In truth, the choices may not be all that stark, but there remains a debate over who controls the PACS -- radiology or IT -- and it was played out Saturday between two able advocates.
Radiology reporting on the GE Healthcare Centricity RIS just got smarter with an intelligent algorithm that senses when dictated cases don’t sound right. This “thought checker,” scheduled to begin routine shipment by the end of this year as an upgrade to the Centricity RIS-IC Reporting module, uses the context of reports to identify possible errors. The program, for example, might question whether the radiologist meant “left occipital lobe” rather than “right” by highlighting the directional term in blue. Or it might insert a red bar at a point where certain information needs to be added.
NEC Display Solutions of America introduced a 30-inch full-color, wide-screen display in the Quest International booth. The 4-megapixel MultiSync MD304M, certified for radiology and emergency room environments, is slated to begin shipping in July.
Computer-aided detection will probably help radiologists detect small cancers earlier but will not increase the cancer detection rate, according to a CAD expert.
Brit Systems reached out to imaging centers, clinics, and offices at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine meeting with PACS bundles. The company also unveiled a package to support outsourced radiology reading services.
Siemens Healthcare in its booth highlighted syngo TrueD, a multimodality application for oncology. TrueD registers data sets obtained using PET/CT, SPECT/CT, CT, and MR, allowing exams of patients scanned at different times -- before and after therapy, for instance -- to be compared. Differences found in these comparisons may inform decisions about whether to continue or modify treatment. In addition to registration and visualization, TrueD performs quantitative measures that can document changes at up to three time points. Rigid and nonrigid methods for structure comparisons include navigational tools that support visual alignment and matching landmarks.
Philips Healthcare focused attention in its booth on the company’s IT “ecosystem” of about a dozen suppliers of software products that work with its iSite PACs. Philips presented an à la carte approach to the selection of various complementary products, exemplified by Amirsys’ STATdx Diagnostic Decision Support System, which provides reference tools useful in the diagnostic process.
The process to link two data sets acquired from different modalities or with the same modality at different times must now be done manually on the Carestream PACS. By early next year, these PACS users will be able to skip this time-consuming step using an automatic registration feature previewed at the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine meeting.
A new storage appliance, iMed-Stor, debuted at the Candelis booth. The DICOM-compliant archive appliance was engineered to securely and cost-effectively manage digital medical images, ideally from a single digital modality. It can be configured to work seamlessly alongside any PACS, according to the company, and can be outfitted with an optional web-based viewer, enabling radiologists to read images from any location offering a secure Internet connection.
Michael Toland was seven months into his first job as a PACS administrator, working for a 250-bed community hospital with a 70,000 per year exam volume, when the PACS crashed.