Systems from left: Doctor and technician examining CT scans on Kodak PACS system at Strong memorial hospital;image Systems Image 5MP, a grayscale video graphics card; McKessons three-monitor Horizon Rad Station; Kodaks CR 850. Screen images clockwise from left: RIS Logics integrated mammography system; Intelerads clinical PACS viewer; ASmicas Vision series web-based PACS
The Society for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR of Great Falls, Va.) marks a milestone this month in Boston, when the association holds its 20th annual symposium.
The four-day event takes place from June 7 through June 10 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Hynes Convention Center. The conference is both a scientific and educational meeting devoted to the latest advancements in computer-based equipment with applications in radiology. SCAR interests radiologists, technologists, scientists, engineers and healthcare administrators desiring access to the progressing field of imaging technology and information.
This years symposium explores the theme, Information Explosion, Embracing Our Future in the 21st Century. Highlights include educational forums, demonstrations, tours of electronic imaging activities at Boston medical centers and numerous vendor exhibits of leading technologies in radiology computer products and services.
Debuting this year on June 6 is the SCAR PACS Administration Course, a special one-day session for recent and soon-to-be PACS (picture archiving and communications system) administrators.
On June 7, the meeting opens with a keynote address by Ray Kurzweil, the inventor of computer-based speech recognition systems and author of The Age of Spiritual Machine. Kurzweil will speak on the impact of 21st century technology on human health and society, investigating the implications of the accelerating knowledge of technology and workings of the human brain.
Depending on ones experience in digital imaging technology, SCAR University will provide introductory and advanced senior level courses of study. Up to 28 hours of CME, CE and MEP credits will be offered.
Attendees also may register to tour Childrens Hospital (Boston), the largest pediatric medical center in the United States, and view the newly constructed computer room, as well as the hospitals state-of-the-art MRI reading room.
The closing session highlights SCARs theme and includes insights into challenges that arise from ever-advancing medical imaging technology and growing volumes of data. Representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the entertainment industry will explore how their corresponding disciplines faced similar challenges posed by large amounts of image data.
The exhibit hall
Outside of the SCARs educational opportunities are a host of new products being displayed in the exhibit hall.
As part of Agfas Impax for Orthopedics, Agfa will highlight their pre-surgical planning station with digital templating, the OT3000. Also on view will be Agfas newest partner, Provation Medical. Together, the two companies offer a complete digital information system from image capture, clinical procedure documentation, image review, surgical planning and coding compliance solution.
The entire system will be part of the SCAR tours and can be seen at the New England Baptist Hospital, one of the nations leading orthopedic centers.
A new works-in-progress will be featured at SCAR, the Embrace DS300. This dedicated digital mammography display station is unique as it is planned be part of the single database IMPAX system. Existing customers will be able to add a dedicated display station to take advantage of their existing infrastructure. For new customers, they will be able to have a multi-modality PACS system for all of womens care.
As an example of Agfas integration abilities will be solutions featuring desktop integration and context sharing. A new arrangement with Voxar Inc. (Boston) will allow desktop sharing of their leading 3D image software with Agfas leading DS3000 radiologist display station. The desktop integration allows content sharing of demographic data that save radiologist time.
Algotec Inc. (Duluth, Ga.) at SCAR will exhibit enhancements to MediPrime, its 3D radiology reading station. MediPrime automates sophisticated functions, such as multi-planar reformatted views of CT studies and instantaneous displays of MR and CT angiography in maximum intensity projection mode.
The new workstation includes a separate dedicated screen for integrated RIS and voice recognition that also can be used for a view of entire patient files, while reviewing current studies on the main image screens.
Amicas Inc. (Boston) will announce the commercial availability of Amicas Vision Series Web-based PACS. The Vision Series is highlighted by the LightBeam web-based diagnostic workstation and RealTime worklist that powers highly customized workflow. Features include workflow continuity, such as automatic radiology order generation based upon the DICOM header.
Visions problem studies tool allows institutions flexibility to repair the original study, helping preserve long-term data integrity and eliminate orphaned studies.
Canon Medical Systems is debuting the CXDI-50G portable DR system as a works-in-progress at SCAR.
Canon Medical Systems (Irvine, Calif.) will display an enhanced line-up of digital radiography products with enhanced image quality and extensive networking capabilities.
Canons new products include the Canon CXDI-50G large area (14-inch by 17-inch) portable digital radiography system for trauma, bedside, and other diverse applications. The CXDI-50G is pending FDA clearance.
Horizon is Codonics (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) latest advancement in medical imagers. Horizon is a 14-inch by 17-inch highly compact multi-media dry imager that requires approximately two feet of desk space and weighs less than 80 pounds.
The Horizon system includes a dry film imager, color imager, and grayscale paper printer. Most emphasized is its ability to allow users to go from film to color without having to change the media.
Entera a new product born from a partnership between eMed Technologies Corp. (Burlington, Mass.) and Creative Computer Applications (CCA of Calabasas, Calif.) will be on display SCAR. Entera merges information system functionality with digital imaging workflow, providing facilities with RIS/PACS integration from a single patient information database. eMeds ideal image management suite was merged with CCAs CyberRad radiology information system to create Entera.
Features of the CyberRad RIS include intuitive scheduling and management, digital dictation, and mammography tracking.
eMed also will display its diagnostic reading station, Web products, both Enterprise and onCall, and FrontOffice, a Web-based integration of patient registration and scheduling information to assist a facilitys workflow.
Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, N.Y.) will display its Kodak DirectView Web distribution system for the clinical review of medical imaging studies and radiology reports.
This new Web distribution system is designed to support clinical review by physicians on dual-monitor, high-resolution workstations and supports both Macintosh and PC platforms using an Internet Explorer or Netscape browser. It also provides both lossless and lossy (wavelet) compression and conversion from lossy to lossless with a single mouse click and progressively downloads imaging studies in layers of increasing resolution and allows users to manipulate initial image layers before the final layer arrives.
Kodak DirectView can be linked to HIS/RIS systems and other information systems using a highly configurable HL-7 interface. No application software is required at the user level.
Also new is the Kodak DirectView CR 850 single-cassette for computed radiography (CR) system. The CR 850 can produce up to 100 cassettes an hour, as its design features a footprint of just 25 inches by 29 inches for use in the ER, ICU and other areas with limited floor space.
The CR 850 also has a new 15-inch flat-panel screen for greater brightness and contrast for enhanced image display.
EMC Corp. (Hopkinton, Mass.) will offer its Centera Compliance Edition, a specialized content addressed storage (CAS) system specifically designed to meet records retention regulations, especially the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The EMC Centera CAS is designed to manage and store fixed content or unchanging data, such as X-rays, medical records and e-mails. The online archival storage medium is capable of guaranteeing content authenticity and scaling to hundreds of terabytes without requiring additional management overhead.
The Centera Compliance Edition is the next-generation in secure, online storage optimized for long-term retention and instant retrieval of regulated digital assets. New features include retention enforcement, which allows retention periods on electronic records to be set.
eSys Medical (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) plans to launch its RadioLogic v.3.8. The Web interface is a customizable application that automates all workflow and interacts with PACS, HIS and other systems in the clinical environment.
Already a module of RadioLogic, RLWeb allows radiologists, transcriptionists, referring physicians and others who work outside the clinical environment to perform remote diagnostics, dictation and transcription, download medical images, request exams, and review results online, all with an Internet connection.
Image Systems Corp. (Minnetonka, Minn.) plans to announce the release of its Image-5MP. The dual-head, 10-bit, digital, five-megapixel card can be used in conjunction with Images FP2130HBMAX, a 21.3-inch grayscale 5MP AMLCD flat panel display.
Designed specifically for medical imaging, features of the Image-5MP include calibration and DICOM-compatible gamma correction, portrait acceleration via hardware, and a small form factor PCI bus with dual outputs enabling installation of multiple dual-head workstation configurations.
Intelerad (Montreal) will give SCAR goers a look at the new features to its PACS Clinical Viewer. Speed enhancements, cross-reference lines for CT and MRI, linked stacking for two or more MR series and an integrated report viewer are a few of the new innovations. The Clinical Viewer supports HL7 communications, DICOM modality worklists and RIS/HIS pre-fetching. While it mimics many high-end RIS/PAC workstations, the Clinical Viewer boasts a price that smaller facilities and private practices can afford.
McKesson Medical Imaging (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada), formerly A.L.I. Technologies, will showcase the latest advancements to its product line, Horizon Medical Imaging, formerly ALI UltraPacs.
McKesson will feature the Horizon Rad Station, a three-monitor workstation for study review from any modality. Mixed monitor support of two grayscale flat-panel monitors allows image viewing and an additional color monitor will be shown. In-Box features are designed for enhanced filtering control and to view patient history and indications, reports and images from any modality across the enterprise.
McKessons Rad Report also allows users to select, verify and distribute images. Options include document scanning, voice clips, integration with voice recognition, Jot Pad annotation tool and Web-based information access.
Merge eFilm (Milwaukee) is fueling the flight of the filmless environment with the release of its Fusion Server 1.0. The server platform and software application modules provide an all-in-one PACS Web distribution and teleradiology. Integrating database, image storage and workflow capabilities on a unified, scalable platform, Merge eFilms new product supports a suite of application modules, including HIS/RIS integration, archiving, image streaming and Web access.
Solutions that integrate RIS and PACS are the focus for Misys Healthcare Systems (Raleigh, N.C.). Misys PACS Integration Module (PIM) targets healthcare networks with an existing PACS looking to integrate that system with a RIS. The PIM is an application that resides between a PACS and Misys Radiology, the companys RIS, and communicates directly with any PACS via DICOM 3.0.
Image archiving takes place from the RIS after images have been reconciled from the PACS. The PIM stores the images as HL7-compliant data, eliminating the need for HL7 interfaces to an HIS.
Addressing the need of those who want a single-access, single-screen RIS-PACS, Misys plans to offer a comprehensive RIS-PACS system with RIS-PACS integration on a single application screen. The system was developed with eRad/Image Medical (Allentown, Pa.).
Philips Medical Systems (Andover, Mass.) will show Unique, an advanced image processing product for CR. Unique is currently released on the DigitalDiagnost using flat-plate digital detector technology. Unique is designed to deliver universal multi-scale image-processing to all Philips digital radiography (DR) systems and can be used with both CR and direct digital images. Unique uses a so-called harmonized contrast technique for optimum image contrast over an entire image. There is no need for individual adjustments to each image.
Philips also will be showcasing two new products, the DX.Net and ViewForum. DX.Net is an extension of the Philips .Net roadmap for delivering PACS into the marketplace utilizing Microsofts .Net strategy. DX.Net will be an extension of CL.Net, the already existing clinical version. DX.net will allow users to utilize dual monitors with other radiology diagnostic features. ViewForum is Philips viewing tool for isotropic imaging designed for reading very large CT and MR multi-slice stacks. This allows Philips to take the diagnostic reading station from two dimensions to a 3D PACS environment.
The Philips booth also will showcase the Diamond PACS architecture, which allows customers to purchase a single PACS solution for both radiology and cardiology.
Planar Systems Inc. (Beaverton, Oregon) brings its full line of Dome CX digital flat-panel displays, highlighting the new addition to its family, C5i. The gray-scaled displays currently include the C2, C3 and C5. The C5i offers a viewing angle of 170 degrees, enabling groups of medical professional to gather around the display to view images simultaneously. Planar also will show advances to its Cxtra software that runs on Dome CX display systems.
RISLogic Inc. (Solon, Ohio) will release of its mammography tracking system at SCAR this year. Features of the software include lay letter management, reminder letter management, MQSA output files, mammography QA and biopsy follow up.
Also slated for the show is its completely embedded digital dictation functionality. The software was created by combining systems from both RISLogic and Dictaphone Corp. (Stanford, Conn.). The software will allow users to log into the RIS and access dictation on one system.
Orex Computed Radiology (Auburndale, Mass.) will introduce the Orex/Onyx-RAD, which combines the companys desktop CR system with a mini-PACS.
The Orex/Onyx-RAD can send and receive DICOM files and burn them to CDs for archiving or distribution to referring physicians. The Orex/Onyx unit has a Web server option enabling Internet/intranet connectivity for remote image transfer, as well as options for various comparison levels.
ScImage Inc. (Los Altos, Calif.) shows the integration of its PICOMEnterprise with existing clinical systems to provide a healthcare facility with data acquisition, management, distribution and quantitative analysis capabilities.
PICOMEnterprise uses a web-enabled foundation that comes with built-in telemedicine functionality. The product stores and distributes images, information, demographics and reports from radiology, cardiology or any other department. Standard viewing tools are included with optional advanced quantitative image post-processing modules, knowledge-based reporting and links to third-party clinical reporting and scheduling systems available.
Integrating solutions is the game strategy for Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc. (Malvern, Pa.), as the company exhibits advanced clinical and information technologies for healthcare. Highlights include syngo software for medical imaging; Soarian, a health information system for an entire enterprise; Sienet/Novius for integrated PACS/RIS; and KinetDX Solutions, a network system for ultrasound.
TeraRecon Inc. (San Mateo, Calif.) will focus on image management with the presentation of AquariusNet and the Personal Digital Light Box (PDLB). The AquariusNET client-server system delivers access to diagnostic 3D across the radiology department and beyond. TeraRecons product provides the same performance and capacity for huge data sets to be reviewed that is available on advanced post-processing dedicated workstations without the need for a high-powered computer at the point of review.
GE Medical Systems Information Technologies (GEMSIT of Milwaukee) and TeraRecon will demonstrate the integration of GEMSITs Centricity PACS and AquariusNet.
Also on display will be TeraRecons PDLB, a product designed to replace conventional film light boxes in film reading rooms, physicians offices and surgical settings. Utilizing its large display area of up to 36 million display pixels, PDLB makes possible simultaneous display and comparison of multiple series or studies, from different dates, with different phases of contrast enhancement or from a variety of different imaging modalities.
GEMSIT also will show its newest workstations and display systems, as well as the latest release of Centricity RA 1000 software and additional applications to manage the large data sets associated with newer MRI and CT systems. Also featured will be GE Centricity AI 1000 technology, which is designed to address the specialized imaging and reporting of the cardiologist.
The next-generation reading room concept demonstrates GEs commitment to ergonomic and reading room design. This area will feature the RA1000 workstation and will also showcase softcopy mammography reading.
Voxar Inc. (Boston) will showcase its newly upgraded 3D software, Voxar 3D. The release of v.4.1 introduces a task-based interface (UI) and workflow improvements. Such improvements include an advanced derived series which lets the user review, edit and W/L a series prior to capture in any plane from any MPR or slab along with a targeted 3D volume review allowing users to quickly review complex internal structures.
Voxars CT colonography product, Voxar Colonscreen, version 2.2, will also be launched at SCAR.