3M unveils ultrasound DICOM network

March 29, 1995

3M has enhanced the functionality of its Image Management System PACS product by adding the abilityto send ultrasound images over a DICOM 3.0-compatible network.The St. Paul, MN, company will display the new capabilities atthis week's American Institute

3M has enhanced the functionality of its Image Management System PACS product by adding the abilityto send ultrasound images over a DICOM 3.0-compatible network.The St. Paul, MN, company will display the new capabilities atthis week's American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine meeting.

3M partnered with PACS firm Cemax last year to develop ImageManagement System (SCAN 3/2/94). The system supports the networkingand review of digital modalities like MRI and CT but up to nowhas not had connections for DICOM-based ultrasound images. AddingDICOM support for ultrasound will put ultrasound departments onan equal footing with other modalities in a radiology department'sPACS network, according to Jan Russell, marketing manager.

The system leverages off 3M's existing products: DICOM PrintManager and Digital Image Manager. DICOM Print Manager is a printerserver that has been upgraded to accept ultrasound images comingfrom scanners that output DICOM-compatible data, such as ATL'sHDI-3000. Digital Image Manager is an acquisition device for portablemedia and resides on a scanner. It has been upgraded to magneto-opticaldisk format from the Bernoulli disk format used previously. PortableM/O disks can thus be transported from a non-networked scannerto DICOM Print Manager for output. Customers using the previousversion of Digital Image Manager in the field will be able toupgrade to the new system, according to Russell.

Ultrasound departments interested in networking scanners togethercan use Image Manager, a networked version of the Digital ImageManager acquisition device. For non-DICOM data, Image Manageruses framegrabbing technology to transfer video images into DICOMsignals that can then be transmitted over Image Management System'sFDDI, Ethernet and ATM networks.

The system does not yet support the off-line image analysisand manipulation capabilities available with ultrasound miniPACSproducts such as Acuson's Aegis and ATL's Access, according toRussell. 3M plans to develop a capability to display ultrasoundimages on Image Management System workstations in the near future.

3M plans to begin shipping the ultrasound DICOM extensionsin the third quarter of this year. 3M will show the system linkedto the company's DryView 8700 dry-processing laser printer atthe AIUM meeting, Russell said.