for hard floors.
The company demonstrated the benefits of its Sit Fit Cushions designed to counter potential damage of sitting for prolonged periods which can be countered by movement. The air-filled Sit Fit cushions, which are placed in a conventional chair, can improve posture and promote movement while in a sitting position.
The company also demonstrated its scanning tables that are electronically height adjustable, provide for better patient positioning, and are configured for every specialty.
A tool for cable support for sonographers was also shown, which connects a transducer cable to the arm to improve comfort and convenient during a scan.
Finally, Sound Ergonomics provided details about its ergonomics-related consulting services which include clinical site evaluations and workshops.

S&S X-Ray introduced its new EW 100 Full Ergonomic Workstation for PACS. The workstation provides a way for reading images on two individually controlled, motorized table surfaces through a CPU and monitors. The workstation includes computer height adjustment switches for five programmed memory settings. Other features include adjustable ambient lighting controls, as well as options for monitor arms, task reading lights and brackets for illuminators.

Virtual Radiologic let attendees give its VR Ergonomics office equipment products a spin at RSNA. Components of the product line include ErgoPod 500 and the Stance Angle Chair.
The ErgoPOD 500 is a sit/stand/recline workstation desk which is capable of adjusting for all sizes of radiologists designed for comfort during the long shifts required when working on PACS.  It can adapt to user preferences, and fits with any chair-in any position. ErgoPOD comes with triple LCD mount and oversized keyboard/mouse/VRGrip tray, the company said.
The Stance Angle Chair is designed so that radiologists can adjust sitting positions to a variety of postures to help reduce back pain, numbness and ergonomic problems. The chair lets you easily change position regularly, from sitting to kneeling-to reclining-to standing, and positions between. The backrest is dynamic and adjusts automatically with each user movement for continual back support. Three pressurized springs help raise and lower the chair, change the seat angle and position the knee cushion, the company said.

XYBIX Systems Inc. showcased its fully customizable PACS workstation with numerous ergonomic features. The workstation is height-adjustable, and includes air-filtering fans; custom lighting; a heater for your feet; and the Rollervision monitor rack. XYBIX also offers a chair with I-Fit software which is programmable for individualized ergonomic settings.