Advanced visualization software tackles workflow challenges

Developers of advanced visualization software are out to prove their products offer more than just a pretty face for image reconstruction. With radiologists drowning in a tidal wave of image data, software firms are rushing to add features that address workflow and productivity in the radiology department.


The trend will be on display everywhere at this year's RSNA show, where workflow concerns are top of mind. Applications like computer-aided detection (CAD) promise to give radiologists a second pair of eyes when reviewing large masses of data such as in breast or virtual colonoscopy screening studies. Meanwhile, 3D software developers are positioning their programs as an alternative to primary 2D image review in large studies such as multislice CT exams, which can produce hundreds if not thousands of individual images.

CAD and 3D firms are also realizing that their products cannot continue to thrive as islands outside the mainstream of PACS-based image review and distribution. Companies are aggressively seeking partnerships and co-development deals with PACS firms that are designed to produce CAD and 3D applications that can be launched from within a PACS workstation environment. The continuing growth of digital image management will most likely be a rising tide that will also lift developers of advanced visualization software.

Another major trend at this year's meeting will be the roll-out of Web-based applications designed to make advanced visualization applications -- in particular 3D -- accessible throughout the healthcare enterprise. What isn't known is the impact that such distributed 3D environments will have on the relationship between radiologists and referring physicians.

To get more details about what's new in advanced visualization at this year's RSNA show, click the links on each company's name below.

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