Amicas introduces advanced PACS

December 1, 2002

PACS vendor Amicas unveiled a "visionary" technology today at the RSNA meeting, adding a new dimension to its approach for Web-based transmission and archiving of medical images. Presented as an end-to-end Web-based PACS platform, the Vision Series is

PACS vendor Amicas unveiled a "visionary" technology today at the RSNA meeting, adding a new dimension to its approach for Web-based transmission and archiving of medical images.

Presented as an end-to-end Web-based PACS platform, the Vision Series is an integrated collection of strategic clinical tools that together allows enterprise-wide PACS and image management. Tying these tools together is an on-demand real-time work list, which is the key to its functionality, according to the CEO of the Boston-based company.

"It allows radiologists to accomplish two tasks that they cannot accomplish with legacy PACS," Hamid Tabatabaie said. "First, it allows them to handle workflow internal and external to the department. Second, it allows them to communicate the results of their work as a report and set of images to an expanding base of clients."

The Vision Series is built around a corporate philosophy to develop and provide scalable, feature-rich PACS that meet the healthcare needs of organizations of all sizes, Tabatabaie said. The latest demonstration of this philosophy, the development and integration of a work list achieved with the Vision Series clinical tools, drives workflow by tracking and reporting patient status to healthcare providers.

"We are delivering the equivalent of a FedEx tracking system," he said.

After ordering a radiology exam, a referring physician typically has to telephone the radiology department or imaging center to determine the status of the exam. The Vision Series automates this process, offering status reports to any healthcare professional.

"Let's say the ER orders an exam," Tabatabaie said. "On a screen in the ER, staff can see when the patient has been received in the CT suite. They will see when the images are taken, how many are taken, that the radiologist has evaluated the images, and that the report has been rendered."

This approach transforms workflow from a departmental concept to a universal one. The Vision Series PACS is empowered to provide workflow information to anyone in the healthcare process who needs it, he said.

Vision Series is built on a scalable but centralized architecture. It comes with modules for different departments, such as the ER, ICU, cardiology, and orthopedics. Data are accessed through Web-based workstations. LightBeam serves the diagnostic radiologist, LightView supports clinical review, and Personal Amicas serves the remote reviewer.

The Vision server family, configured with a fault tolerance and load-balancing module called Atlas, supports long-term archiving. A CD-burning capability replaces film jackets with compact discs. Key images - or even 3D movies - can be burned on a CD at the facility. Each disc includes PC-compatible software for viewing the images.

A range of capabilities built into specific packages with different price points, from $40,000 to $1 million, provides choices for different types of customers. Each is named after the groups for which they are tailored:

  • Imaging Office for imaging centers and small radiology departments within hospitals that are just getting started in PACS
  • Radiology Office for radiology groups and hospitals of greater size
  • Enterprise Package for extensive implementation of PACS across distributed healthcare institutions
  • Enterprise Enabler for customers with a PACS already installed who want to distribute data outside the radiology department