RSNA product reviews
Barco debuts new displays

"Barco brings color to its Coronis family," the Kortrijk, Belgium-based company announced at RSNA 2003. Color in the sense that the company will offer a 2 mega-pixel (MP) 20.1-inch color liquid crystal display (LCD) that is compatible with 2D and 3D applications for softcopy environments. The display is appropriate for viewing images from PACS, ultrasound, orthopedic imaging, cardiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, nuclear medicine and positron emission tomography (PET).

 Barco's color 2MP LCD also displays grayscale images, comes equipped with the company's built-in color I-Guard technology and is compatible with MediCal Administrator software for remote calibration.

 Barco also showcased its DICOM-compliant projection system called DICOM Theater. The system bundles a high brightness medical grade projector, flat-panel display, dedicated BarcoMed grayscale imaging board and management software for large screen consulting, reviewing and training applications. If a dark environment is unavailable, Barco also offers a DICOM Theatre rear projection system for ambient settings.

  Hands-free calibration at Image Systems

Image Systems Corp. was on board at RSNA this year with its new Calibration Feedback System (CFS), a local and network addressable display calibration system for use with the company's family of flat panel, grayscale LCDs. DICOM conformance is ensured through utilization of the hands-free calibration software, which also features support for multi-monitor configuration, background backlight stability verification, documentation and adjustment, as well as integrated light sensors.

  Planar highlights new displays

Planar Systems highlighted its most recent release and extension of flat-panel displays, the new Adara Qx. Offering both two and three mega pixel versions, the Adara Qx line includes referral-quality grayscale displays calibrated to the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard and intended for general medical viewing. The displays allow a variety of healthcare professionals to review quality grayscale images throughout the healthcare environment.

 Planar also announced that its CXtra software now will be available for the Adara Qx displays, in addition to the company's line of Dome Cx liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and desktop monitors. Ensuring that the displays conform to DICOM, CXtra software enables remote calibration of enterprise-wide monitors.

  SonoSite rolls out new features for Titan

SonoSite Inc., developer of the portable Titan ultrasound system, offered new features to the compact device, including a software package for vascular imaging and expanded connectivity capabilities.

 Titan incorporates the company's ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) technology, which integrates millions of transistors onto one chip, allowing the device to weigh seven pounds. Booting in 12 seconds, SonoSite says the next step will be getting the system to boot in six seconds.

 Titan features 2D split-screen imaging, directional color power Doppler and steerable color box on liner array transducers, DICOM print and store board, pulsed wave Doppler with Duplex imaging and volume flow measurement.

  Sony debuts Professional Disc archiving solution

Sony Electronics disclosed its new Professional Disc to enhance the industry's archiving methods. The storage device is intended for data optical storage drives, automated devices and media to OEMs and system integrators.

 Based on blue laser technology, the Professional Disc stores up to 23 gigabytes (GB) of native capacity per rewritable or write-once/ready-many (WORM) disc, while the drive sustains a maximum transfer rate of 11 megabytes (MB) per second.

 "Traditionally when people needed a backup or archive, they did it on a tape disk, but this new technology that we are showcasing is suitable for any image intensive acquisition, including CT, MRI and digital mammography," explains Mark Wagner, Manager Medical-IT Solutions. "There are many different places it can be used; it just depends on the workflow."

 In the future, the company anticipates a second-generation drive and media to the market by 2005 that will feature up to 50 GB of capacity with a transfer rate of 22MB/sec, eventually followed by a third generation of drive and media featuring 100 GB of capacity with a transfer rate of 43 MB/sec.

 In addition to its already released FilmStation dry film imager, Sony Electronics also brought its new A6 color video medical-grade printer with a USB 2.0 high speed interface intended for ultrasound and endoscopy.

 The UP-D23MD printer produces 400dpi prints with more that 16 million color tones. In addition to connecting directly to modalities, the device can print images from a PC or network server. The company says the printer is priced at $2,379.

 First introduced at RSNA 2002, Sony's FilmStation delivers high resolution images in 4,096 shades of gray for a full range of modalities, including CT, MRI, CR, DR and ultrasound. Compact in design with the ability to be positioned on its side, the FilmStation can print up to 70 14-by-17-inch films per hour.

  2 new storage devices debut at TDK

TDK Medical featured two turnkey hardware and software storage devices, designed for recording multimodality radiologic images onto CD-R. The CDRS-1100AUTO TP Medical CD recording station and CDRS-1100AD medical recording station took center stage at the company's exhibit.

 Both systems offer connectivity to a DICOM-compliant network, accept a range of DICOM-compliant information object definitions (IODs) and offer easy management and navigation of single or multiple patient studies.

 While both systems are similar in operation and functionality, the CDRS-1100AUTO TP also features a Rimage Amigo II automated CD production station which mass-produces on-demand CD-R discs and automatically prints patient and institute on information on the label.

  TeraMedica unveils cost-effective image storage

TeraMedica, a medical informatics company in Milwaukee, Wis., showcased its Intelligent Image Manager (TI²m) software version 2.0 recently purchased by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

 "TeraMedica provides software that works on any Unix server platform, and operates on any storage hardware that the facility uses," said Paul Schmelzer, executive vice president and COO.

 TI²m is designed to capture data from imaging devices or PACS, store the digital images, and make them available for delivery to the point of patient care across the healthcare enterprise. The data is "migrated" from the conventional methods of storage today and moved to an environment that handles it in a cost effective manner.

 "Medical imaging is fast approaching a petabyte scale data management problem with a terabyte architecture purchased at gigabyte prices," explains Schmelzer. "The software allows images to be taken from the devices and stored on-line and off-line dependent on their retrieval characteristics.

 "In relation to PACS, we take the image data from the PACS, off load it and get it into the mass scale storage units that vendors produce. From that central repository, the data can be served electronically to on call physicians or it can be tied into a comprehensive medical record (EMR)," added Schmelzer. "In a conventional world, all that's tied up in the PACS and it becomes a departmental problem.

  Viatronix adds new dimension to vascular imaging

Viatronix Inc., provider of 2D and 3D visualization software, highlighted its recently FDA-approved V3D-Vascular module designed specifically to ease the burden placed on radiologists and technologists to create clear visualization of complex vascular anatomy. The module allows the user to examine vessels in 2D and 3D, fly through, view hard and soft plaque and make precise measurements. Viatronix also hallmarked its V3D- Colon system that renders 2D computed tomography images of the colon into 3D images to screen for polyps and other abnormalities. At RSNA 2003, researchers revealed in a study that virtual colonoscopy is as sensitive as and less invasive than conventional colonoscopy in screening average-risk patients.

  Vidar debuts faster digitizer

Vidar Systems Corp. introduced Advantage, the company's new platform of film digitizers that scan faster, employ automatic digitizer calibration (ADC) and offer reliable film feeding. Using Vidar's CCD (charged couple device) technology, the Advantage platform includes digitizers for three application segments: mammography computer aided detection (CAD) - the CAD Pro Advantage; picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) - the DiagnosticPro Advantage; and oncology - the DosimetryPro Advantage. According to Vidar, the Advantage line is designed to be "backward compatible" with Vidar's previous product platform and allows customers the availability to upgrade their systems.

  Voxar touts Voxar 3D and Colonscreen upgrades

Provider of 3D software for PACS, Voxar Ltd., launched new versions of both its Voxar 3D and Colonscreen at RSNA 2003.

 Appropriate for pre-, intra- and post-operative examinations, the latest version of Voxar 3D, 4.2, can visualize and analyze image data from PET scanners to MDCT and MRI studies. This latest feature allows PET data to be viewed using Voxar's 2D, MPR, MIP and 3D reconstruction tools.

 Three-dimensional endoscopic visualization has also been integrated into v. 4.2. The non-invasive method provides a fly-through perspective view of hollow anatomic regions to improve localization and characterization of pathology.