PACS firms integrate, broaden product lines, Part II

By Erik L. Ridley, AuntMinnie staff writer

December 1, 2002 --

Ferrania Imaging Technologies
Booth #5711
This Italian imaging firm will launch its LifeWeb RIS-PACS portfolio at this year's meeting. The Cairo Montenotte-based vendor said it would emphasize the scalability, openness, affordability, integration, and DICOM compliance of its technology.

In other introductions, Ferrania will debut LifeImager 5000, a dry printer for CT, MRI, CR, DR, and nuclear medicine applications. The printer has a footprint less than 0.25m2 and includes a point-to-point imaging capability and an option for two additional such links, Ferrania said.

The LifeJet Printing System 400 is designed for imaging applications including ultrasound and nuclear medicine, as well as other studies such as bone densitometry, microscopy, cardiology, and endoscopy. The 1200 x 1200 dpi system can print on both paper and film, as well as in color or grayscale, Ferrania said.

Fujifilm Medical Systems USA
Booth #2709
Fujifilm will use the meeting this year to add a new dry laser imager to its DryPix product line. Two new print networking products -- DryPix Link and DryPix Station -- will also be introduced, according to the Stamford, CT-based vendor.

GE Medical Systems Information Technologies
Booth #4129
GE will show off version 2.0 of its Centricity integrated RIS/PACS offering. A work-in-progress, Centricity 2.0 includes a number of new features aimed at scalability, clinical advancements, and utilization of Web technology, according to the Waukesha, WI-based vendor.

The Web-integrated Centricity 2.0 workstation software will support large image data sets, such as eight and 16-slice CT studies, high-resolution MR exams, and cardiac images, GE said.

GE has also incorporated tools such as integrated MIP/MPR, spine labeling, and color/grayscale mixed monitor support. The Centricity architecture can also accommodate multiple patient identifiers, database replication for online data redundancy and disaster recovery, and network attached storage (NAS). The company expects to release Centricity 2.0 in the second quarter of 2003.

Another new launch for GE this year is the firm's Centricity secure storage provider (SSP) service. SSP provides fiber connectivity over a wide area network to an offsite DICOM archive that can store both radiology and cardiology DICOM images, GE said.

GE believes SSP would be of interest for healthcare enterprises with or without an existing PACS network. The service includes complete deployment of onsite applications, such as workstations, Web servers, networked storage, and RIS integration.

Multiple copies of data are created in an offsite environment, providing a sophisticated disaster recovery configuration, according to the vendor. SSP will be available in the U.S. in the fourth quarter this year.

Howtek Devices
Booth #2601
Howtek will roll out the red carpet for Fulcrum, a mammography film digitizer. Twice as fast as the Hudson, NH-based vendor's MultiRad digitizer, Fulcrum can scan up to 40 mammography cases per hour.

With a scanning speed of 250 lines per second, Fulcrum can capture an 8 x 10-inch mammogram at full 8K resolution in less than 20 seconds, according to the vendor. Fulcrum has a dynamic range of up to 4.46 OD and resolution up to 15 lp/mm.

Fulcrum doesn't require an additional PC to operate, and Howtek corporate partners can load computer-aided detection (CAD) software onto the unit, Howtek said. Targeted at mammography clinics, Fulcrum is scheduled for release in the U.S. and the rest of the world in January 2003.

IDX Systems
Booth #8513
Healthcare information systems firm IDX will debut Imagecast, the company's new flagship image and information management offering.

With the launch of Imagecast, the Burlington, VT-based vendor said it would expand its imaging product reach beyond its integrated RIS/PACS network to include clinical specialties dependent on imaging. Cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, and pathologists will be able to use Imagecast to gain distributed access to significant clinical findings and associated images, IDX said.

Imagecast runs off a Web-based architecture, which IDX believes eases the transition to a digital, paperless environment. It also streamlines management of processes such as patient scanning, diagnostic interpretation and reporting, enterprise distribution to referring physicians, and information archiving, the vendor said.

Image Metrics
Booth #1052
Image Metrics of Manchester, U.K., will be discussing what it calls its "image understanding" technology in its booth. The firm said its Optasia computer-aided radiology software platform has been applied to vertebral morphometry, allowing for automated analysis of lateral spine images and rapid identification of vertebral deformity arising from conditions such as osteoporosis. Image Metrics provides its software to imaging OEMs and systems integrators.

Image Systems
Booth #7507
The Minnetonka, MN-based monitor manufacturer is announcing Image-3MP, a video controller for three-megapixel grayscale LCDs. Suitable for diagnostic and clinical viewing applications, Image-3MP supports a dual-head 1536 x 2048, 10-bit, grayscale portrait configuration. The controller has a list price of $2995 and is available now.

For two-megapixel grayscale LCDs, Image Systems is debuting its Image-2MP video controller. Image-2MP supports a dual-head 1200 x 1600, 10-bit, grayscale landscape or portrait display. Targeted for clinical viewing environments, the display lists for $1595 and was released in November.

In new monitor developments, the vendor is introducing FP1900HBMAX, a 19-inch grayscale, two-megapixel LCD. The DICOM-compatible display offers 10-bit grayscale, 1600 x 1200 resolution, and portrait or landscape viewing. Designed for clinical viewing situations, FP1900HBMAX has a wide viewing angle and lists for $4995. It was also released in November.

Images-on-Call
Booth #4111
This longtime teleradiology participant will be unwrapping its Model WSS DICOM-compliant workstation software. Capable of fitting into an existing PACS network, Model WSS presents images in a manner suitable to a radiologist's review routine, according to the Dallas, TX-based firm. It can function within an IOC PACS framework or a third-party PACS network.

Model WS30 is a dual flat-panel, 20.8-inch LCD workstation. With resolution of 1.5K x 2K, the unit is equipped with the firm's workstation software and is suitable for CT, MR, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine image review, according to the firm.

A single flat-panel color LCD workstation, the 18-inch Model WS31 has resolution of 1600 x 1200 and is suitable for clinician use or by radiologists interpreting Doppler ultrasound or nuclear medicine studies, Images-on-Call said.

Last, Images-on-Call is debuting Model DS12, a color video digitizer station. The station provides direct video capture of images for teleradiology applications, and also can contribute color Doppler images to a PACS. It can link up with any PACS network, and includes a small keypad interface designed to leave the sonographer more room for their equipment, according to the vendor.

IMCO Technologies
Booth #2900
IMCO is introducing Exam Scheduler, a Web-based service that allows referring physicians, clinics, or hospitals to schedule exams on the Internet. The Pewaukee, WI-based firm has also upgraded its medical CD recording station, an automated recording system that takes images from any imaging modality on a DICOM network and writes them directly to medical grade CDs.

The company will also roll out version 2.0 of its WebBrowser image and report distribution software. The new release includes upgraded encryption and dual-monitor support, according to the firm. WebBrowser 2.0 may also be accessed from a RIS or from any Windows-based client applications, IMCO said.

The company’s Router has also been upgraded to include a user-defined set of rules, allowing clients to choose routing by factors such as type of study, date and time availability of physicians, originating modality, and desired destination. This allows for the ability to handle more modalities, higher throughput, and more flexibility in routing studies, IMCO said.

In another upgrade to the firm's IMCO-RAD PACS line, Review Software now includes additional orthopedic capabilities such as true sizing for image correlation with orthopedic templates. All review workstations are now also available with flat-panel displays, the vendor said.

Work-in-progress developments include Premium, a 3-D medical imaging workstation. Customers will be able to zoom, pan and window-level, and perform 3-D image visualization. Additional options include multiplanar reconstruction, minimum and maximum intensity projections, and grayscale volume rendering, IMCO said.

Another work-in-progress, Heads-Up Display, is a hands-free image display, IMCO said. A high-resolution, high-contrast display, the system allows physicians to work with a patient and simultaneously view their medical images, according to the vendor.

Inphact
Booth #6938
Inphact will add scheduling and billing modules to its RadWeb product line, which now encompasses former offerings such as Irix and ImageSafe. To aid a facility's front office, one module automates patient registration and scheduling functions, according to the Brentwood, TN-based vendor. A second module automates the billing and collection process for back office use, Inphact said.

New tracking capabilities let the system "flag" invoices that have yet to be billed and send them to a separate worklist. Payment is also tracked, and invoices not paid in full are sent automatically to a separate collections list. The new modules will be released by the first quarter of 2003, Inphact said.

InSiteOne
Booth #4073
InSiteOne has added several new features to its InDex Archive service. Quality control functions have been incorporated to handle incorrectly entered data, with technicians now able to fix incorrect demographic information after the image has been archived. This process is completed without affecting the integrity of the original images, according to the Wallingford, CT-based vendor.

InSiteOne has also introduced automated continuous integrity and detection analysis for offsite DVD media. This routine checks the integrity of the data and the media it resides on, the company said.

The vendor has added enhanced storage area network (SAN) connectivity options and data management capabilities. InDex now can also manage other existing archives without requiring migration, the company said.

In addition to highlighting new product news, InSiteOne executives said they would discuss recent corporate partnerships, marketing agreements, and reseller licensing contracts with PACS vendors, modality manufacturers, and group purchasing organizations.

Integrated Modular Systems
Booth #2547
IMS will be demonstrating i2MA (Integrated Image Medical Archive) with RADIN PACS. i2MA features RADIN's PACS software as well as other technologies, such as the ability to integrate results from any RIS for a combined presentation of images and results, according to the Havertown, PA-based vendor.

The Web-based i2MA, which provides both diagnostic viewing and teleradiology capabilities, also includes DICOM image routing, an on-line RAID for fast image access, and a "plug-in" archive feature, IMS said. Image manipulation and other viewing tools are included, and users can select from DICOM, JPEG, wavelet, and lossy JPEG/wavelet compression, IMS said.

Intelerad Medical Systems
Booth #4160
Montreal-based Intelerad will focus attention on Clinical Viewer, a viewing application designed for referring physicians and other non-diagnostic users. Clinical Viewer includes manipulation tools such as user preferences, usage logging, and encryption, according to the company. Employing JPEG 2000 compression technology, the application is launched via the firm's InteleBrowser Web interface and utilizes a progressive image streaming protocol.

Clinical Viewer is available to existing IntelePACS customers as a software upgrade. In 2003, the company plans to offer an enhanced version with workflow management features suitable for radiologists, Intelerad said.

The Canadian firm is also announcing digital dictation and transcription features, demonstrating how the software integrates with worklist-driven viewing and Web-based image review. Also on the schedule is Support Notifier, a remote PACS software support service.

Embedded in all new IntelePACS software and as an upgrade to existing customers, Support Notifier reports errors, warnings, and other general information messages via secure Internet connections at any time, according to the firm. This allows Intelerad's support center to receive continuous information and advance warning of potential problems, the company said.

In HIS/RIS integration developments, Intelerad said it would showcase workflow enhancements, data accuracy, and the ability to interface with different RIS manufacturers. The new products support unidirectional and bidirectional HL7 communications and accommodate DICOM modality worklists, DICOM image validation, pre-fetching for both RIS and HIS, report access, and order status updates, according to the vendor.

Last, the firm will introduce its HIPAA-compliance services, including user authentication, user-access logging, patient privacy, auditing, and report generation.

McKesson Medical Imaging
Booth #4123
McKesson Medical Imaging will be attending its first RSNA show since the company, formerly known as ALI Technologies, was purchased by healthcare giant McKesson in July. The company has also renamed its UltraPACS product line as Horizon Medical Imaging, which combines PACS with access to the complete patient medical record.

A new enhancement to Horizon, Rad Station, can serve as a universal workstation for study review from any modality, according to the Richmond, BC-based firm. McKesson will show support for two gray-scale, flat-panel monitors for dedicated image viewing, along with an additional monitor for text information.

Other Rad Station functions provide users with enhanced filtering control and the power to view patient history/indications, reports, and images from any modality across the enterprise, McKesson said. The ability to determine study priority -- such as for stat cases -- in Rad Station's In-Box allows users to prioritize review without having to open the study, according to the firm.

With Rad Report, radiologists only require three mouse clicks to select, verify, and distribute a completed imaging report, McKesson said. Other Horizon Medical Imaging options include document scanning, voice clips, a JOT annotation tool, speech recognition integration, and Web-based information access.

McKesson representatives will also discuss how Horizon Medical Imaging integrates with the firm's Horizon Physician Portal, allowing clinicians and referring physicians the ability to view the complete patient record, including medical images, clinical patient information, and documents.

Finally, McKesson will demonstrate Expert Orders, Pathways Scheduling, and MobileCare, software that provides management from order entry to information distribution. These offerings allow institutions the means to speed up, automate, and streamline medical image management workflow, according to the vendor.

MedeSys
Booth #4574
Canadian information systems developer MedeSys will debut version 3.6 of its RadioLogic RIS network. The Montreal-based vendor has added a number of new improvements, including an enhanced multiroom/multifacility scheduling module available for both Web and Windows clients.

In addition, the firm said it has improved the system's PACS integration capabilities and added what it calls a split-second image capture feature, which allows for inclusion of key images from any DICOM viewer in diagnostic reports.

RadioLogic 3.6 can perform automated transfer of data to practice management and billing software systems. The firm has also improved interaction with the PowerScribe speech recognition system, making use of two-way HL7 communications.

A new companion product to RadioLogic, rPAQ allows radiologists to dictate and proofread reports on a Pocket PC, MedeSys said.

Medical Manager Health Systems/Web MD
Booth #8326
Medical Manager will debut DIMDX, a modular digital image management system. The Van Nuys, CA-based firm points to the technology's systems integration and worklist management functionality as key features.

DIMDX can integrate with other Medical Manager information systems to store all patient documents and images as part of an electronic medical record, the company said. A worklist management capability allows for balancing of workload requirements among staff and modalities.

DIMDX offers both diagnostic viewing and clinical viewing environments. Diagnostic viewing setups employ dual Dome 2K monitors and a dedicated IBM workstation, while clinical viewing applications utilize a 20-inch flat-panel LCD and a dedicated IBM workstation.

The firm's multi-tier image archiving strategy comprises a RAID configuration of cache storage, NAS server technology for medium-term storage, and a DVD storage library for long-term archiving.

Medical Manager will also showcase version 3.2 of its Medical Manager RIS. The new release includes features such as multi-resource scheduling, support for bar-coded labels and forms, electronic authorization/eligibility checking, and integrated transcription management with auto faxing and email distribution.

Version 3.2 also integrates with the company's new DIMDX PACS offering. HL7 interfaces provide connectivity between the RIS and speech recognition and PACS applications, according to the vendor. All modules are integrated with one patient database, avoiding the need for various third-party interfaces, the company said.

MedPACS Displays
Booth #2104
MedPACS will be spotlighting WebDisplay, which allows for remote image display and review from anywhere on the Web. The radiologist simply plugs a small USB key into any computer with Internet access and images are automatically pushed to that location, according to the Hartland, WI-based firm.

Images can then be examined using the firm's viewing software, with full image viewing and manipulation capabilities, the vendor said. All data is encrypted to help meet HIPAA requirements. Designed for off-site and on-call radiologists, each WebDisplay key costs $75 a month for typical usage, MedPACS said.

Merge eFilm
Booth #2117
The big news in Merge eFilm's booth is Fusion Server, a software package consisting of a healthcare information repository and a suite of software application modules that provide PACS, teleradiology, and Web distribution on a single, integrated server platform.

The Fusion Server modules are: HIS/RIS, archiving, image serving and Web distribution, visualization, and radiologist workspace. Images are sent across the network on an on-demand basis, according to the Milwaukee-based firm.

Fusion Server is scalable and can operate in a single or multi-server environment to load-balance processor capacity and provide fail-over support, Merge said. In addition, the visualization module operates on standard desktop computers, yielding affordable enterprise-wide image and information distribution, according to the vendor. The same set of visualization tools is available to both radiologists and clinicians, either over the network or on the Web.

Merge believes Fusion Server is suitable for hospitals, imaging centers, and orthopedic practices. It was released worldwide in October.

Misys Healthcare Systems
Booth #2959
Misys will emphasize a new PACS integration option, which employs DICOM services to deliver brokerless integration between Misys Radiology RIS and any PACS network using IHE guidelines, according to the Tucson, AZ-based information systems firm.

Other features include worklist management, modality-performed procedure steps, automatic reconciliation of DICOM image header data to eliminate incomplete studies, and manual reconciliation during normal patient tracking. Image management workflow enhancements such as autorouting and prefetching are included, Misys said.

Company representatives said they would also discuss the firm's long-term integration, product and industry partnering plans. In other product news, Misys will demonstrate the latest release of its Misys Radiology RIS, introduced in October.

Enhancements include: integration with Talk Technology's TalkStationRadiology speech recognition software and a WebView feature that allows radiologists access to a corporate intranet when signing imaging reports. A mammography option provides integrated reporting and tracking via an interfaced Mammography Reporting System from MRS.

Go to page:
AETmed to eRad/Image Medical
Ferrania to Misys
NAI to StorComm
TeraMedica to Ximis


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