Lumisys and Kodak cooperate in CR

February 13, 1991

This article is the second of a two-part series. Part one appearedin the last issue of SCAN.Kodak has been granted exclusive rights to manufacture and marketthe computed radiography phosphor plate scanning technology developedby Lumisys of

This article is the second of a two-part series. Part one appearedin the last issue of SCAN.

Kodak has been granted exclusive rights to manufacture and marketthe computed radiography phosphor plate scanning technology developedby Lumisys of Sunnyvale, CA. The CR unit is part of the KodakEktascan Imagelink diagnostic image and information managementsystem. It will be sold under the Kodak label and is fully coveredby the film vendor's CR licensing arrangement with Fuji, saidCatherine M. Burzik, manager of image and information management.

The Lumisys CR system, however, has a number of features thatdifferentiate it from Fuji's system, according to Bala Manian,Lumisys chairman.

"Our CR reader is unique in that we digitize (the imagedata). There is no prescan," Manian told SCAN. "(Thelaser) goes across the plate once, reading it all and coveringover 12 bits of data. Furthermore, we built our system with anopen architecture. The raw digital data is available to anybodywho wants to process it. We concluded that it is not the businessof Lumisys to decide what to do with the data."

Lumisys, a start-up company, first applied its laser opticstechnology in a film digitizer introduced in 1989 (SCAN 12/27/89).The digitizer is sold to several medical imaging OEMs, includingPhilips and GE. Kodak plans to integrate the Lumisys digitizerinto its Imagelink system as well, Burzik said. Lumisys has alsodeveloped a laser camera, introduced at the 1990 RadiologicalSociety of North America meeting, for which it is negotiatingOEM supply arrangements.

Kodak's strategic partner in the development of its digitalmedical imaging products is Vortech Data of Reston, VA (SCAN 9/12/90).Vortech will build an interface card for the Lumisys CR unit,which will convert the image data into the ACR/NEMA format usedon the Imagelink system, Burzik said.

Although Kodak expects the first application of the CR technologyto be in intensive care units, customers may use the technologyin a variety of applications, depending on their clinical needs,she said.

"The whole theory behind Imagelink is flexibility forour customers. If they want soft-copy CRT displays, we can providethat through a variety of workstations supported by Vortech. Ifthey want hard copy, we provide the Kodak laser printer option.CR will serve as a front-end acquisition node. Our vision is tomake CR cost-effective and small enough that you can have multipleCR units distributed in the ICUs," Burzik said.

Improvements in CR technology are trimming prices and stimulatinggreater clinical interest, said Dr. Seong K. Mun, director ofimaging physics at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington,DC.

"The cost (of CR units) is coming down and physiciansare learning that CR can be very beneficial in certain areas,especially for intensive care unit services. User education istaking hold," Mun said.

Georgetown, the first U.S. clinical site for Agfa's CR system,also runs Fuji and Konica machines. Konica is developing a dedicatedchest CR system, Mun said.