Industry reveals details of new products, upgrades

December 1, 2007

Portable ultrasound

Aloka's ProSound a7 ultrasound scanner can be transported from the examination room to the intensive care unit, operating theater, and patient's bedside. The real-time 3D/4D function allows the user to observe horizontal sections, and the automatic volume measurement function automatically detects the boundary of the lumen of the hypoechoic parts, such as gallbladder and cyst. Shown above is a fetal image on the ProSound a7 device.

See www.aloka.com

Low-cost MR unit

A new low-cost MR scanner, described by Siemens Medical Solutions as the most affordable 1.5T system in the industry, has been unveiled. Carrying a list price of under $1 million (about Euro 700,000), the Essenza aims to compete with even refurbished high-field scanners, whose sales have been increasing lately due to the growing pressure on MR reimbursements in some countries.

See www.medical.siemens.com

Generic contrast

Two new generic contrast agents are available from Insight Agents, a subsidiary of Curagita. Magnegita 500 micromol/mL (gadopentetate dimeglumine) for MRI can be purchased in most European countries, and Iopamigita 300 mg I/mL (iopamidol) for x-ray/CT is available in Germany. The products will soon be sold in more countries.

See www.insight-agents.com

X-ray flat panel

Hamamatsu Photonics' C10158DK flat-panel sensor for digital x-ray applications consists of around 5.5 megapixels (2376 x 2376 elements), each 50 microns, giving a total x-ray sensitive size of around seven inches (17.8 cm).

See www.sales.hamamatsu.com

Vascular CT

VesselIQ Xpress from GE Healthcare is a 2D and 3D clinical analysis tool for vascular CT studies. It provides analysis for routine cases and can handle more challenging tasks such as plaque analysis, stenosis quantification, aneurysm measurement, and bone segmentation.

See www.gehealthcare.com

Breast biopsies

The Aurora Biopsy is an automated and fully integrated MR-guided biopsy device. It allows fast, accurate targeting and needle placement coordinated with the integrated scan console and image acquisition software displayed on a computer screen.

See www.auroramri.com

Speech recognition

Philips' speech recognition engine, SpeechMagic, is being integrated into 3M's document creation products. 3M's customers will now have access to documentation solutions that can improve medical reporting by reducing document turnaround time and transcription costs.

See www.philips.com/newscenter

Surgical display

The MDSC-2124 is the latest addition to Barco's range of surgical displays, reflecting the rapid evolution of high-definition endoscopic imaging. The device has a wide-screen LCD panel featuring full high-definition resolution (1920 x 1200).

See www.barco.com

Web viewer

Candelis has expanded the capabilities of its ImageGrid PACS with the addition of a new web viewer designed for general imaging applications. The viewer allows radiologists to perform diagnostic reading from any workstation on a local area network, a wide area network, or remote workstations via a virtual private network.

See www.candelis.com

Ultrasound unit

Zonare Medical Systems has introduced the z.one ultra system. Whether in its full-featured, cart-based configuration or converted to the system's compact portable unit, the ultrasound scanner offers value for money, workflow efficiencies, and high image quality, according to the vendor.

See www.zonare.com

Cardiovascular tool

The Impax CV (cardiovascular) suite from Agfa offers enhanced multilingual, multimodality image, and reporting capabilities. It provides access to a consolidated view of all cross-modality cardiology and radiology images within a single review station.

Also, Agfa has donated a DryStar daylight film processor to the department of forensic pathology in Durban, South Africa, as part of a joint initiative with Inforce (International Forensic Centre for Excellence in the Investigation of Genocide).

See www.agfa.com/healthcare

Prostate MRI

Confirma has installed CADstream for prostate at several U.S. MR research centers. The product aims to improve the quality, standardization, and efficiency of study analysis, interpretation, and reporting, thereby improving the detection of cancer and treatment planning.

See www.confirma.com

High-field MR

The Achieva 3.0T X-series offers enhanced performance and a large field-of-view, according to Philips Medical Systems. Among its features are dual-mode 80 mT/m gradients, short dielectric-free RF coil design, and a dedicated SENSE RF coil program. It is also available in a mobile configuration.

See www.medical.philips.com

PACS workstation

The Aquarius iNtuition delivers workstation-class applications to PCs or PACS stations throughout the enterprise, according to TeraRecon. It provides support for dual-energy CT scanning, automatic anatomy identification and labeling, PET/CT fusion with automatic registration, and fusion for blood pooling MR contrast agents.

See www.terarecon.com

Screening in Germany

Fujifilm has announced that its FCR Profect series is being used in Germany for mammography screening, following its endorsement by radiologist Dr. Gerold Hecht. Hecht is project lead for the Mammography Screening Program in Niedersachsen, Nordwest region, and manager of the Bremen Reference Centre for the Screening Quality Assurance.

See www.fujifilm.eu

Data storage

Toshiba has selected the UDO Archive Appliance from Plasmon to offer StoreDirect storage solutions to the European medical market. The aim is to offer simplified storage and media management for the user, improved record authenticity, increased capacity on a secure storage medium, and a low total cost of ownership.

See www.toshiba-europe.com/medical/

Breast CAD

Medipattern has released six versions of its B-CAD software for breast ultrasound and one version for breast MRI. The company has developed the CAD products for the two breast modalities from the same algorithm platform technology. They save time, increase consistency in reading, and document information in greater detail, according to the manufacturer.

See www.medipattern.com

Thin-client PACS

The Visage PACS/CS is a scalable PACS solution based on web and thin-client technology with fully integrated clinical applications. It aims to enhance clinical workflow, with advanced tools for 2D, 3D, and 4D image review and interpretation, postprocessing, data management, and image distribution.

See www.visageimaging.com

Digital dashboard

At the RSNA meeting, Carestream Health showcased the enhanced Digital Dashboard that supports its RIS platform and its PACS and information management solutions. The product allows system administrators to monitor equipment performance, storage utilization, and user volumes.

The company also unveiled two new computed radiography systems: the Kodak DirectView Classic and Elite CR systems.

See www.kodak.com/global/en/health

Performance monitoring

The Control Tower from Sectra monitors the daily status of the radiology department and reveals long-term production trends in RIS and PACS. It generates comprehensive reports to support daily management decisions and can facilitate better procurement planning.

See www.sectra.com/medical

Digital mammography

The Selenia S digital mammography system is designed for a screening mammography facility or mobile environment. It uses the Hologic direct-conversion detector, which eliminates the need to convert x-rays to light and produces a sharp digital image with better contrast and detail.

See www.hologic.com

CD/DVD publisher

Codonics has introduced the Virtua Medical Disc Publisher. Radiologists can gain back the time they lost when CDs were recording, and technologists can recover several hours of examination time per day. The device never fails to record data, and the cost savings can be more than $15,000 per year, the manufacturer claims.

See www.codonics.com

Neurological research

Bayer Schering Pharma has signed an agreement with Taisho Pharmaceutical, Nihon Nohyaku, and the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan to develop novel imaging compounds for the detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other disorders associated with neuroinflammation, such as multiple sclerosis.

See www.bayerscheringpharma.de

French purchase

Esaote France, a subsidiary of the Esaote Group, has acquired Kontron Medical, which produces ultrasound and patient monitoring systems. The Esaote Group had a consolidated turnover exceeding Euro 260 million in 2006, of which approximately 60% was generated on international markets.

See www.esaote.com

Industry award

The Italian-based im3D Medical Imaging Lab has received Frost & Sullivan's 2007 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award in the European computer-aided detection markets. The prize recognizes the company's CAD-Colon package.

See www.i-m3d.com