s03a.jpg (9600 bytes)Second chances can be rare opportunities to improve first attempts. Although the use of computer-assisted detection (CAD) technology with film-screen mammograms is not commonplace yet — with digitized film comprising less than 1 percent of the marketplace — the industry sees great growth potential for the technology that offers a second chance to better screen mammograms. After all, CAD is viewed as a computerized pair of eyes that never tire.

For radiologists examining digitized mammography films for calcifications and masses, vendors tout CAD technology as a second means to ensure a comprehensive examination of mammograms. The best analogy is the spell check feature on your computer, sometimes you like it’s suggestions and sometimes you don’t. CAD proponents agree it is not a panacea or a foolproof computerized solution. And the vendors will tell you, as with any tool, CAD’s usefulness depends on the skills, knowledge and understanding of the user.

Three companies, R2 Technology Inc. (Los Altos, Calif.), Scanis Inc. (Foster City, Calif.) and CADx Medical Systems (Laval, Quebec Canada), are betting on their CAD technologies’ ability to take screening mammography to a higher level. The goal of all three is to give radiologists and patients alike a second chance to ensure mammograms are thoroughly screened for suspicious regions that could be cancerous.

Please refer to the May 2001 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis