Integration drives PACS on RSNA exhibit floor

November 26, 2003

3D and RIS top list of capabilities to be integrated"Integration" is the buzzword in PACS this year, and 3D image processing is the chief capability being integrated."Getting 3D imaging into the clinical workflow without the need

3D and RIS top list of capabilities to be integrated

"Integration" is the buzzword in PACS this year, and 3D image processing is the chief capability being integrated.

"Getting 3D imaging into the clinical workflow without the need for separate volume-rendering software has become a fundamental requirement of the clinical enterprise," said Steve Sandy, vice president of marketing for TeraRecon (South Hall 3539).

Advanced 3D postprocessing tools can help radiologists cope with slice overload, Sandy said, but not if those tools are available only as traditional workstation-based approaches. TeraRecon integrates 3D as part of its AquariusNET server, a 3D enterprise server/thin client solution for providing advanced processing tools as part of clinical PACS.

Executives at Viatronix (South Hall 5165) predict a trend toward more ubiquitous and advanced clinical applications. The growth of 3D creates a variety of issues, some of which still require solutions, said Frank Dachille, associate director of research and development.

"Many doctors would be comfortable manipulating 3D if the tools were available and easy to use," he said. "That's why advanced, streamlined clinical applications are necessary."

Viatronix will use the RSNA meeting to launch a vascular module, cleared by the FDA only weeks ago, for its V3D workstation. The module allows radiologists to examine vessels in 2D or 3D, view hard and soft plaque, and make precise measurements.

Executives at Siemens Medical Solutions (South Hall 1740) expect several trends to play out during the meeting. They include the integration of PACS in IT and the convergence of PACS and RIS into integrated solutions.

"Isolated islands of technology and knowledge need to converge to full integration," said Henri "Rik" Primo, manager of marketing and strategic relationships for Siemens. "Clinical images and vital patient information need to be available when and where they are needed. At the same time, productivity, efficiency, and quality need to be improved in the healthcare enterprise."

IT-based systems in the Siemens booth will be interconnected this year so that all patient information can be viewed at any workplace, Primo said. The company also plans to show design examples of high-productivity reading workplaces that will integrate RIS, electronic medical record, and speech recognition capabilities.

The spread of PACS throughout the enterprise is a trend worth watching, according to executives at Stentor (North Hall 6521). The company will launch version 3.2 of its iSite "Enterprise First" PACS at the meeting. Multisite integrated delivery networks and hospitals are looking for PACS to deliver immediate enterprise-wide images with intelligent data management capabilities that go beyond radiology, said Mark Reis, marketing communications manager for Stentor.

"PACS are enabling increased communication, efficiency, and collaboration among radiologists and clinicians," he said.

Amicas (South Hall 5149) executives predict that the integration of RIS and PACS will garner considerable attention on the exhibit floor this year. The integration is a workflow issue; where and by whom the information is captured or altered and how it becomes available are key points.

"This topic has continued to mature over time, and its most recent incarnation speaks of a single database between PACS and the RIS," said Hamid Tabatabaie, CEO of Amicas.