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PACS takes forefront at RSNA show as interest surges in digital imaging


PACS takes forefront at RSNA show as interest surges in digital imagingLarge-scale purchases may be driven by digital x-ray technologyAttendees at the technical exhibits at December's Radiological Society of North America meeting found no

PACS takes forefront at RSNA show as interest surges in digital imaging

Large-scale purchases may be driven by digital x-ray technology

Attendees at the technical exhibits at December's Radiological Society of North America meeting found no shortage of PACS technology. Information technology played dominant roles in many of the modality manufacturers' booths, and traditional PACS players also maintained large exhibits.

With the possible exception of the launch of several multislice CT systems, PACS and digital x-ray technology again drew the lion's share of interest among exhibit hall visitors. In particular, the growing number of digital radiography systems entering the market continues to be of note. These systems, which include traditional computed radiography technology, CCD-based systems, and several varieties of flat-panel detectors, are expected to spark increased purchasing activity of large-scale PACS networks.

Apart from technology developments, consolidation continues to be a major force in the PACS market. With few exceptions, most smaller PACS players have not been able to land enough clients to justify their continued independence. In addition, growing customer interest in broader image and information management offerings provides a strong incentive for companies to secure partnerships to round out their product lines. As a result, mergers, acquisitions, and new corporate alliances were prominent at the meeting.

As big names such as Kodak and Imation Cemax-Icon join forces, it's not surprising that rumors swirled around the floor regarding other possible mergers. One particularly prevalent rumor had Agfa Medical and Sterling Diagnostic Imaging working together, which would seem to be a good match. Agfa has a powerful position in PACS, while Sterling's DirectRay digital radiography technology would be a nice complement to Agfa's CR product line. Both firms declined to comment on potential corporate moves, however.

Access Radiology

- The teleradiology firm highlighted its recent acquisition of EMED from Raytheon (PNN 12/98).

- The Lexington, MA-based company's Framewave Web offering was installed at two beta sites in December, with one more planned in January. General market availability is expected in the first quarter of 1999 for the product, which allows clinicians to review images using a Web browser and wavelet compression schemes. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance was obtained in December. Pricing has not yet been established, although customers will be able to purchase client/server packages or viewing software-only configurations, said David Mahoney, vice president of sales and marketing.

- In EMED technology developments, Access has decided to end EMED's efforts to bring a DICOM-to-home viewer to market, since Access already has commercialized a similar product, called Framewave At-Home. EMED's planned Web-based product will also be dropped in favor of Framewave Web.

- Access has moved Framewave Compression Server to the Windows NT platform, and has added more robust and flexible autorouting features, Mahoney said. The move to NT also resulted in a more user-friendly graphical user interface, he said.

AccuImage Diagnostics

- AccuImage unveiled a software suite that allows for 2-D and 3-D DICOM medical image processing, visualization, and transmission within the hospital network or over the Internet, according to the South San Francisco, CA-based firm.


- Ultrasound vendor Acuson highlighted WS3000, a Windows NT-based ultrasound PACS workstation that offers high-speed review of original-quality, 24-bit color images, according to the Mountain View, CA-based firm. With the new offering, users can download an entire exam in 4:1, 9:1, or 16:1 format in seconds. The workstation automatically downloads calculations, measurements, and calibrations from Acuson ultrasound scanners, and connects to systems from other ultrasound vendors. Physicians can complete and sign off on final reports online. WS3000 shipments will begin in the first quarter.

Advanced Instrument Development

- Exhibiting at its second RSNA meeting, AID of Melrose Park, IL, displayed the CCD-based digital x-ray technology it imports for Finnish technology firm Imix. The detector is used in digital radiography systems sold by Trex Medical, and AID is interested in securing additional OEM partnerships for territories outside the U.S., AID executives said.

AFP Imaging Systems
The Elmsford, NY-based company showed its VisiBright color and gray-scale portrait and landscape monitors, which are manufactured by the Imaging Technology division of Siemens. A new flat-panel liquid crystal display was shown for PACS and clinical review applications.

Agfa Medical
- The Ridgefield Park, NJ-based vendor debuted ADC Solo, a single-plate computed radiography reader with a price point of around $100,000. ADC Solo can handle 70 plates per hour. Designed as an entry-level CR product, ADC Solo could be appropriate for distributed CR environments such as clinics, trauma centers, and ICUs, according to the firm. It includes integrated patient identification quality-assurance capabilities as well as the company's MUSICA image processing software. With the unit, cassettes must be sequentially fed by hand.

- In PACS developments, Agfa highlighted Release 4 of its Impax PACS offering. Release 4, which will be available in mid-1999, includes a Windows NT-based workstation package. Release 4 will also run in a Sun Solaris environment, said Bob Cooke, director of network solutions. The servers will continue to run on Sun Solaris for the foreseeable future, he said.

- In other Release 4 additions, Agfa has added an on-demand image retrieval feature to the product's prefetching and autorouting capabilities. The addition of a compressed file transfer format enables overall speed and performance enhancements in data transfer from the server to the workstation, Cooke said.

- A number of other options will also be available on Release 4, including voice recognition software from Talk Technology, an MPR/MIP application, and integration with Cerner's radio-logy information system.

Release 4 will also support specialized workstations for environments such as the intensive care unit, ultrasound department, orthopedic department, and surgery. Agfa has also joined ISG's Surgical Navigation Network.

- An Impax quality-control station has been added to allow technologists to fix demographic data problems and other image problems.

- The Ridgefield Park, NJ-based company has renewed its PACS software development relationship with partner Mitra Imaging. No other details were available.

AIM Software Systems
AIM announced a number of enhancements for its AIM System for Radiology RIS offering. In the first quarter of 1999, the Islandia, NY-based company will add interfaces with major mammography systems. Voice-activated and Microsoft Word transcription capabilities will be integrated in the second quarter. A DICOM interface will also be added in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, Web-based integration of radiology reports will be added. Referring physicians will be able to receive e-mailed radiology reports.

ALI Technologies
ALI highlighted version 4.0 of its UltraPACS ultrasound miniPACS product line, a release that brings support for major medical image modalities (PNN 12/98).

- The Richmond, BC-based company has also begun full production of its UltraPACS Prodigy offering, designed specifically for stand-alone clinics and smaller imaging departments. UltraPACS Prodigy consists of a Windows NT-based image review station, an integrated archive, DICOM 3.0-compliant networking capabilities, and ALI's PACS software.

Algotec Systems

- Algotec featured SurfLink, a Web-based radiology conferencing and consultation tool. With SurfLink, radiologists and physicians in remote locations can work together by sharing diagnostic image data and image analysis tools, according to the company. Audioconferencing, videoconferencing, and chat capabilities are included.

- MediPrime, a Windows NT-based integrated primary diagnostic and reporting workstation, was also showcased.

- A wavelet compression mechanism has been added to the Raanana, Israel-based company's MediSurf Web-based image distribution server. The feature, called AutoLook, compresses the image as much as needed to fit the clinical application and the communication lines available, according to Algotec. A new autorouter sends data intelligently to the relevant workstation or MediSurf client, according to the firm.

Amicas, formerly known as autocytgroup, put the spotlight on its integration efforts with other healthcare information systems from vendors including ADAC Health Care Information Systems, Sunquest Information Systems, and Talk Technology. The company touts its use of ActiveX and JavaBean components as a key factor in the success of these integrations, according to the Watertown, MA-based company.

- The firm also debuted Amicas Personal, a version of the company's Amicas Web-based offering designed for on-call teleradiology applications.

Applicare Medical Imaging

- The Dutch PACS software developer highlighted version 4.0 of its RadWorks workstation package. The new release includes features such as configurable hanging protocols and the ability to send selected images to referring physicians, according to Ruud Kroon, managing director. DICOM work list management support has also been added as part of RadWorks 4.0.

- Applicare displayed a Windows NT software-only archive offering as a work-in-progress. Controlled through a Web interface, the software was shown running a DLT archive, although it can also support CD-ROM, Kroon said. Availability is expected in the third quarter of 1999.

- Applicare's revenues have nearly tripled in 1998 to $6.5 million, Kroon said. The company now has an installed base of 2200 systems, compared with 570 in 1997.

Aurora Technology

- Aurora is now able to offer miniPACS and teleradiology systems in addition to its workstation offerings, thanks to partnerships with FileLink and Amicas. Both FileLink archives and Amicas Web-browser software were shown in conjunction with Aurora products at the show.

- The Minneapolis-based company also showed PC desktop imaging software as a work-in-progress. The software package, which mimics the Aurora workstation interface, enables distribution of images throughout the enterprise, according to the company. It runs on Windows 95/98/NT platforms, and will be available for shipping in the first quarter of 1999.

- Aurora workstations are now based on the Windows NT platform.

Barco Display Systems
Barco showed MeDis 5MP2 and MeDis 2MP2 offerings, which include a gray-scale display, dual-head BarcoMed PCI board(s), server, interface cables, and the company's MediCal software package for display calibration and consistency checking. A conformity and technical compliance certificate is included. MeDis 5MP2 is the firm's 5-megapixel system (2048 x 2560), while MeDis 2MP2 is the 2-megapixel version (1600 x 1200).

- Barco debuted MFCD 120, a 20-inch flat-panel color display. Available now, the 1280 x 1024 resolution display complies with DICOM and CIE viewing standards, according to the Kortrijk, Belgium-based company.

Brit Systems
Brit has signed on to sell the ACR-2000 low-cost computed radiography reader from Lumisys.

- The Dallas-based company also introduced a Windows NT viewer equipped with new window/level controls. Availability is expected in January.

- A new version of the firm's Web Workbench viewer was also shown that allows multiple images to be viewed simultaneously by storing them in cache, according to the firm.

Canon USA/AOP Medical

- Canon highlighted its Digital Radiography System, for which it received FDA clearance just prior to the RSNA meeting (PNN 12/98). The system is based on an amorphous silicon detector and is targeted at digital chest imaging applications.

- The Lake Success, NY-based company also highlighted the use of Digital Radiography System in conjunction with the PACS software it has developed. Canon's PACS is based on a combination of Sun Microsystems and Intel Pentium computers, and a diagnostic-quality digital chest image can be produced in 30 seconds.

Cares Built

- This Keyport, NJ, company is one of the first medical imaging vendors to display a digital detector based on complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. The detector, called Clarity 7000, features technical specifications that appear to be twice those of CCD or flat-panel systems: The detectors have 7 lp/mm resolution in a 7K x 7K matrix and 100 db of dynamic range.

- Clarity 7000 detectors are designed to fit into the bucky of conventional x-ray systems, and Cares Built plans to offer the detectors on a retrofit basis. The company hopes to have 510(k) clearance for Clarity 7000 in the first quarter of 1999, and will sell the detectors through its dealer network. Cares Built also plans to offer the detectors as part of new integrated x-ray systems.

The big news in the Kansas City-based firm's booth was the company's new relationship with GE Medical Systems (see GE, page 6).

Clinton Electronics

- The monitor manufacturer showed several new monitors, including DS4000P, a 21-inch, 4-megapixel (1728 x 2304), high-contrast CRT targeted for diagnostic applications. The Rockford, IL-based company also introduced three clinical displays and a True Image luminance measurement subsystem.

Creative Computer Applications

- CCA introduced CyberRAD, a radiology information system that offers exam scheduling, resource allocation, film library, and film tracking, according to the Calabasas, CA-based company. Other features include support for traditional transcription as well as voice recognition. Mammography tracking and reporting can also be performed, as can department resource tracking.

Custom Speech USA
- Custom Speech showed its line of dictation and transcription tools, with and without speech recognition, at this year's show. The Crown Point, IN-based company highlighted its VoiceWare PC-based digital dictation and transcription software, developed by the Programmers' Consortium of Reston, VA. Custom Speech also showed Naturally Speaking software from Dragon Systems of Newton, MA. Custom Speech offers that product with its speech recognition systems.

Data General
Data General highlighted integration between its PACS and a healthcare information system from Meditech of Westwood, MA.

- In PACS developments, Data General and PACS partner MarkCare Medical Systems of Bloomfield, NJ, introduced IntraScan II WB, a release that allows users to access the full PACS database via a Web browser, according to Data General of Westboro, MA. Images, requisitions, and prior reports are all available via any Web browser. IntraScan II WB is available now.

Data Ray
Data Ray of Denver has added digital interfaces to its DR110 and DR90 displays. DR110 serves as the company's 5-megapixel display, while DR90 offers 1600 x 1200 resolution.

DataVation has added compression capability to its DataVast storage server, doubling the capacity of compressible files on the system's tape arrays from 1.6 to 3.2 terabytes. With this new addition, effective file data transfer rate from disk cache has also doubled, according to the Toronto-based company.

- The company also announced that DataVast is being used to store digital mammography studies as part of clinical studies being conducted at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto.

DeJarnette Research Systems

- DeJarnette completed its evolution to a full-line PACS company at the show with the introduction of Radiance, the company's PACS product line. Radiance includes a number of new offerings, including MediShare IQ, a database manager and HIS/RIS interface, and NetShare IQ, which connects modalities to DICOM networks. A long-term DLT archive from StorageTek has been added as part of Radiance. RAID is employed for short-term storage needs.

- Windows 95/98-based teleradiology and desktop versions of the VisiShare line of workstation software were also introduced. MediShare IQ, NetShare IQ, and VisiShare are currently in beta testing, said president Wayne DeJarnette. The archive offering will go into beta testing soon, and availability of the complete Radiance product line is expected in April, he said.

- DeJarnette's sales mix continues to shift in favor of direct sales. In 1998, approximately 20% of its sales were from OEM relationships, compared with 70% in 1997, DeJarnette said.

- Prior to the meeting, DeJarnette announced an alliance with RIS firm Swearingen Software. DeJarnette and Houston-based Swearingen will jointly offer each other's products as a complementary RIS/PACS offering. R&D staffs at both companies will work together on development of an integrated RIS/PACS product, according to the firm.

Dicomit Imaging Systems
Dicomit has added DICOM query/retrieve capability to its product line. The Richmond Hill, Ontario-based company also introduced Dicomit HLR, which upgrades all modalities to full DICOM compliance, according to the firm. Another offering, Dicomit Micropaacs, provides modality scanners with stand-alone archiving and DICOM connectivity.

Dictaphone of Stratford, CT, introduced Enterprise 125 Voice System, a Windows NT-based voice and data management system designed for single-site healthcare institutions such as clinics and group practices.


- Disc introduced its Orion CD series of automated storage libraries. The new line of CD libraries hold from 263 to 1478 CDs, offering from 171 to 961 GB of storage, according to the Milpitas, CA-based company. A combination of CD-ROM and CD-Recordable drives can be mixed in each library.

Dome Imaging Systems
In past years, Dome has exhibited in the infoRAD section, but this year the Waltham, MA, company moved to the technical exhibit floor. The firm highlighted DD5/DFP, a flat-panel display monitor developed in collaboration with dpiX.

- Dome has also designed a special digital display controller for the monitor, called Md5/DFP. The monitor features a brightness of 225 foot lamberts in a 19 x 19-inch matrix, with 256 shades of gray.


- DpiX put the spotlight on Gradient 500, a 5.2-million-pixel, gray-scale, flat-panel display, which complements Expression 100, the Palo Alto, CA, firm's color active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) offering. Gradient 500 features 8 bits per pixel in gray scale, a 147-microns pixel size, and 240 foot lambert of brightness, according to the company. Both Gradient 500 and Expression 100 use similar amorphous silicon thin-film transistor (TFT) technology employed in the firm's FlashScan 20 and FlashScan 30 digital x-ray detectors.

- Several manufacturers are evaluating the firm's FlashScan 30 digital detector for use as a retrofit to existing radiography systems, said Jean-Pierre Georges, vice president of sales and marketing. Some firms are interested in using it in magnification digital mammography applications.

- The company also displayed a work-in-progress amorphous silicon detector array that may have applications in high-resolution digital radiography as well as digital mammography, Georges said. The 30 x 40-cm array incorporates a 97-micron pixel size, and comprises over 12 million pixels.

DR Systems
DR Systems debuted a Windows NT-based version of its Dominator workstation software. The new version includes voice recognition capability and can support two to four monitors.

- The San Diego, CA-based company introduced DR Communicator, which allows referring physicians to gain secure remote access to medical images, reports, and digital voice files. It is available as part of the firm's latest release of DR Web Ambassador, its Web-based image distribution offering.

- Another introduction, DR Computed Radiography Catapult, allows the DR PACS to send demographic data to CR units. In addition, the Windows NT-based workstation enables technologists to view and edit images, and compress them via DICOM-compatible data compression if desired, according to the company.

- DR also announced Instant Reporter, an optional module that provides digital dictation, transcription, automated report generation, and voice recognition reporting.

- As of October, DR had doubled its sales volume of 1997.

Dynamic Healthcare Technologies
Dynamic put the spotlight on Dynamic PACSPlus version 2.0, an offering that integrates all RIS information with images from the PACS database. The package also includes Dynamic WebSight, a Web-based teleradiology component. Wavelet compression from Pegasus Medical Imaging of Tampa, FL, is also employed in the product. PACSPlus 2.0 has been installed at three beta sites and received FDA 510(k) clearance shortly after the meeting.

- The Lake Mary, FL-based company has renamed its Maxifile RIS as RadPlus.

Eastman Kodak

- Kodak introduced Computed Radiography System 400 Plus, which features new additions such as image processing software suitable for both CR and digital radiography applications. The software automates image processing and enhancement and improves image quality, according to the Rochester, NY, firm.

- CR 400 Plus includes Autoloader Plus, which provides automated handling of CR cassettes via a moving conveyor that accepts exposed cassettes and feeds them into the reader. Up to 10 cassettes can be loaded with Autoloader Plus.

- Research continues on the company's digital radiography system. Unlike last year's meeting, Kodak did not demonstrate images generated from the system. Kodak is continuing to evaluate the technology, but no commercialization plans are in place at this time, according to the company.

- Applicare's RadWorks 4.0 workstation release has been incorporated into the workstation offerings. In addition to the RadWorks capabilities, Kodak has added some display enhancement features, including look-up tables and grid filters. The company also displayed work-in-progress efforts towards the integration of speech recognition for report dictation. Integration with Fonix/Articulate's PowerScribe offering was shown, although Kodak has also integrated IBM's MedSpeak product, said Lawrence White, product line manager.

- Kodak rolled out its Web-based server and Web viewing software. The offerings allow clinicians and referring physicians access to images and reports from non-DICOM PCs, Macintosh computers, and Unix workstations.

- Three new archive software modules have improved the archive library's flexibility and performance, adding features such as new image compression options and a new work-flow module.

Emerald Archiving
Emerald highlighted its archiving services, which allow PACS purchasers to pre-load their new archive with their existing image library. Emerald technicians digitize films or convert the digital images, and the DICOM image output is stored on DLT tapes. The tapes are then transferred into the PACS archive via a DICOM store function, and can be retained as a backup of the archive. Emerald's archiving services allow users to get immediate digital access to historical images, without having to wait six to nine months to accumulate a set of prior images, according to the Niceville, FL-based company.

Etiam Cooperative Medical Imaging Products

- The Rennes, France-based company showed Mediem, a medical e-mail system that allows users to e-mail structured correspondence, free text notes or letters, medical imaging files, annotations, and audio messages such as dictated reports. Mediem employs Java code and is fully compatible with DICOM, according to the firm. New teleconference features were also displayed.

Exhibiting for the first time at this year's show, Bloomington, MN-based FileLink announced two new distribution partners for its Windows NT-based Medical Archive Software offering. HIS firms Data General of Westboro, MA, and Dynamic Healthcare Technologies of Lake Mary, FL, have announced they will be employing MAS. DHT will use MAS in its Dynamic PACSPlus Web-based PACS product. Aurora Technology of Minneapolis, will also be distributing FileLink technology (see Aurora, page 4). Swissray Information Solutions of Gig Harbor, WA, resells MAS in the U.S. and Europe.

Fuji Medical Systems USA

- The first beta site of Fuji's Synapse PACS line is up and running at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, and Fuji plans to install three pilot sites in the first quarter, according to John Strauss, director of marketing in the imaging and infor-mation systems group at Fuji. Commercial installations should begin shortly thereafter.

- At its RSNA booth, Fuji emphasized the high level of integration between Synapse and the Internet. The company has integrated Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser into the viewing software, with the browser serving as the desktop interface. This design provides physicians with a familiar and easy-to-use interface, according to Strauss. Imaging studies are stored on a server and are accessed via the Web. Fuji also highlighted Synapse's use of off-the-shelf components, such as Windows NT workstations and Oracle database management software.

- On the computed radiography side, Fuji displayed its FCR 5000 series of readers as commercial products after introducing them as works-in-progress at the 1997 meeting.

GE Medical Systems
GE has renamed its PACS product line PathSpeed, which includes the Milwaukee-based vendor's new line of Windows NT-based diagnostic and clinical review workstations. GE received clearance for that line in August (PNN 9/98). The workstations include a number of additional features such as customized display preferences, image cross-referencing, and multiplanar localization.

- Other new additions to PathSpeed are the incorporation of a TCP/IP network using 100 Mb/s and 1 Gb/s switching technology. GE's PACS had previously used a fiber-based network. GE has also introduced a scalable line of archiving offerings, ranging from 18-GB RAID devices, 5.2-GB magneto-optical disk jukeboxes, and tape offerings. GE also intends to incorporate StorageTek's planned 9840 tape medium, which is expected to be available in the first half of 1999. Storage needs of up to 50 terabytes could be supported with the new media, said Vishal Wanchoo, general manager of the Mt. Prospect, IL-based Integrated Imaging Systems group.

- CompressXPress, a 3:1 lossless Huffman encoding compression algorithm, has been added to provide faster network speed and increased storage capacity, according to GE. Enterprise View, a database option on the PathSpeed Information Management System, provides scalability and redundancy support for distributed short-term archiving across the enterprise. In addition, a single radiologist work list across multiple hospitals can be maintained.

- WebLink 2.0 was also introduced. The new release incorporates basic image processing and viewing tools such as widow/level, magnifying glass, flip, and mirror, according to GE. Lossy wavelet and JPEG compression schemes are available on WebLink 2.0, as is integrated display of images and reports.

- GE also showed work-in-progress developments in video collaboration between WebLink and the NT workstations. The company is working with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on that project, which is expected to be commercialized in the third quarter of 1999, Wanchoo said.

- The firm also showed its first level of integration with Cerner's Rad Net RIS, with users able to access RIS data from the PathSpeed workstations. The two companies hope to eventually develop a single, unified radiology information solution, with no distinction between a RIS and a PACS, Wanchoo said.

General Scanning

- General Scanning of Watertown, MA, showcased its LD2200 laser film digitizer (PNN 5/98).

Berlin, Germany-based GMD displayed Platinum-WebMed, a Web-based electronic patient record application. With WebMed, physicians can gain access to image and other patient information over an intranet.

HBO & Company

- Prior to the meeting, HBOC closed its acquisition of Imnet Systems, which is now known as HBOC's Imaging Solutions Group. Atlanta, GA-based HBOC remains committed to Imnet's InfoPACS concept, and will continue to market the MedVision module as part of HBOC's Pathways Image Manager offering. HBOC hopes to make the integrated offering available for commercial release at the end of the first quarter.

IBM showed prototypes of three flat-panel liquid crystal displays. An 18.1-inch version provides 1280 x 1024 resolution, while a 20.8-inch display offers 2048 x 1536 resolution. The Bethesda, MD-based company also displayed its Roentgen prototype display (PNN 11/98) that offers a 16.3-inch viewable image size, 2560 x 2048 resolution, and 200 pixels per inch. IBM plans an OEM distribution model for all its flat-panel technology.

- IBM has begun equipment shipments under its DIN-PACS award to Ft. Riley (PNN 4/98).

- IBM reported substantial interest from the commercial sector in its PowerPACS concept. The company will likely make a decision in the first quarter about whether or not to enter this marketplace.

IDX Systems
IDX emphasized IDX Enterprise Radiology Solution, a Web-based image and information management system for radiology (PNN 5/98). Company executives presented an update on the system's implementation at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

The teleradiology firm introduced DV2, a high-frequency PCI video digitizer. The card offers four Mbytes of on-card RAM, which stores the largest of image matrices, according to Images-on-Call. Up to four multiplexed video sources can be supported. The Dallas-based company will be delivering teleradiology systems utilizing DV2 in the first quarter of 1999.

Image Systems
Image Systems introduced M21P2KHBMAX Turbo, a gray-scale 21-inch bright portrait display. The display comes with a built-in microprocessor-based calibration control, and a brightness capacity greater than 100 foot lamberts. The company also showed its line of AMLCD color flat-panel displays.

- Monitor shipments have begun for awards from the military's DIN-PACS contract. More than $800,000 worth of PACS displays were shipped in the third quarter, according to the Minnetonka, MN-based company. Image Systems is a member of the IBM consortium participating in the DIN-PACS contract.

The company, which officially became a part of Kodak during the meeting, unveiled its AutoRad NT Windows NT-based diagnostic workstation. Other enhancements on AutoRad NT included automatic hanging protocols and the ability to view multimodality images on the same monitors.

- Imation also showed version 3.5 of its Macintosh-based PACS line, which includes enhanced work-flow management features and greater speed, according to the company.

- The firm has incorporated Java technology into its archive and added connectivity capabilities with radiology information systems.

- Imation also released ClinicalWeb, a low-cost image distribution method for referring physicians that uses a facility's intranet. ClinicalWeb is designed for use in a Windows NT 4.0 environment.

ISG Technologies
ISG debuted VR SoftView Suite 3.1, an NT-based workstation software suite that adds features such as speech recognition and the integration of reports and images. In addition, the upgrade allows physicians to be paged as soon as the study is ready to be reviewed, according to the Mississauga, Ontario-based firm.

- In archiving developments, the company will debut VR SoftStore 2.1, which enhances the scalability of the archive and adds support for media such as CD-R, magneto-optical disk, and digital linear tape. It can perform image prefetching and can also be equipped with a Web server module.

- The company has added a Multi-mode Rendering component for ultrasound, CT, and MR studies as part of its Componentware software offerings.

Konica Medical Imaging
The company's Regius chest and abdomen computed radiography reader took center stage at its booth this year. Shown at last year's meeting as a work-in-progress, Regius is now commercially available and is scheduled for installation at sites within the next 30 to 60 days, according to the Wayne, NJ-based firm.

- In PACS developments, Konica debuted a scalable DICOM-based archive solution employing CD-ROM storage media. Several new versions of workstation software were also introduced.

Lanier Healthcare
Lanier introduced Cquence, an integrated medical document management offering that supports dictation, speech recognition, transcription, electronic signature, and deficiency management, according to the Atlanta, GA-based company.

Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products
Lernout & Hauspie debuted L&H Clinical Reporter for Primary Care, an offering that employs speech recognition and Internet technologies to allow users to create structured reports by voice. Dictated text is automatically sent to a database repository on a secure medical intranet, which can be recalled and viewed via a Web interface. Availability is expected in the first quarter of 1999 for the product, which will also be extended to other medical specialties, according to the Burlington, MA-based company.

Line Imaging Systems
The Atlanta, GA-based teleradiology firm has added enhancements to its Windows NT-based WinRad teleradiology workstation. DICOM printing capability and wavelet compression algorithms have also been incorporated.

Lumisys formally unveiled ACR-2000, its low-cost computed radiography reader. About 20 demonstration units have been shipped, with the first full commercial shipments set to begin on Jan. 1, said president and CEO Philip Berman. Brit Systems, DR Systems, and Picker International have signed on as OEMs for the offering. Agfa also displayed ACR-2000 in its booth. In addition, 10 domestic distributors and 12 international distributors will be selling ACR-2000.

- The Sunnyvale, CA-based company also introduced a new release of workstation software optimized for CR.

- In digitizer developments, Lumisys has added a bulk film loader for its complete family of digitizer offerings as part of a new chassis with a plastic body. The bulk film loader can accommodate 50 to 100 films, depending on the size of the film.

MagView Systems

- Prior to the meeting, the Kansas City, MO-based mammography information systems provider announced a marketing partnership with RIS developer RadNet of Pittsburgh, PA.

Maro Tech
Maro Tech displayed its RadMax PACS product line, which can support environments ranging from miniPACS to full PACS, according to the Korean firm. Maro Tech has installed a large-scale PACS at Seoul National University Hospital in Seoul, South Korea. Teleradiology and miniPACS networks have been installed at several other hospitals, according to the company.

Matrox Imaging
The Dorval, Quebec-based board manufacturer debuted its Matrox Meteor-II series of PCI framegrabbers for interfacing analog/digital cameras to PCs. Matrox Corona PCI, a framegrabber with integrated display, was shown as well. Matrox also rolled out MIL 6.0, the latest release in the firm's library of high-level functions for rapid application development of software.

Medasys Digital Systems
The French company's planned merger with Citation Computer Systems of St. Louis fell through after the show (see story, page 1).

- Medasys emphasized the benefits of integrating PACS with other healthcare information systems. In product developments, its teleradiology offering is now available in a complete Windows NT-based environment, according to Medasys.

The Seoul, South Korea-based company made its RSNA debut to support its entry into the U.S. PACS market as a supplier to OEMs (PNN 12/98).

MedImage is now shipping PC-based versions of its Galen teleradiology software. Both Macintosh and Windows 95/98/NT-powered workstations will be able to employ Galen, according to the Ann Arbor, MI-based company.

- The company also showed a work-in-progress Web viewer for Galen.


- Medweb introduced DICOM Cube, a work-in-progress server that offers DICOM imaging, wavelet compression, HL-7 support, and Medweb Internet plug-ins as well as a range of Internet services, including e-mail and discussion groups. The San Francisco, CA-based company submitted its 510(k) application in April for DICOM Cube, which it anticipates will have a price of $15,000 for a five-user version.

- The firm also emphasized its DVD archive (PNN 11/98), which is pending 510(k) clearance. Medweb anticipates shipping 1-terabyte configurations in the first quarter, and a 5-terabyte version in the second quarter.

Merge Technologies
The company's CaseWorks tool will be available in the first quarter of 1999. Beta testing has been conducted at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CA. CaseWorks allows radiologists to make diagnoses from conventional films and designate appropriate images for electronic transfer to an archive. Reports can be generated using voice recognition capability.

- Merge introduced CaseWorks Remote, a soft-copy reading version that allows users to make diagnoses and complete reports and dictation from home, said president and CEO William Mortimore. It will be available in mid-1999.

- The company also showed MergePort, an HL-7 and DICOM interface that will be available in the first quarter of 1999.

- ReportWorks, a secure, Web-based distribution approach for images and reports, was also introduced. Availability is expected in mid-1999.

Mitra Imaging
The company highlighted technology developments in Web-based offerings for distributing radiology and cardiology results. Shown by several OEMs at the meeting, the offerings feature Java thin-clients, progressive wavelet transmission, full-fidelity images, and component-based architecture, said CEO Eric Peterson.

- Mitra also showcased Relay Station, which tightly integrates imaging modalities with the RIS and provides a means of bringing the technologist's knowledge and experience into the work flow of PACS, Peterson said. The product was developed in collaboration with Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston.

- The Waterloo, Ontario-based company's relationship with Agfa Medical of Ridgefield Park, NJ, has been renewed. Mitra also announced a strategic technology development partnership with Wam!Net, (see Wam!Net on page 12).

- Approximately 500 of the company's PACS Broker interface engines have been deployed in the field, Peterson said.

Mitsui Advanced Media
Mitsui of Purchase, NY, showed its Mitsui Gold Medical CD-R media.

The MRC Group
MRC showcased the newest version of PowerScribe for Radiology, which was released prior to the meeting.

- MedQuist completed its acquisition of Cleveland, OH-based MRC following the show.

Nishimoto Sangyo
Nishimoto highlighted Elk ED-3000, a laser digitizer that yields contrast resolution up to 3.6 OD. The offering provides a choice of matrix sizes from 1024 to 4096 and either 8-, 10-, or 12-bit pixel depth, according to the company, which maintains U.S. offices in Newark, NJ.

Nortech Imaging
Nortech of Plymouth, MN, highlighted its new line of 17- and 21-inch gray-scale landscape and portrait monitors.

The nuclear medicine connectivity firm demonstrated NumaStation, a nuclear medicine acquisition station that connects directly to analog gamma cameras. It can achieve compatibility with workstations via DICOM or through native file format from OEMs, according to the Amherst, NH-based firm.

- Numa also demonstrated GammaView, a Windows-based viewing system for nuclear medicine. GammaView can be configured for telenuclear applications, according to Numa.

This Dutch company highlighted the AmberScan upgrade for its Digidelca-C digital chest imaging system, a CCD-based system that received clearance in April. AmberScan improves the unit by preprocessing Digidelca's x-ray beam before it hits the patient and adjusting the x-ray dose to match the type of tissue being scanned.

- Oldelft has begun sales of Digidelca-C in the U.S. through its distributor network, and has sold eight units worldwide. The list price of Digidelca-C with AmberScan is about $300,000.

Open Architecture Systems

- OA Systems showed OASYR, a secure, Web-based teleradiology offering. To maintain security, OASYR employs a combination of user identification and token-based, randomly expiring passwords. Passwords are generated on a key-chain-sized code generator and changed every minute, ensuring that only the person holding the password generator gets into the file server. OASYR encrypts all data and provides redundant security firewall protection and automatic audit trails that track site and user access. The Danbury, CT-based start-up company has extensively tested the system in two sites and plans a full product launch in early 1999.

Olicon Imaging Systems
Olicon's workstation software was again displayed in the booth of HIS firm Shared Medical Systems as part of that company's Radiologists' Command Center product.

- Olicon showed UCLA RadStation, a work-in-progress software package that automates display of DICOM images with study-dependent hanging protocols. Olicon is collaborating with the University of California, Los Angeles on the project.

Per-Se Technologies
Per-Se debuted ProgRIS Interactive, which adds several new features to the ProgRIS offering. Voice recognition has been embedded into the application, and Web-based report retrieval has been expanded. Editing and transmission functions have been added, and Atlanta, GA-based Per-Se has added an integrated interface engine from Healthdyne Information Enterprises.

Philips Medical Systems North America
The Shelton, CT-based modality firm has branded all of its PACS offerings to begin with the "Easy" prefix. Philips continues its relationship with Sectra-Imtec for PACS software development.

- Philips showcased EasyWeb, a work-in-progress Web-based offering developed in collaboration with Canadian PACS software and connectivity provider Mitra Imaging. Running off a Windows NT server, EasyWeb works with either Netscape or Microsoft browsers and can support up to 200 PCs. Access to images, reports, and other radiology information is provided. Availability of EasyWeb is expected in the first quarter. The company continues to evaluate Web-based offerings from other companies such as Sectra-Imtec.

- Integrated speech recognition for the company's EasyVision workstations will be available in the second quarter of 1999. Any speech recognition engine will be supported, said James Champagne, director of marketing for the company's Integrated Clinical Solutions group. The company also displayed a work-in-progress 1K flat-panel display, with availability expected in the first quarter.

- In the company's InfoRAD exhibit, Philips showcased work-in-progress technology developments with the MIRACLE project, a CORBA- and Java-based electronic patient record project with the Baptist Health Systems of South Florida. Image processing strategies developed in collaboration with the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis were also displayed.

- Philips' efforts in flat-panel digital x-ray culminated in November when the company received FDA clearance for Digital Diagnost, a bucky-style x-ray system based on Philips' Bucky TH conventional x-ray table retrofitted with Trixell Pixium amorphous silicon digital detectors. Clinical results from the first installation, at the University of Bremen in Germany, were presented at the conference. Production units will begin shipping this summer, at a list price that is "competitive" with other digital x-ray systems, according to the company. The Pixium detectors have pixel sizes of 143 microns and DQE values ranging from 60% at low frequencies to 30% at high frequencies.

Picker International
Picker announced that it will incorporate the VR SoftStore archive and work-flow management package from ISG Technologies of Mississauga, Ontario and Frankfurt, Germany-based Image Devices. Picker will market the offering under the Intelli-Store name. The product can support storage environments ranging from short-term RAID environments up to multi-terabyte configurations.

- Picker also announced the availability of RadWorks 4.0 workstation software from partner Applicare Medical Imaging.

- In JPACS developments, Picker displayed version 3.0 of its JPACS/Remote image distribution product. Currently in beta testing, JPACS/Remote 3.0 is expected to be available in the first quarter of 1999.

- Picker also announced that it will distribute the Lumisys ACR-2000 computed radiography reader.

- Picker announced a partnership with communication firm GTE's Internetworking group. The Irving, TX- and Cambridge, MA-based organization will offer Internet service provider and security options to customers. Firewall protection, security monitoring, and virtual private networks could be set up by the group, according to David Talton, general manager of Picker's Cleveland-based Image Management group.

- New financing options such as fee- per-exam payment approaches are now available for PACS purchasers.

- Clearance for Picker's Live-X flat-panel fluoroscopy technology was the big news at the company's booth. Picker touted the fact that the clearance was the first to be received for a flat-panel fluoro system, and highlighted the initial application for the detectors, as part of the company's Venue FACTS interventional CT suite. Live-X is based on Varian's VIP-9 amorphous silicon sensor.

Radiographic Digital Imaging
RDI of Compton, CA, has added new DICOM-compatible software for its digitizer offerings.

Radman demonstrated Radman 2000, an integrated radiology information and accounts receivable system. Radman 2000 employs Windows NT and SQL servers and incorporates digital voice dictation. It is Web-enabled, according to the Santa Monica, CA-based firm.

RamSoft introduced Ultrapro PACS, an ultrasound miniPACS offering targeted at private ultrasound clinics and small hospitals. Ultrapro PACS features Windows 95/98 or NT-based workstations and storage is performed using CD-R media. Still and cine images can be handled for acquisition and display, according to the Toronto, Canada-based firm. The offering has received 510(k) approval from the FDA, according to Ramsoft.

Rogan Medical Systems
Rogan showed a flat-panel digital radiography detector as a work-in-progress. The CMOS detector yields a 40-micron pixel size and a 17 x 17-inch active image area. A 510(k) application will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration soon, said president Mark Schwartz. When available, the detector will be sold through a distribution network as a retrofit or for use in new digital radiography systems. If the customer desires a full digital radiography system, many of Rogan's distributors provide x-ray equipment, Schwartz said. The Pewaukee, WI, company also envisions interest from OEM channels.

- The company highlighted a new digital versatile disk (DVD) archive family, which increases the firm's storage capacity by a factor of four, Schwartz said. Employing DVD-RAM technology (PNN 11/98), the new versions of HyperArchive will be available in three configurations, supporting 1, 2, and 4 terabytes of storage. Rogan customers will be able to upgrade to DVD-RAM, which will be shippable in the first quarter of 1999, Schwartz said. Pricing is not yet available.

- Rogan has added support for gigabit Ethernet. Available as an upgrade to the company's HyperNet offering, gigabit Ethernet increases network speed to 10 times the capacity of Fast Ethernet, according to the company.

- The firm also introduced PACStionary, an educational CD-ROM for prospective PACS purchasers.

Sectra highlighted successful joint installations with its partner Philips Medical Systems. Featured sites included a large-scale PACS at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in California, and a Chest PACS at Barnes Jewish/Mallinckrodt in St. Louis, MO.

- In technology developments, the Linkoping, Sweden-based firm introduced a revision of its Windows NT-based workstation line, which includes a plug-in capability that allows new functions to be easily added. Sectra showcased a work-in-progress plug-in called enterprise image quality (EIQ), which offers improvements in the soft-copy reading of chest radiographs, according to the company. With EIQ, physicians can extract the maximum image information available on the particular computer in use. Sectra, Philips, and Mallinckrodt are jointly sponsoring the research on EIQ.

- In other plug-in offerings, Sectra showed an orthopedic prosthesis planning module and an angiography module.

- Sectra also highlighted a "fail-safe" PACS architecture, which can continue running even after failure of any single network component, according to the company. The technology has been deployed at Karolinska Institute's all-digital children's hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.

- Sectra introduced a Web-based offering designed for low-cost image access for referring physicians.

Siemens Medical Systems
The networked radiology department took the spotlight in the Siemens booth. The Iselin, NJ-based vendor highlighted specific PACS applications such as neuroradiology, emergency room radiology, and enterprise PACS. The latter can employ Java-based viewers that obviate the need for specialized workstations outside the radiology department, according to the vendor.

- Work-in-progress techniques employing progressive and scalable uses of wavelet compression in image distribution applications were shown. Compression levels can be set for each user and modality. Encryption using secure socket layer (SSL) is provided to ensure confidentiality.

- Siemens has also expanded functionality on its Windows NT-based MagicView 300 workstation. It can now function as a stand-alone ultrasound miniPACS and can support full 24-bit color images and dynamic studies. Radiologists can also review scans as they are in progress, said Rik Primo, director of information systems and PACS. A 1280 x 1024-resolution flat-panel display was also shown for use on MagicView 300, which can be deployed throughout an enterprise as a multimodality clinical review station.

- An enhanced work-flow manager package was released. A three-tier archiving architecture that uses RAID, magneto-optical disk, or CD-ROM jukeboxes, and DVD storage media or tape, was also discussed.

- In digital radiography developments, Siemens displayed flat-panel digital detectors on two x-ray products: Thorax FD, a chest unit, and Multix FD, a table-based bucky system. Both feature the Pixium 4600 detectors developed by Trixell, with 17 x 17-inch active areas and 143-micron pixel sizes. Siemens is expecting 510(k) clearance for the systems in early 1999, and plans to begin shipments in the second half of the year, according to Kurt Reiff, product manager for radiographic tables. Thorax FD should be priced at about $350,000, and Multix FD between $400,000 and $450,000.

Shared Medical Systems

- SMS demonstrated its Radiologists' Command Center product, which combines the SMS Medical Imaging Management System and workstation software from Olicon Imaging Systems (PNN 9/98).

- The Malvern, PA-based company also showed Radiology Management System Version 25, which adds a graphical user interface to enhance the flow and presentation of information to the user, according to SMS.

Silicon Graphics
In PACS developments, the Mountain View, CA-based company announced that its O2 and Octane workstations support high-resolution imaging displays from Dome Imaging Systems.

- The company's servers also support PACS products from companies such as Sensor Systems and RASNA Imaging Systems.


- Softmedical debuted Ubimed and PcPax at the show. Ubimed provides image and medical data distribution both within and outside the healthcare institution, according to the Montreal-based start-up. A Java-based offering, Ubimed employs a client/server architecture with thin clients that eliminates the need for a Web server. Diagnostic resolution images can be displayed.

- PcPax is the firm's archiving and visualization software targeted for small to mid-sized clinic and private practices, according to the company. It is also a Java-based product.

Sony Electronics
In addition to the DICOM print server it showed at the 1997 RSNA meeting, Park Ridge, NJ-based Sony showed its telemedicine offering, Digital Meeting System (PNN 10/98).

Sterling Diagnostic Imaging

- Sterling showed a work-in-progress Web browser offering capable of supporting 12-bit images. The product, developed by ISG Technologies and Image Devices, is expected to be available in the second quarter of 1999. Other product line additions scheduled for release in the second quarter include speech recognition capability and a color workstation for ultrasound. Radiologists will also be able to generate reports on workstations in the second quarter.

- Sterling will begin offering Mitra's PACS Broker HIS/RIS interface to customers in the first quarter.

- The Greenville, SC-based company displayed work-in-progress DVD developments in collaboration with Pioneer and Image Devices. Sterling expects DVD archives to be available for shipments in the fourth quarter.

- In digital radiography developments, Sterling highlighted the progress it has made in bringing its DirectRay amorphous selenium digital detector technology to market since receiving clearance for the systems in July. As of December, three iiRad DR 1000C digital chest systems had been installed, and Sterling had received 31 orders for DR systems as of the RSNA meeting. Nineteen of those orders were for DR 1000C systems and 12 for DR 1000, a multipurpose system.

- The company is in discussions with two other companies for supply of TFT arrays. Shipments from those firms should occur in the second or third quarter.

The archiving firm highlighted 9840, the Louisville, CO-based company's latest tape storage media. 9840 tapes can store up to 20 GB (800 radiology studies per cartridge), according to the company. It costs $0.005 per MB, and provides two-second average ad-hoc retrieval of a study, according to StorageTek. Healthcare shipments are expected to begin in late January.

The enterprise-wide digital image management provider highlighted new features on release 3.5 of its ImageAccess product, including the ability to support MultiPlanar Resampling (MPR) and real-time ultrasound monitoring, according to the Jacksonville, FL-based company. Availability is expected in the first quarter.

- StorComm also showed WebView, an addition to the company's server that allows users to access clinical information such as report, audio, and images using a Web browser.

Sudbury Systems
The Sudbury, MA-based company showed OpenPACS, the firm's Windows NT-based PACS offering. -- Sudbury also emphasized its RTAS Windows NT-based digital dictation and medical reporting product.

Sun Microsystems
Sun has extended its Java technology to support more advanced image processing solutions. Enhancements that Mountain View, CA-based Sun believes would benefit PACS and medical imaging users include: support for static gray visuals; fast lookup and retrieval of 8- and 12-bit images; and availability of an early version of the Java Advanced Imaging application programming interface object library.

Sunquest Information Systems
Sunquest now provides diagnostic imaging consulting services through its Balanced View Consulting division, which also provides laboratory consulting services. BVC can help institutions meet diagnostic imaging department objectives through work process improvement and information technology, according to the Tucson, AZ-based company.

- The company has also integrated the Amicas Web offering into its product line.

Swearingen Software

- Swearingen announced that it has completed a new set of HL-7 interfaces for its RMS PC-based RIS offering. With the new interfaces, RMS is compatible with virtually any HIS, according to Swearingen.

- The company's Windows-based version of RMS is in the final stages of development and was also displayed at the meeting.

- The Houston-based firm announced an alliance with DeJarnette Research Systems prior to the show (see DeJarnette, page 5).

Swissray International

- Swissray renamed its AddOn-Multi- System as ddR Multi-System. The new name reflects the fact that the product is an integrated system that can bring a radiology department into the digital age, rather than an add-on module to be offered as a retrofit.

- About 12 to 14 ddR Multi-Systems were scheduled to be shipped by the end of 1998, and Swissray hopes to have 80 to 100 installed by the end of this year. The New York City-based company is close to having its U.S. distribution network in place, said CEO Ueli Laupper.

- As works-in-progress, Swissray discussed digital fluoroscopic applications for its CCD-based detectors, which it hopes to offer as an upgrade in the next 12 months.

- New relationships were the highlight in the PACS section of Swissray's booth. Swissray's relationship with EMED will continue under Access Radiology, according to Swissray, while a new collaboration with Data General adds another sales channel for the company's products. Swissray's recently announced relationship with FileLink provides short-term storage solutions for Swissray customers.

Talk Technology
Talk Technology of New York City, has formed an alliance with White Plains, NY-based IBM to provide its TalkStation dictation/transcription workstation as an upgrade to IBM's MedSpeak/Radiology product. TalkStation combines IBM's voice recognition technology with Talk Technology's applications and customer service network. IBM will market TalkStation, while Talk Technology will install and integrate the stations and provide client training.

- An interface between TalkStation and Agfa's PACS was also shown in Agfa's booth.

TDK Electronics
TDK has broadened its Medical Grade storage media line to include a wide range of multimodality recording products, including DICOM-compliant CD-R disks, DVD-R disks, DC-4 data cartridges, magneto-optical disks, and S-VHS tapes, according to the Port Washington, NY, company.

Toshiba America Medical Systems
Toshiba demonstrated a number of products from its PACS partner Agfa Medical. A digital linear tape (DLT) backup or offsite archive was shown. Toshiba sells the archive in three sizes, from 1.5 to 20 terabytes.

- Also in Tustin, CA-based Toshiba's booth this year was a four-monitor diagnostic workstation, ADC Solo single plate computed radiography system, and the Web 1000 Web server for image distribution.

Vepro of Pfungstadt, Germany, displayed its Medimage PACS offering, which has received both the CE Mark and FDA 510(k) clearance. Vepro has installed over 1500 Medimage stand-alone or networked systems worldwide, according to the company. At the show, Vepro highlighted the performance and low cost of Medimage.

Vidar Systems
The big news at the film digitizer firm's booth this year was Vidar DiagnosticPro, which employs high-definition CCD technology. Costing 40% to 50% less than laser film digitizers, DiagnosticPro features a more sophisticated CCD array and digital electronics design compared with other Vidar digitizers, according to the Herndon, VA-based firm. It acquires images at 8K x 10K x 16 bits, which exceeds the American College of Radiology's teleradiology practice guidelines, according to Vidar. After acquisition, DiagnosticPro performs image processing to maximize image quality at 2K x 2.5K x 12 bits, leading to enhanced gray-scale output. Optical density range for DiagnosticPro is zero to 3.65. End-user list price is $14,995.

Vision Ten
Vision Ten displayed its Vision Ten V-Scan CCD-based film digitizer. Electrical component changes have been added that have lowered the digitizer's signal-to-noise ratio, according to the Carlstadt, NJ-based firm.

Visual Analysis and Measurement Systems
VAMS introduced Issa, a miniPACS that can support radiology, pathology, dermatology, and other medical images, according to the Zagreb, Croatia-based company. Another new product, Pharos, is a communication module that allows physicians to have interactive communication with a colleague on the network. VAMS products are distributed in the U.S. by World One Technologies of Jacksonville, FL.

Vital Images
Vital Images released Vitrea 1.2, the third version of its 3-D medical visualization software. New features include gantry tilt, automatic slice averaging, nonuniform slice spacing, and 3-D measurements. Dual-monitor display is also supported, according to the Minneapolis-based company.

The Edinburgh, U.K.-based company unveiled real-time color volume-rendering for CT, MRI, and 3-D/4-D ultrasound. A new volume fusion renderer for Doppler and B-mode ultrasound was shown, as was a new shaded volume renderer. Active X component technology was also previewed.

Wam!Net Medical
The Minneapolis-based affiliate of telecommunications firm MCI WorldCom introduced itself to the radiology marketplace at the meeting. Wam!Net offers an off-site, online digital imaging archive and transmission service for PACS users (PNN 12/98). The service is in beta testing, with market availability expected in March.

WorldCare Limited
WorldCare has spun off WorldCare Technologies, its three-year-old technology division. The Cambridge, MA-based company will develop and offer Internet-enabled telemedicine and clinical information management offerings.

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