Kodak reveals new products, healthcare IT thrust

CHICAGO - Healthcare imaging and IT vendor Eastman Kodak Health Imaging is highlighting a collection of new offerings at the annual RSNA meeting this week, as well as a planned expansion into the broader healthcare IT domain and other specialties beyond radiology.

The new initiative will lead to Kodak offering modular clinical information systems to nearly every hospital department, said company president Dan Kerpelman. The plan also involves Kodak marketing existing and new products across medical specialties, such as a virtual colonoscopy system for the gastrointestinal/oncology segment, Kerpelman said.

The vendor said it would issue an update on its expansion plans and new IT initiatives at the 2005 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual meeting.


Kodak is showing off its RIS/PACS suite in its booth at McCormick Place, including new upgrades. As part of release 5.2, PACS System 5 now includes native applications such as 3D volume rendering, allowing radiologists to interact with the studies and reconstructions on the same diagnostic workstation, said Jess Edwards, product manager, DirectView System 5 PACS.

Kodak has also improved the system's ability to customize and save display protocols, allowing each imaging study type to be displayed according to the radiologist's preference. In addition, Kodak has added options for communication with referring physicians, allowing users to e-mail radiology reports or embed them into an electronic medical record with key marked images.

Referring physicians retain the option to view the entire imaging study via Web-based access, Kodak said. They can also order and schedule radiology exams, as well as view patient status and history, according to the firm.

Other enhancements include an improved graphic user interface, streamlined exam reporting capabilities, an advanced report search engine, and an ability to add electronic notes to imaging studies, as well as the addition of MPR/MIP, tissue definition, and vessel tracking functionality, Edwards said.

Users can also gain access to other applications from the desktop by clicking a new configurable "action" button, launching applications such as OrthoView digital orthopedic templates and computer-aided detection (CAD) programs, Edwards said. Release 5.2 will begin shipping in January 2005.

In version 5.3 of its DirectView System 5 PACS, Kodak will extend 3D into the cardiac CT space, and also incorporate thin-client architecture, Edwards said. Display protocols will follow users wherever they are around the enterprise. Release 5.3 is targeted for introduction at the 2005 RSNA meeting.

Kodak is also unveiling its DirectView Mammography Workstation at the conference. It features two, 5-megapixel monitors that are FDA-cleared for diagnostic viewing of full-field digital mammography (FFDM) images, according to Sue Tingey, worldwide marketing manager for mammography and oncology.

The DICOM-compliant workstation offers multimodality and multivendor support, enabling users to view images from any DICOM modality from any vendor, she said. In addition to the dual-monitor configuration, the workstation's display protocols can enhance radiologists' productivity, and an ergonomically designed user programmable hand controller can help reduce the incidence of repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, according to Tingey.

The work-in-progress mammography platform integrates with Kodak's DirectView PACS System 5, or is available as a standalone workstation, she said. The Kodak DirectView PACS System 5 Mammography Upgrade and DirectView Mammography Workstation are scheduled for worldwide availability in the first quarter of 2005, Tingey said.

Kodak is also devoting attention to the imaging center market, including developing a customized, scaled-down RIS to meet the needs of that marketplace, said Joseph Maune, director, radiology information systems.

It'll also include specialized features such as insurance eligibility and billing support. The RIS 2010 imaging center version is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2005.

Other RIS 2010 enhancements include a command and control feature, which provides voice control of the system and dictation capabilities, Maune said. Kodak has also incorporated data mining capability, as well as enhanced scheduling functions.

In related work-in-progress demonstrations, Kodak is showing a mammography module for its RIS platform, as well as integration of CAD, speech commands, and other applications into the mammography upgrade.

Of professional services import, Kodak has expanded its remote monitoring service to cover virtually all of its medical imaging and information equipment, said Sandy Evanson, director, worldwide professional services and accessories.

The service, called Remote Management Services, now supports Kodak's CR, DR, and dry laser imagers. It'll be available on PACS System 5 in early 2005, and will be free of charge to customers under existing Kodak service agreements and warranties, according to the vendor.

In other professional services additions, Kodak has introduced its Professional Services Business Pack. Under this new pricing package, customers can purchase Kodak professional services in predetermined blocks of 40 hours for use during a one-year or two-year period. Business Pack is available in the U.S., with other regions of the world to follow in 2005, Kodak said.


The vendor is also demonstrating its computer-aided detection (CAD) system for film-based mammography, Mammography CAD System. The product received FDA clearance in November, and shipments are set to begin this month.

A software-only upgrade to the system to support digital mammography is also in the works, said Terese Bogucki, product line manager for CAD. The upgrade will be available in the second half of the year, and will be integrated into Mammography Workstation, she said.

The firm is also showcasing another work-in-progress product, the new Hyper Speed G medical film. The new general-purpose medical imaging film can equip healthcare providers to reduce patient radiation exposure by up to 50%, according to the company.

The film's increased speed will also reduce the need for retakes when images are blurred due to patient motion, and it's designed to be used with existing screens and cassettes in most cases, Kodak said. The film is pending FDA approval.


Kodak is giving center stage at McCormick Place to its latest offering in digital radiography, DirectView DR 7500. The direct-capture DR system offers single- and dual-detector configurations in both wall-mount and table architectures.

DR 7500 system features a wall stand with a retractable bucky capable of three-axis movement to capture a wide range of upright, horizontal, and cross-table projections. The detector can be controlled manually, or can be synchronized to the overhead x-ray tube so that a push button control will automatically center the beam to ensure accurate source-to-detector alignment, according to Helen Titus, worldwide product manager for computed radiography and digital capture systems.

The system also features a fixed, elevating table with four-way float that provides flexible patient positioning. The detector bucky can be extended from the table to accommodate extremity exams. An autopositioning feature enables the equipment to automatically move into position when a technologist selects one of 16 preprogrammed exams, she said.

DR 7500 has an integrated operator console with the same touch-screen interface as Kodak's DirectView CR suite. It provides connectivity to a hospital information system or RIS, and supports the DICOM modality worklist standard as well as the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) scheduled workflow program.

The application also permits the swapping of digital detector and CR cassette capture media during the same patient exam, Titus said. The first installs of the product are scheduled to occur in the second half of 2005.

Kodak is also demonstrating its DirectView Capture Link system, which gives technologists the ability to identify and process CR cassettes, as well as review images at any linked CR system or DirectView remote operations panel. The firm said Capture Link also streamlines workflow when a study contains DR and CR images, because it enables CR images to be identified and viewed, along with DR images, at the DirectView DR System console.

The company also discussed image scanning at 50 microns with specialized screens and cassettes on its DirectView CR 850 and 950 systems as a work-in-progress. The new image scanning capabilities are designed to improve the quality of mammography images captured on CR cassettes, Kodak said. The technique is planned for future introduction outside the U.S.


The developer has added a new dry laser imager and a new digital color printer to its portfolio of digital output devices. DryView 8150 Laser Imager offers speed and networking enhancements, while Color Medical Imager (CMI) 1000 outputs diagnostic-quality color images for nuclear medicine, ultrasound, 3D imaging, and other color digital medical imaging systems, according to the firm.

Both new digital output devices feature user interface support for 13 languages on a touch-screen display with integrated full-motion video tutorials on product operation and maintenance, said Michael Cullinan, global product line manager of medical printing systems. DryView 8150, designed for small- to midsize facilities, can print approximately 70 films per hour, supports 11 x 14-inch, 14 x 14-inch, and14 x 17-inch film sizes, and has an internal DICOM interface.

Remote management services for troubleshooting and maintenance are available as is a transaction log for U.S. HIPAA compliance, he said. 8150 began shipping this November, and has FDA clearance as well as the European CE Mark.

CMI 1000 prints full-color patient images and reports on CMI paper. Each image is protected with a durable laminate overcoat that resists fingerprints, water, and fading for long-term usability, Cullinan said.

The CMI 1000 supports letter- and A4-size paper and can be installed by customers or by Kodak service personnel. Each image is generated in less than 75 seconds using thermal dye sublimation technology, according to the company.

The CMI 1000 is available as a standalone printer or as a networked, desktop imager with an integrated DICOM interface. The CMI 1000 can be ordered in the first quarter of 2005 and will begin shipping worldwide in the second quarter of 2005.

By Jonathan S. Batchelor and Erik L. Ridley
AuntMinnie.com staff writers
December 1, 2004

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