CR and DR systems make the rounds at RSNA meeting


Good things came in small packages at the RSNA meeting -- small, wireless, and very mobile packages, in fact. One was the Orex ZR, a CR scanner on wheels. Others were Siemens’ Mobilett XP Digital and GE’s AMX 5D, portable x-ray systems with solid-state roots.

Good things came in small packages at the RSNA meeting - small, wireless, and very mobile packages. One was the Orex ZR, a CR scanner on wheels. Others were Siemens' Mobilett XP Digital and GE's AMX 5D, portable x-ray systems with solid-state roots.

All three move around with relative ease, taking radiographs of non-ambulatory patients and transmitting the images into wired or wireless networks.

The CR-based Orex ZR does all that without external power or network connections. It features a 4.5-hour battery life and offers Wi-Fi networking capabilities. And it can operate outside the confines of a typical hospital.

At the RSNA meeting, Hillel Bachrach, Orex president and CEO, pointed out that the federal government has shown particular interest in Orex technology, and that interest could translate into sales of the ZR.

"We're a small company, technology driven, flexible, and able to respond to customers with what they need rather than what we have," Bachrach said. "The main reasons we've sold more than 250 units to the U.S. military are performance, reliability, ease of use, transportability, and mobility. They've been doing tremendous service for the forces in Iraq and Afghanistan without a single problem. Over 150 have been placed in embattled areas of those countries."

Orex has catered to battlefield needs and expects its early successes in this arena to be just the beginning.

"We are now closing many orders for the armed forces of several NATO and other countries," Bachrach said.

The ZR provides the means for quickly capturing high-quality digital images in just about any medical facility anywhere. The most mobile of all the Orex CR systems, it transmits high-resolution CR images over secure Wi-Fi connections within a hospital network.

"The size, weight, and cart make it unique," said Bachrach, a former GE Healthcare executive. "In previous years, when we had a 20 x 20 booth, people looked at Orex as low-end because of the size of the unit. Today, we're bigger and stronger, and our outstanding image quality, features, and performance have propelled us to the top tier of CR solutions."

Founded in 1996 as Digident, the company changed its name to Orex in 2000 in recognition of its expanded mission to address the wide range of medical applications for distributed CR. With interest in the $70,000 Orex ZR running high, the company is looking forward to a bright year.

But the realm of the compact and versatile is not inhabited by small companies only. Siemens Medical Solutions introduced at the RSNA meeting its Mobilett XP Digital, a portable digital x-ray system based on a flat-panel detector. The product was designed with instant image display to enhance both productivity and workflow and a fast archiving capability for speedy processing, according to the company.

The XP features a 43 x 35-cm flat-panel detector for enhanced viewing and stores up to 3000 images. It also offers a unique touchscreen with an intuitive user interface.

Like Orex ZR, Siemens' portable DR system is highly mobile, enabling its use in almost any clinical setting or specialty, including pediatrics, orthopedics, and emergency medicine. And like the ZR, Mobilett can use wireless networks to transmit images for archiving and documentation. A DICOM-structured networking function facilitates patient registration, image transmission, and exposure printing.

GE, the third company with a new mobile product, showed its AMX 5D, a portable DR system that integrates the company's Revolution digital detector. The advanced-applications-enabled product, which will be released generally in mid-2005, is a digital step up from GE's AMX-4 analog system.

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