s04a.jpg (8155 bytes)There will be three letters that RSNA attendees likely will hear quite frequently during their respective stays in Chicago — ASP. It stands for application service provider and many information management vendors are turning to ASPs as the technological foundation of new products and services.

IMCO Technologies Corp. (Pawaukee, Wis.) will make its RSNA debut after the management buyout from Rogan Medical Systems BV (Zeist, The Netherlands). IMCO will show several new offerings, including regional archiving of images, ASP delivery of images, Web-browsing capability for retrieval and review of images.

“We’ll unveil our fee-per-use approach to PACS at RSNA,” says IMCO President and CEO Mark L. Schwartz. Among with the new products, IMCO will show enhancements to existing offerings, including AIT and DVD archiving and its Image Review software.

Marconi Medical Systems Inc.’s (Highland Heights, Ohio) will take the wraps off its new Web-based PACS offering, which was developed with Xcert International Inc. (Dallas). Marconi — which has acquired a significant amount of stock in Xcert — uses Xcert’s public key infrastructure technology to provide secure patient information, data transfer, digital signatures and encrypted e-mails.

Marconi also will discuss its application service provider (ASP) model. At press time, the company was working on the final details on what it will show in this area.

Agfa Corp. (Ridgefield Park, N.J.) will focus its PACS exhibit on the bigger systems issues of interoperability and integration, as showcased in the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) project. Advanced features, such as embedded RIS and voice recognition capabilities will be emphasized, while featured hardware will include the Impax orthopedic planning station and the integrated cardiology workstation.

While details were unavailable at press time, Agfa officials say the company will unveil its ASP solution at RSNA.

On the service side, Pacswatch version 2 will be on display as a tool for proactive monitoring of a PACS network.

A.L.I. Technologies Inc. (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada) will showcase the latest developments in enterprise PACS technology. Scheduled developments include 3D viewing and live video streaming. ALI will show enhancements to its A.L.I. UltraPACS image review software, including extended cine playback tools, sophisticated display protocols and advanced search features. New applications include an image capture system which is housed in a compact, go-anywhere chassis, and A.L.I. UltraPACS AnyWare, a remote review workstation that provides the same tools as a full-featured hospital PACS workstation.

A.L.I. also will feature the latest advances in high capacity data archiving on AIT-2 tape, NAS RAID configurations and new DVD media. Integration with third-party applications will be demonstrated with PowerScribe, an integrated voice recognition software for online reporting, and a report export broker between A.L.I. UltraPACS and a HIS/RIS.

Siemens Medical Systems Inc. (Iselin, N.J.) will share its booth with the former Shared Medical Systems Corp. (Malvern, Pa.), Siemens’ $2.1 billion acquisition of this year.

Siemens plans to introduce specific works-in-progress PACS and product enhancements to optimize the radiology workplace. They include the deep integration of PACS with healthcare IT, optimizing workflow and offering radiologists more efficiency and access to “contextual data,” such as the complete electronic patient record (EPR) and integrating RIS, voice recognition technology and EPR.

Siemens also will demonstrate PACS-ASP solutions, such as remote archiving of imaging studies. The company will target smaller, community hospitals, which also may look to install a PACS, as the company demonstrates specific PACS products, scalable to large PACS, and compatible with Siemens’ existing PACS line.

Siemens also will follow up on syngo, which debuted at RSNA ‘99. The common, open architecture and intuitive user interface standards developed by Siemens engineers now is implemented across all Siemens medical equipment.

Fuji Medical Systems USA Inc. (Stamford, Conn.) will offer several new features to its Synapse 2.0 PACS. The new version accommodates multiple databases with secured logins. A new concept of folder subscriptions permits remote physicians, on-call radiologists and other specialists to subscribe to specific sets of information.

Cedara Software Corp. (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) will display its VR Reach image management software product, which enables bi-directional communication. The VR 4.0 product is the next generation of Cedara’s viewing and reporting workstation built on the Cedara component technology.

Cassling Diagnostic Imaging (Omaha, Neb.) formed its Artesian Medical (Dallas) subsidiary to offer scaleable, open PACS networking products. Cassling’s offerings are designed, built, tested and serviced at the integration lab in Omaha. The Dallas operations will house the R&D, marketing and sales operations.

Products including capture, viewing, communication, storage, retrieval, voice recognition and report distribution. It offers an ASP model developed by Inphact Inc. (Nashville, Tenn.).

Philips Medical Systems North America (Shelton, Conn.) will debut version 7.1 of its Inturis software for PACS. In addition to some security additions, the new version is geared toward enterprisewide use, combining the cardiology and radiology-specific Inturis products.

Milan DiPierro, business unit manager for Inturis, says Philips will address HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) security standards with version 7.1 and integrate Talk Technology Inc.’s (Houston) digital dictation system into the company’s product line. The new version is being installed at four hospitals in New York City for testing.

Philips also will disclose its plans for an ASP model at RSNA, but would not release any information prior to the show. Philips plans to have representatives from its ASP partners in the Philips booth at RSNA and expects to have ASP test sites up and running by year-end.

RSNA newcomer EMC Corp. (Hopkinton, Mass.) will use this year’s annual meeting to formally enter the healthcare market through its Healthcare Solutions group. EMC’s booth will show the company’s video streaming capabilities, running a presentation from disk powered by EMC’s Celerra file server and the Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems and software.

William Knight, director of the Healthcare Solutions group, says the booth will serve as a spot for EMC and its partners to sit and talk with attendees about the new focus on healthcare at EMC. Personal viewing stations in the booth will be available to provide more detailed information on EMC’s direction in healthcare.

Swearingen Software (Houston) has a new Windows product. Company President Randall Swearingen says the software is designed to organize scheduling, patient registration, quality control, transcription, film tracking and mammography. It interfaces through HL7, which allows connection with other departments in the hospital — such as information systems or billing — to send and receive data.

In addition, the company has added new features to its DOS software, such as the ability to do TCP/IP, and export transcription results directly to HTML to be viewed on a Web browser.

IDX Systems Inc. (Burlington, Vt.) will have a general release of products that have been featured in its Web-based RIS imaging suite. John Jordan, vice president of sales for the radiology division, says IDX is working on becoming a full-service PACS provider in conjunction with another vendor. Details will be announced at RSNA. The company expects to provide RIS, PACS, archiving and workstations in this partnership.

IDX also will be seen at RSNA’s InfoRad exhibit with an IDXrad RIS radiology system, working with an Agfa PACS and Talk Technology voice recognition system.

Konica Medical (Wayne, N.J.) plans to introduce two new products, as well as a host of enhancements to its DryPro 722 dry laser imager and Print Link device. The company also will show a works-in-progress for the Regius product line. Konica also will have formal announcements of partnerships with BarcoView (Duluth, Ga.) and Merge Technologies Inc. (Milwaukee), and highlight its partnerships with Rorke Data Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Howtek Inc. (Hudson, N.H.).

Codonics Inc. (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) will unveil its Horizon multimedia desktop imager. The Horizon is the latest in PACS multi-functional imagers for both centralized and de-centralized printing. Built to handle the throughput demands of a high-volume radiology department’s film needs, Horizon also can transition to PACS.

The newly named BarcoView’s (formerly Barco Display Systems) interventional MRI (IMRI) flat-panel display will make its debut in Chicago this year. The IMRI can be used in an MRI examination room alongside the magnet. The display uses fiber-optic cable to bring the image into the MRI suite and will enable surgical procedures to be performed while the patient is undergoing an MRI.

BarcoView’s new MediCal Administrator software for PACS is an enterprisewide QA tool, assuring the consistent performance of every display in the facility from one central location either inside the hospital or via the Web from a remote location. The system

provides complete tracking and supportive documentation regardless of display brand.

BarcoView’s MGD 2621 medical landscape gray-scale display is a 21-inch, two mega-pixel, 1600-by-1200 high-performance diagnostic display.

Monitor maker Data-Ray Corp. (Westminister, Colo.) will use RSNA to unveil its new DR120 monitor with DR.KAL calibration software. The DR120 is a 21-inch, five-megapixel diagnostic display with peak luminance of 150 footlamps. The DR.KAL software calibrates the DR120 to ensure stable white level, black level and gamma correction. This feature allows several monitors in a single room to be calibrated similarly. The DR.KAL calibration software is included with the monitor at no additional cost.

Algotec Systems Ltd. (Duluth, Ga.), will show additions and enhancements to the ImagiNet family of Web-based PACS. Med-e-Mail is an automated way to e-mail radiology reports and key images as HTML pages. With the program, the radiologist marks key images to explain the findings to the referring physician. The physician, in turn, can use those images to review the findings with the patient.

Algotec’s CD-Surf is designed for physicians who are not online. It allows radiologists to send an imaging study with the report on CD-ROM to a referring physician. CD-Surf is self-contained, so a physician only needs a CD-ROM drive and a standard Web browser to view the information.

Further expanding its MediSurf technology, Algotec also will debut Java-based image review tools, which will allow physicians to view on the Web 3D reconstructed images from a radiologist.

Perfecting Algotec’s ASP model, the company’s MediStore image archive system now offers multiple customers the ability to share the same MediStore archive. Hosted by Algotec, but maintaining complete data partitioning and security, the ASP model offers customers the same features as an on-site archive at a lower cost. Algotec’s ASP model also is designed to help healthcare providers move into PACS without allocating large capital outlays upfront.

“RSNA 2000 will be ASP 2000,” predicts Richard Friswell, chairman and CEO of InSiteOne (Wallingford, Conn.). In keeping with that proclamation, InSiteOne will make its appearance at this year’s show with an ASP model built around InDex, the company’s archiving solution.

As it did at its debut a year ago, InSiteOne will present its archiving service as the centerpiece for a PACS. Friswell says the company is developing several strategic alliances that will enable it to offer customers a PACS solution in a price-per-study model, consisting of hardware, software and network infrastructure with InDex.

Rorke Data will unveil several new products at its RSNA booth this year, beginning with the ASACA TeraCart DVD-RAM 1450-slot library with double-sided 4.7 gigabyte drive for a total of 9.4 gigabytes per slot. Individual libraries can be configured with one to 24 drives, and up to eight libraries can be connected using pass-through and infrared communications. In addition to being able to read from and write to DVD-RAM media, the library can read DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM and CD audio media. To ensure high availability in demanding networked environments, the ASACA is equipped with monitoring and management capabilities that administrators can access from any Web browser.

Rorke’s second featured product is its 600-slot, 30 terabyte native AIT library, nearly double the capacity of the current 360-slot, 18 terabyte AIT. That unit began shipping in October.

A third new product is Rorke’s Galaxy 55 fibre-channel RAID, able to accommodate up to 96 drives. The Galaxy 55, the next generation of Rorke’s Galaxy 50, a 64-drive product, runs in two different modes, Enterprise or XStream. With a speed of 280 to 320 megabytes per second, the XStream is designed for fast throughput of large files or video streaming. Blotsky says that the Galaxy 55 RAID will be available shortly after RSNA.

Inphact (Nashville, Tenn.) is taking an old beau to a new dance — RadWeb, an existing product dressed in its newest version, will have its first public display in the Inphact booth.

Inphact’s Kent Cunningham, director of marketing, says RadWeb provides a fast, secure and cost-effective method of transmitting and distributing radiology images and information to referring physicians and other medical personnel through the Internet. The search feature has been expanded, allowing searches by time periods, patient name, Social Security number, accession number (the number assigned to a patient that indicates a particular type of examination), medical record number and study status.

Merge Technologies intends to come to RSNA with products designed to eliminate what Jeff Schmidt, program manager, refers to as “sneaker net” — putting data in a vanilla folder and running it across the hall to somebody else, because a hospital’s technology is not integrated and information cannot get from one place to another.

The company’s ExamWorks is an acquisition box that interfaces with a modality to bring it onto a DICOM network and to provide the work lists, procedure steps and storage commitment necessary to integrating existing hospital technology. The program will verify the accuracy of patient demographics at the point of service before images get dispersed throughout the department, catching a misspelled name in radiology, for example, synchronizing it with the name given at hospital registration and correcting it throughout the system. ExamWorks comes with a six-inch touch-screen display that takes up little space in a lab or office and a JAVA-based graphical interface that requires minimal cabling, according to Schmidt.

ExamWorks+ does the work of ExamWorks but is used in tandem with a system that is already DICOM-compliant or perhaps does not support the full suite of DICOM classes required to integrate a modality with the rest of the enterprise. ExamWorks+ is a 12-inch flat panel, integrated PC that can be placed on a desk, attached to a wall or mounted on the arm of a mobile system.

ExamWorks has been available since the beginning of this year. ExamWorks+ is in clinical evaluation and is expected to be released for manufacturing early in the first quarter 2001, Schmidt says. Both products are extensions of what had been the company’s digital print interface (DPI) and video print interface (VPI) product line.

Brit Systems Inc. (Dallas) also will showcase ASP products within its eRadFiles. There are three basic offerings include disaster recovery for any existing or new PACS. This product is geared toward systems and companies that don’t have the ability to inexpensively cut a tape and perform a database backup for their system.

The second product is off-site storage. Brit is looking to provide provide both archival services and disaster recovery services for PACS. By building a database early, the cost of putting comparison exams in the system is reduced drastically, says the company.

Third is Brit’s Web-server for images, which is designed to replace typical teleradiology offerings and allow for faster, more reliable service by using the web. It also may be used to support image and report access by referring physicians. end.gif (810 bytes)