Even now, the environment surrounding medical imaging systems continues to change dramatically. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a combination of hospital and home reading/teleradiology has become the new standard for many medical institutions.
In the past, it was common to select a different monitor depending on the type of image viewed. We believe that differences in reading environments also add to the factors that influence monitor selection.
EIZO's medical monitor solution, the RadiForce series, has monitors to meet your individual needs.
Changing diagnostic monitors to color
EIZO's RadiForce RX360 display. Image courtesy of EIZO.
Initially, due to the structure of LCD monitors, it was challenging to increase the brightness of color monitors compared with monochrome monitors. However, advances in technology over the past decade have made it possible for color monitors to achieve the same high brightness as monochrome monitors.
In addition, medical images displayed on diagnostic monitors are not limited to conventional monochrome x-ray images. Since color images such as 3D-rendered images, PET, and color ultrasound images are now available, the demand for color monitors has significantly increased over the last 10 years. As a result, most of the new diagnostic monitors sold today are color monitors.
The RX360 is a 3-megapixel (MP) color monitor that is the most used diagnostic monitor in the EIZO lineup. It has the exact brightness specifications as our 3-MP monochrome model. The brightness of 500 cd/m2 is the level used in diagnostic mammography imaging, suggesting that color monitors have already become the standard choice in replacing monochrome monitors completely.
Expansion of wide monitors
As color monitors have taken over from monochrome, we see the rapid expansion of wide monitors. The basic configuration of a conventional diagnostic workstation has been two monitors at standard aspect ratio with one worklist or console monitor off to the side. This leaves a plastic bezel in the middle of the user's active display area.
A wide monitor is a comprehensive type of monitor that covers the area of these two monitors with a single large screen. For example, a 6-MP monitor is a wider version of the standard configuration of two 3-MP monitors, such as the RadiForce RX660 in the EIZO lineup.
The advantage of a wide monitor is that the bezel in the front of a two-sided monitor is eliminated. It does not get in the way when comparing images side by side. Another advantage is that when multiple images are displayed on a single screen, the monitor is not physically divided into left and right sides, allowing for greater flexibility in layout.
EIZO's latest model, the RX1270, is a single-sided wide monitor with 12-MP resolution that can replace two conventional 5-MP monitors with even more information for breast imaging systems. This model also offers the same high brightness as monochrome monitors and high resolution that display all kinds of medical images, including mammography. The RadiForce RX1270 is EIZO's flagship all-in-one monitor.
EIZO's RadiForce RX1270 display. Image courtesy of EIZO.
On the other hand, EIZO continues to position square models as an essential part of our product lineup, and we continue to focus on their development. Since many users prefer the unique advantages of the square model, such as multiple monitors arranged in an arc, EIZO has designed the monitor so that the bezel can be reduced as much as possible, even if it is not a wide model.
The latest square models have achieved the narrowest bezels in the industry, providing a display environment comparable to wide-model configuration. According to your environment, you can choose the most suitable monitor from EIZO's lineup, whether it is a wide type or a square type.
Choosing a monitor for home reading
Although it would be ideal to use the same monitors as those used in hospitals or outpatient imaging facilities, in many cases, there are cost constraints when it comes to monitors for home reading. In addition to the top-of-the-line RadiForce G&R series, EIZO offers the RadiForce MX series, a cost-effective lineup.
The MX series has a slightly lower brightness level when compared with the G&R series. Still, it covers all the necessary elements for medical imaging monitors, such as hardware calibration function, compatibility with various medical standards, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for diagnostic use.
In addition to this, the MX series has a more space-saving and lightweight design compared with the G&R series, making it a lineup of monitors that are portable and can be used in any environment.
Furthermore, even in the cost-effective lineup, models equipped with a complete calibration sensor are available in the MX series, so there is no need to worry about quality control, as described later.
Especially among the MX series, the MX315W, with its 31.1-inch size and high resolution of 8 MP, has been very popular. This model has a narrow bezel and lightweight design despite being a monitor that is over 30 inches in size, making it very easy to use as a monitor for home reading as it does not require much installation space.
Monitor quality control should not be forgotten
Quality control is critical to maintain the monitor's image quality for an extended period of time and to ensure the consistency of the diagnostic environment. For this reason, 100% of EIZO's quality assurance (QA) software and sensors are developed and manufactured in-house. This provides long-term stability of image accuracy and consistency across an enterprise.
EIZO offers two types of quality control solutions, RadiCS and RadiNET Pro Web Hosting. RadiCS is an all-in-one software that includes calibration, testing based on various guidelines, and other functions for monitors. It can be operated standalone on a single workstation. RadiNET Pro Web Hosting is a solution that enables the centralized management of all monitors through a web-based graphical user interface (GUI) by connecting each workstation to an EIZO-hosted cloud server.
With RadiNET Pro Web Hosting, administrators can remotely execute calibration and various tests via the web and view the results simultaneously, allowing them to efficiently manage the monitors without going to the monitors' location.
Previously, centralized management systems were confined to extensive facilities with large deployments of diagnostic monitors. As reading stations are deployed across a large enterprise and in users' homes, organizations large and small need systems that enable centralized management from any location to any location. As the new reading environment expands under the pandemic, EIZO is receiving inquiries about this system from many customers, and the number of users is increasing day by day.
RadiNET Pro Web Hosting can manage workstations on different networks by linking them to a single user account, so it is possible to handle multiple facilities simultaneously, including home reading. The system is also compatible with various facility environments that use a virtual private network (VPN), making it possible to build a system according to the network configuration.
EIZO RadiForce monitors, whether G&R or MX, are equipped with a complete calibration sensor to be managed in the same way.
Reduce total cost of operation with EIZO quality
In the past, when all the monitors were in the same facility, it would have been possible to replace them with new monitors if they broke quickly. This isn't easy to do in today's environment, however, where monitors are distributed to different locations. Therefore, the image quality of the monitor is becoming more critical than ever.
EIZO is a unique monitor manufacturer with a rare ability to achieve consistent quality control by conducting everything from development to manufacturing in-house. EIZO designs and manufactures its image processing processors, mainboards, power units, and even calibration sensor units.
Our factory, development department, and QA department at our headquarters in Japan are co-located on the same site, allowing us to manage centrally everything from development to actual production. EIZO's management structure cannot be achieved by manufacturers outsourcing their manufacturing to other companies or overseas.
The high quality and high reliability of the monitors realized by this system reduce the downtime of the monitors and the downtime of the imaging system, regardless of whether it is in a facility or a remote location. EIZO contributes to the reduction of the total operation cost of the entire imaging system for the user.
EIZO is looking forward to seeing you all again at RSNA 2021.
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