Vendors of flat displays respond to trends in network imaging

January 10, 2005

As imaging becomes more widely distributed across healthcare enterprises, flat-panel display vendors are gearing products for specific environments, such as nursing stations, physicians’ offices, operating suites, and medical conference rooms. Vendors also are marketing software to assure the quality and consistency of imaging displays across entire networks.

As imaging becomes more widely distributed across healthcare enterprises, flat-panel display vendors are gearing products for specific environments, such as nursing stations, physicians' offices, operating suites, and medical conference rooms. Vendors also are marketing software to assure the quality and consistency of imaging displays across entire networks.

Barco

A recognized leader in large-screen visualization and clinical display systems, Barco has augmented its top-of-the-line Coronis display and upgraded the Nio diagnostic unit by adding speed to the display controller. It has also released two new theater projection systems. True to its objective in acquiring the 3D imaging software giant Voxar, Barco is offering advanced visualization solutions for PACS.

  • BarcoMed Coronis, a 10-bit digital display controller for the premium Coronis diagnostic medical display, renders a data set with 1024 simultaneous levels of gray. With its 64-bit, 66-MHz PCI performance, the dual-head display controller can achieve image download speeds of 400 MB per second. The Coronis 2MP display has 1600 x 1200-pixel resolution and features in-plane switching, which improves viewing from different angles.

  • Equipped with a 64-bit, 66-MHz display controller, Nio can clock image download speeds of 200 MB per second. The NioWatch software is DICOM-compliant.

  • Two configurations have been added to Barco's DICOM projection system Theater line. Theater Lite is a lightweight portable system that provides 1400 x 1050-pixel Super XGA+ resolution, high 2000:1 contrast, and 2000 ANSI lumen light output. Theater Pro, the company's premier medical projection system, has an MGP 15 projector, dedicated BarcoMed display controller, MediCal Pro QA software, and Barco's I-Guard sensors. Because of its integrated smart dual-lamp design and high-resolution Poly-SI LCT technology, Theater Pro projects images with a 4500 ANSI lumen brightness.

  • Designed for the PACS workstation environment, Voxar's new VesselMetrix software provides quantitative analysis of contrast-enhanced CTA and MRA, including stenosis, stent, and stent-graft planning and surveillance.

  • Version 5.1 of Voxar 3D software for PACS supports loading and manipulation of large volume multidetector CT data sets and enhances image quality by providing spectral lighting effects that improve depth perception and surface detail.

Eizo Nanao Corporation

Following a do-it-yourself approach to research and development, manufacturing, and quality control, Eizo Nanao has specialized in the development of top-quality monitors for corporate, manufacturing, and home environments. Its RadiForce series runs the gamut from gray-scale to color displays, while sharing such features as advanced super view and dual-domain-IPS/Super-IPS (in-plane-switching) LCD panels, dual-head graphics boards, and quality control software.

  • Gray-scale monitors capture 1024 tones from a palette of 3061 to assure smooth gray-scale display for mammography, CR/DR, and other high-definition modalities. Graphic boards with accompanying software support 10-bit display capabilities.

  • RadiForce R22, R12, and R11 systems are equipped with Eizo's 10-bit application-specific integrated circuit, which provides a palette of 1021 color and gray-scale tones. The ToneCurve Tuning Utility adjusts tones in high and low brightness areas of the screen.

  • RadiCS quality management software calibrates to DICOM part 14 and runs acceptance tests to meet industry standards for pattern, luminescence, gray-scale, and uniformity.

National Display Systems

Serving sites ranging from high-end radiology reading suites to image capture laboratories, as well as surgical suites, National Display Systems capitalizes not only on its diverse line of LCDs but also on real-time user feedback and automated remote quality assurance. In addition to its 1 to 5-megapixel monochrome Axis displays, the company produces PrimeVue color monitors with high bright 450-cd/m2 peak luminance.

  • Integrity Network QA software logs and reports calibration status, performance, and history and automatically informs the network administrator of display failures.

  • The Radiance surgical display line has Picture-in-Picture and Picture-over-Picture technology that presents vital sign data, ultrasound, and fluoroscopy, as well as multiple camera video signals at the same time. Suitable for minimally invasive surgery suites, the monitors come in 4:3 and 16:9 high-definition formats and incorporate high-speed de-interlacing algorithms and patented frame merging technology.

  • The LifeVue series, which display physiologic information for anesthesia and cardiology, come in a variety of sizes with touchscreen options for operating in mouseless environments as well as a built-in respiratory alarm.

NEC/Mitsubishi

A year after creating a new division to expand its medical display product line, NEC/Mitsubishi has begun shipping two new 2- and 3-megapixel gray-scale monitors that build on its high-end, thin-frame MultiSync 80 medical office monitors. The new 21.3-inch MultiSync MD medical grade LCD series relies on patent-pending X-Light technology, which controls and adjusts luminance and whitepoint through an integrated fast-feedback internal backlight sensor and alleviates backlight color shift to the yellow spectrum. Both the 2- and 3-megapixel units have an active screen area of 43.2 x 32.4 cm, contrast ratio of 700:1, response time of 35 msec, and the same gray-scale tone.

  • The 2-megapixel MD21GS-2MP has a landscape resolution of 1600 x 1200 and portrait resolution of 1200 x 1600.

  • The 3-megapixel MD21GS-3MP has a landscape resolution of 2048 x 1536 and portrait resolution of 1536 x 2048.

Planar Systems

In keeping with a strategy adopted in early 2004 to provide more affordable display systems, Planar Systems has released a pair of lower cost clinical displays for the nursing station and physician's office, as well as a surgery review cart system for specialty operating suites and software for complete enterprise management.

  • The Dome P1 and P2 Bundles include a dual-head 1- and 2-megapixel display, Dome Ex2 controller board, and manual DICOM calibration through Dome CXtra desktop software. Commercially available in early 2005, the bundles will range in price from $2095 to $3295.

  • The Dome Surgery Review Cart mobile workstation has several display options:

- a 2- or 3-megapixel gray-scale DICOM-compliant, diagnostic-quality unit for viewing neurologic, orthopedic, and soft-tissue studies

- a more cost-effective option with manual DICOM calibration for low-resolution gray-scale viewing

- a 2-megapixel monitor suitable for Web-based PACS color or gray-scale viewing.

  • Dome Dashboard allows central management of Planar displays across an enterprise. It issues alerts by cell phone, e-mail, or pager and adjusts display parameters remotely. It will be available in 2005.

Quest International

After signing a value-added reseller agreement with NEC/Mitsubishi in November, Quest International is distributing the MultiSync MD Series LCDs, as well as the office-based MultiSync 80 Series. Quest also is the authorized master distributor and service center for Totoku Medical Imaging LCDs, which include fully DICOM-compliant 1.3-, 2-, 3-, and 5-megapixel monitors.

U.S. Electronics

A company specializing in the development and marketing of flat-panel displays since 1996, U.S. Electronics introduces 20.8-inch, 3-megapixel color and gray-scale LCDs with front sensor technology from Totoku.

  • The ME 351i-Gray features a built-in ambient light sensor, 11-bit gray-scale, maximum luminance of 700 cd/m2, 2048 x 1536-pixel resolution, and optional luminance and gamma curve correction.

  • The CCL350i-Color has maximum luminance of 400 cd/m2, 10-bit gamma for subtle color expression, and high-contrast wide viewing angle.