The need for increased productivity throughout radiology, from the smallest to the largest institutions, has energized vendors, leading them to integrate PACS with other information systems and postprocessing capabilities. RIS integration led the charge to turnkey integration. Specialty vendors’ products focused on community hospitals and imaging centers were joined by others from major vendors that sought to expand their reach beyond super-sized early PACS adopters.
The need for increased productivity throughout radiology, from the smallest to the largest institutions, has energized vendors, leading them to integrate PACS with other information systems and postprocessing capabilities. RIS integration led the charge to turnkey integration. Specialty vendors' products that focused on community hospitals and imaging centers were joined by others from major vendors that sought to expand their reach beyond super-sized early PACS adopters.
Postprocessing became an integral part of PACS. Vendors highlighted seamless and bolt-on 3D packages as the means for handling increasingly large data sets created by multislice CT and high-resolution MR. Some were homegrown; others were acquired through alliance or merger.
The latest release of the Impax ES offers data synchronization, dictation software, and computer-assisted reading (CAR) capabilities, as well as a mammography workstation. An advanced RIS solution was designed specifically for imaging centers in the U.S. and Canada. Orthopedic software is being developed to assist in surgical planning.
RealTime Worklist integrates the Amicas Vision Series PACS and Heartlab's Encompass cardiology PACS, providing access to cardiology and radiology images and reports. Patient status is coded by color for radiology and cardiology studies. Both the Heartlab Encompass and Amicas Vision viewer can be launched from within the RealTime Worklist; either allows access to the full suite of image manipulation tools appropriate to a specific study type. The integration evolved from a comarketing agreement between Amicas and Heartlab.
Exam-PACS, an affordable modular PACS for imaging centers and hospitals with tight budgets, features enhanced access for referring physicians, robotic capabilities for CD burning, and the ability to integrate its archiving system with other PACS.
New document preservation and archiving technology addresses record-keeping problems. The software-based solution captures, preserves, and allows retrieval of radiology reports and other documents as part of the company's InForm RIS.
Document Vault, a black box about the size of a toaster, serves as an intuitive archive, capturing and preserving nonimaging data automatically. The vault can be installed physically onsite, or CommSynTech can provide the service as part of an ASP. Installed in the flow of data as part of the company's RIS, Document Vault:
RIS/PACS Release 7 incorporates radiology, cardiology, and pathology and enables Web-based scheduling and productivity tools. Features include:
IntegradWeb, the company's Web-based PACS, features a new architecture and expanded clinical applications.
An enhanced version of DirectView System 5, scheduled for release in early 2005, allows improved customization and the ability to save display protocols. Also shown were a new PACS upgrade to mammography and a RIS tailored for use by freestanding imaging centers.
Synapse version 3.1 offers advances in data processing and presentation, extended dictation support, and DICOM query and retrieve functionality. The features will work when interacting with PACS other than those made by Fuji. The new software version is scheduled for commercial release in the first quarter of 2005.
GE Centricity modules have been developed to display, archive, and transmit various forms of patient data from images to physician notes. Centricity EE is designed for large enterprises, while the newly developed Centricity SE is intended for use by community hospitals and imaging centers.
FlowPoint RIS/PACS, obtained with the acquisition of U.K.-based Wise Systems in July, features Web-based and multilingual capabilities. FlowPoint PACS' Web services are embedded in the company's RIS, providing radiology patient information, image management, and Web-based imaging capabilities. FlowPoint enables enterprise-wide scheduling to optimize the use of radiology equipment and facilities. The comprehensive radiology patient record integrates images, voice, and data. Images and data are sent as a single digitized package.
Web-based InteleViewer supports image display and Tracer Tools that track the status of patient studies. The latest release features:
Newly developed Horizon Rad Station, a core component of McKesson's Horizon Radiology RIS/PACS suite, unites image and information management. The Web-based RIS/PACS includes image management, navigation, information management, workflow automation, and digitization of the patient record. The system integrates billing, claims, data distribution, and reporting functionality in configurations that can be stretched to handle imaging and outpatient centers, small hospitals, and large multisite enterprises.
Horizon Rad Station automates workflow by streamlining the assessment of images and patient data. Advanced features include:
Two new software upgrades were released, one for the company's workstations, the other for its Fusion PACS and RIS/PACS.
Version 2.0, the company's new downloadable software version of its eFilm Workstation, allows the use of thumbnail images and PET/CT fusion and enhances user and log-in authentication.
The enhanced RIS/PACS Fusion eFilm 2.0 uses an advanced hanging protocol engine that provides automated, tailored display of diagnostic images.
The Misys Optimum family of clinical products, including Misys RIS-PACS solutions, connects community-based physicians to acute-care enterprises, using Web technologies. RIS/PACS solutions include a Misys Radiology information system interfaced with the Misys PACS Integration Module (PIM) and Image Management features.
Virtual Radiology Network provides healthcare organizations a cost-effective way to connect to multiple facilities and to a virtual staff of radiologists, leveraging virtual or remote resources for radiology readings.
EasyAccess, Philips' PACS for radiology, has been bolstered by new features, an integrated RIS, and an advanced version of Philips' multimodality workstation.
Homegrown Web-based iPACS technology supports scalable PACS such as the company's iPACS Prism for radiology.
Sectra PACS can be tailored to cover radiology, orthopedics, cardiology, and mammography. The latest release features an enhanced workflow environment along with image distribution and remote reading capabilities. These include:
A new workstation offers improved multislice visualization tools. A volumetric reconstruction package is now standard. Features support:
Sienet Cosmos RIS/PACS, exhibited as a work-in-progress at the 2003 RSNA meeting, features the common syngo user interface and integration with the company's Soarian IT system, allowing access to electronic patient records. The Cosmos RIS/PACS, which can be scaled across hospital enterprises or to individual hospitals and imaging centers, can serve as a building block for an electronic health record system, according to the company.
Siemens' Novius RIS enhancements include:
Economic PACS solutions are designed for small to medium-sized hospitals and imaging centers. The company's PACS and stand-alone Rapidia 3D software are being enhanced. A RIS/PACS, with software developed by Infinitt of Seoul, Korea, debuted as a commercial product along with a work-in-progress 3D workstation.
The iSite PACS/RIS product line includes iSite Enterprise, iSite Radiology diagnostic reading station, and iVault online solution for long-term storage.
iSite PACS version 3.3 adds clinical features and functionality. These include:
The iSite Platform program includes a core API (application programming interface) and supporting technologies that permit third-party applications to work seamlessly within the iSite PACS environment. Such applications can share user context, images, and related clinical information with other ITs and processing tools, such as electronic medical records and 3D imaging.
AquariusNET 1.5 supports distributed user-friendly 3D applications through an enhanced image-processing server working in concert with PACS. Agfa, Amicas, Sectra, Delft Diagnostic Imaging, and Intelerad Medical Systems took advantage of TeraRecon's latest technology, integrating the AquariusNET 1.5 server on the RSNA exhibit floor, each with its own PACS.