Industry puts emphasis on product innovations

June 16, 2005

High-end CT

High-end CT

The Somatom Sensation 40 completes Siemens high-end CT product range. The scanner incorporates z-Sharp technology and the Straton x-ray tube. It enables the acquisition of 40 slices per rotation and isotropic resolution of below 0.4-mm voxel size in routine clinical use.

See www.siemens.com/medical

Portable ultrasound

The MicroMaxx handheld ultrasound scanner from SonoSite weighs less than 3.7 kg and is the size of a laptop computer. It is intended for use in both hospital and office-based settings and is useful in emergency medicine, cardiology, radiology, anesthesiology, and surgery. The device can reportedly withstand being dropped onto a hard surface and comes with a five-year warranty.

See www.sonosite.com

Appointment scheduling

Agfa has launched IPlan, a Web-enabled scheduling system that allows occasional users to make and view appointments. A series of prompts guides users through the booking system, negating the need for extensive training and reducing the number of clicks required to complete a task.

See www.agfa.com/healthcare

Dutch acquisition

Alliance Medical has completed the takeover of the IHG Group, a Dutch company that provides outsourced medical and diagnostic services to healthcare providers in Europe.

See www.alliancemedical.co.uk

CT workstation

Vitrea2 from Toshiba is designed to overcome the limitations of conventional 3D visualization systems by providing greater speed and ease of use. Doctors can screen for disease at an earlier stage, diagnose conditions less invasively, and plan surgery and other treatments with greater efficacy, according to the manufacturer.

See www.toshiba-europe.com/medical

Ultrasound Web site

Aloka Europe has helped launch a dedicated Web site on diagnostic ultrasound. The site (www.ultrasoundcases.info) was developed with Dr. T.S.A. Geertsma of Hospital Gelderse Vallei in Ede, the Netherlands. It contains more than 2700 cases with 12,000 gray-scale and color Doppler images and 100-plus cineloops with dynamic ultrasound studies.

See www.aloka-europe.com

Radiographic system

GE Healthcare's Proteus XR/e is an integrated floor-stand system with fixed table height and oscillating bucky designed to satisfy a wide variety of today's radiographic requirements, from the thorax to abdomen, skeleton, skull, and spinal column.

See www.gehealthcare.com/tatio

Ultrasound contrast

The European Commission has reinstated the echocardiography indication for Bracco's ultrasound contrast agent, SonoVue. The product is used to enhance the echogenicity of blood, thus improving the assessment of the ultrasound images when they are suboptimal and inconclusive.

See www.bracco.com

Speech recognition

The Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, geographically one of the largest trusts in the U.K., is implementing SpeechMagic, the digital dictation product from Philips Speech Recognition Systems. The equipment is likely to be used by more than 1500 people in nine locations, including the North Tyneside General Hospital and the Wansbeck General Hospital.

See www.philips.com/newscenter

Mammography purchases

Kalmar County Council, on the east coast of southern Sweden, has invested in three new digital mammography units from Sectra. In Kalmar County, all women between 40 and 74 years can participate in breast screening. More than 40,000 women undergo screening every other year.

See www.sectra.com

Imaging displays

Planar Systems has unveiled the Dome Dashboard, a new console application for the maintenance and monitoring of medical imaging displays. It enables PACS administrators and IT managers to centrally manage, control, and report on their workstations.

See www.planar.com

Digital printer

Kodak's Color Medical Imager 1000 prints diagnostic color images for nuclear medicine, ultrasound, 3D imaging, and other digital systems. This device is easy to use and reliable, supports 13 languages, and features a touchscreen interface that enhances operator productivity, according to the vendor.

See www.kodak.com/go/health

CAD software

TraumaCAD orthopedic templating software from Ferrania is designed for use with any PACS. It offers a film-free capability via the DICOM query/retrieve module and the ability to send the completed planned image for permanent storage via the DICOM store service, according to the company.

See www.ferraniait.com

3D workstation

The Aquarius workstation from TeraRecon is a 3D diagnostic tool used for visualizing, editing, and analyzing large thin-slice CT and MR examinations. The vendor's server helps maximize the utility of data throughout the hospital using a central 3D processing server delivering real-time interactive imaging to networked PCs.

See www.terarecon.com

Monitor moves

Barco has received regulatory clearance from the U.S. FDA for its Nio display systems. The products, available in 2-, 3-, and 5-megapixel configurations, offer fast power-up and continuous DICOM conformance of the LCD's luminance output.

See www.barco.com

Dry imager

The DryPix 7000 from Fuji is designed for centralized imaging and high-speed modalities such as multislice CT. Providing wet imager performance and image quality from a dry imager, the product is also suitable for wet imager replacement. It has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. FDA for use with full-field digital mammography devices.

See www.fujimed.com

Ultrasound units

Esaote has introduced the MyLab50 and MyLab15 ultrasound systems. The former is primarily for abdominal, small parts, ob/gyn, and cardiovascular applications, while the latter is a compact black-and-white scanner for general imaging and ob/gyn examinations.

See www.esaote.com