Vendors move ahead with new product launches

December 2, 2004

Multislice CT

Multislice CT

The Charite Hospital in Berlin is the first European site to use Toshiba's Aquilion 64-row CT scanner. The machine takes 64 0.5-mm slices in a single rotation, and it can scan a heart in about seven seconds. It allows visualization of the lumen in coronary arteries and provides detailed analysis of soft-plaque structures.

See www.toshiba-europe.com/medical

Norwegian installation

Sectra is providing a radiology information system to Rikshospitalet in Oslo. The value of the order is about SEK5 million ( Euro 553,000), and installation of the RIS will start in early 2005. The hospital's radiology department performs around 80,000 examinations per year.

See www.sectra.com

Digital mammography

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Planar's flat-panel Dome C5i system for displaying and viewing mammograms. This follows clinical evaluations at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic in Rochester, New York, which reportedly showed that the equipment is equivalent to and, in many respects, better than 5-megapixel CRT displays of full-field digital mammograms over a wide range of cases.

See www.planar.com

French IT purchase

Agfa has paid Euro 42 million for Symphonie On Line, a French company specializing in hospital information systems and electronic patient records. Symphonie On Line has developed its administrative application software into a full-blown clinical information system, which it supplies to an installed base of over 1200 sites in France.

See www.agfa.com

Company acquisition

Voxar, the 3D software company based in Edinburgh, U.K., has been acquired by Barco for an estimated Euro 39 million. Barco produces display systems for PACS, CT, MR, PET, and ultrasound. The acquisition will enable it to offer visualization solutions to PACS and modality vendors.

See www.voxar.com

Diagnostic workstation

Rogan-Delft has released the View Pro-X workstation. The emphasis is on faster workflow and fewer mouse movements. The product forms part of the Rogan OnLine XS range.

See www.delftdi.com

Cardiac CT

Siemens Medical Solutions has introduced the Somatom Sensation Cardiac 64 scanner for cardiac, thoracic, and vascular applications. The product has a standard gantry rotation speed of 0.33 second and can achieve a temporal resolution of 83 msec, making it possible to scan patients with elevated heart rates and irregular heartbeats.

See

Digital radiography

Italray's Tieton, a multifunctional stand for DR applications, supports the latest generation flat-panel digital x-ray detectors and is especially suited for use in the emergency room.

See www.italray.it

U.K. equipment purchases

Xograph Imaging Systems has installed two Canon CXDI-40G digital radiography units in the oncology center at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in Bristol, U.K. The company has also installed a Ziehm 8000 mobile image intensifier in London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

See www.xograph.com

Echocardiography

Philips' iE33 echocardiography unit offers a wide range of features, including voice-activated control and automated image optimization technologies. The scanner's new line of transducers includes the S5-1 with PureWave crystal technology.

See www.medical.philips.com

Liver contrast

Schering's liver imaging product, Primovist, has received marketing approval within the European Union. The agent was launched in Sweden in September, having received approval there in March. It will become available in other European markets, starting with Germany, during the first quarter of 2005.

See www.schering.de

Flat-panel systems

Ergotron has received accreditation from the Video Electronics Standards Association. All the company's flat-panel mounting systems are designed to conform to VESA's standards to make monitor attachment quick and easy and to lower costs.

See www.ergotron.co.uk

Computed radiography

Kodak has upgraded its Directview software for image quality testing and reporting and has introduced a new dental cassette for use with the CR 850 and CR 950 systems. The new 15 x 30-cm cassette allows users to capture panoramic dental examinations digitally.

See www.kodak.com/go/health

PACS in Germany

The Altmark clinics in Salzwedel and Gardelegen, Germany, have installed a PACS supplied by Vepro. Film cost savings of about 90% have been achieved, according to the vendor.

See www.vepro.com

Ultrasound printing

Sony Medical's UP-D897 is a black-and-white ultrasound video printer. The unit has a compact size (88 x 240 mm). The vendor has also unveiled the UP-D55, an A5 color printer.

See www.sonybiz.net/vision

Flat-panel displays

U.S. Electronics introduced a range of high-resolution, high-brightness flat-panel displays at this year's RSNA meeting. The 3-megapixel color and monochrome Totoku devices, as well as the 2-megapixel products, were on display in Chicago.

See www.uselectronicsinc.com

French order

Fuji France has placed an order for Barco's Coronis 5MP Mammo, a dedicated flat-panel display system for digital mammography. For several years, Fuji has integrated Barco's CRT-based display systems into its mammography products, but the company is switching to LCD-based systems.

See www.fujimed.com

Cardiac ultrasound

GE Healthcare has developed a miniaturized cardiovascular ultrasound system. The Vivid i makes it possible for patients to undergo examinations at the bedside, which is of particular benefit in intensive care and cardiac examination rooms. It features wireless capabilities, enabling files to be transferred to other physicians. The unit weights less than 5 kilograms.

See www.gehealthcare.com

Workstation design

TeraRecon is developing a server-based product to include iCAD's lung cancer detection, analysis, and tracking software. The server will be a stand-alone tool that works with existing PACS and DICOM review equipment and other products in the Aquarius product line. The Aquarius workstation provides advanced 3D and image processing capability.

See www.terarecon.com

Software enhancements

Intelerad has made enhancements to the IntelePACS (version 2-6-3) InteleViewer. The product can now handle maximum intensity projection and multiplanar reformatting files, and it features a range of display options to cater to individual preferences and advanced procedures.

See www.intelerad.com

C-arm production

To cope with the growing demand for its surgical imaging devices, Ziehm has opened a new factory in Nuremberg, Germany. The new 4500-square-meter site has the capacity to manufacture up to 1500 C-arm units per year.

See www.ziehm-eu.com

Image display

Matrox Graphics has unveiled two new display controller boards: the Low Profile RAD2mp and Low Profile RAD3mp. Both are equipped with Hardware Pivot for smooth and accelerated portrait image displays, and can convert color displays to gray-scale.

See www.matroxmed.com

Oganizational change

Swissray International has announced that its subsidiary companies, Swissray America and Swissray Information Solutions, have been merged with and into Swissray International.

See www.swissray.com

Ultrasound device

The MyLab 30CV ultrasound unit from Esaote offers phased-array technology for cardiac imaging, linear array for vascular and small parts, and a range of probes for general applications. Other features include PC format storage, native DICOM, digital management applications with integrated CD writer, and USB pen-drive facility for storage and transfer of studies.

See www.esaote.com

Education and MRI

The Bracco Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Seminars (BAMRIS) are intended for practitioners with experience of MR who wish to become more familiar with a specialized application of the modality.

See www.bracco.com

Three-D printing

Volugraphics' hard-copy printing and imaging system produces autostereoscopic prints and transparencies from most 3D modalities, including ultrasound, MR, CT, PET/SPECT, and rotational angiography. VolugraphicSM printing is a cost-effective and viable alternative to conventional 2D printing of 3D data, according to the vendor. It produces animated hard copies, which can be useful for showing movement or changes over time.

See www.volugraphics.com

Software launch

R2 Technology has introduced DigitalNow software, which is designed to help prepare sites for the transition from film-based to digital mammography. It eliminates the need for light boxes next to high-resolution monitors and features universal compatibility with all DICOM workstations and flexible electronic patient data system integration.

See www.r2tech.com/prd/

Real-time 3D images

Imaging3 has developed a means of producing real-time 3D medical diagnostic images. The Dominion multimodality system has the potential to replace current x-ray-based technologies, including CT, vascular and cardiac labs, mammography, and fluoroscopy.

See

Cardiac images

Heartlab has completed the first European core lab installation of its CardioNow DICOM telecardiology and image management system for cardiovascular device and drug studies. Heart Core B.V. in the Netherlands is using the technology to expedite and streamline the receiving, tracking, archiving, and analysis of complex cardiac images from hospital investigator sites.

See www.heartlab.com

Open MR imaging

Hitachi Medical Systems has unveiled the Ascent 4.7 operating system for the Altaire high-field performance open MR scanner. The new operating system promises to increase arterial vessel conspicuity and eliminate the need for peripheral pulse gating in diffusion-weighted imaging.

See www.hitachi-medical-systems.com

Radiation protection

The Unfors DXR Direct X-ray Ruler gives an objective, reproducible, and speedy readout on radiation levels. The pocket-sized ruler operates down to 100 mA at 70 kVp and has 41 solid-state sensors that automatically light up in reference to the x-ray field.

See www.unfors.com

Recovery service

InSiteOne, a provider of integrated on- and offsite secure DICOM storage, has unveiled an expanded disaster recovery and business continuance service that features data protection beyond DICOM images. InSiteOne InDex storage emphasizes versatility and security.

See www.insiteone.com

Image processing

LifeWeb OnNet 3.1 distributes, displays, and processes medical images wherever they are needed, according to Ferrania. It also provides online archiving capabilities, image processing tools, security, and compliance with DICOM standards.

See www.ferraniait.com

Storage initiative

Konica Minolta, Fuji, and Kodak are jointly developing a set of open storage standards aimed at preserving digital photos and motion images on CDs, DVDs, and other media. As information storage technologies continue to advance, the Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS) group wants to ensure that images can be retrieved quickly from any digital device or storage medium.

See www.konicamedical.com

Speech recognition

Philips Speech Recognition has released Hungarian software for radiologists. The ConText product incorporates a Hungarian user interface and the general interface to application systems and is available from Medisoft.

See www.speechrecognition.philips.com

Advanced ultrasound

The ProSound a5 can transmit only the signal components necessary for beam-forming in a controlled waveform. The results are high-sensitivity, high-resolution fundamental frequency images and tissue harmonic images, according to Aloka.

See www.aloka.com

MR injector device

Medrad's Continuum MR infusion device now offers a syringe holder that holds up to three standard syringes ranging in size from 20 to 60 mL. This makes it possible to deliver small volumes of cardiac stress agents, intravenous sedatives, and other critical medications during an MR scan.

See www.medrad.com

Radiotherapy package

Complete radio-frequency systems from e2v technologies have been supplied to TomoTherapy for its Hi-Art radiotherapy product range.

See medical.e2v.com

DICOM viewer

Etiam has developed the Open LiteBox, a DICOM viewer and information mediator that makes it possible to browse CD contents and local directories and query image servers to retrieve and send patient studies.

See www.etiam.com

MRI door

ETS-Lindgren has released the Auto-Seal II, a shielded door for MR applications. The product has a pneumatically operated, bladderless, and gasketless design and is available in three configurations: RF-shielded, acoustic, and fire-rated.

See www.ets-lindgren.com

Web-based PACS

Dynamic Imaging has announced new system architecture and management tools, as well as expanded clinical applications, for its IntegradWeb PACS.

See www.dynamic-imaging.com

Digital mammo workstation

Fischer's SenoView Plus multimodality workstation is designed for comparing MR, CT, ultrasound, and digital mammography images. Its PACS-like design enables speedy reading of studies from all modalities.

See www.fischerimaging.com

Image management

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles department of radiology have developed Macintosh-based software for display and manipulation of complex medical image data. The OsiriX program can be downloaded from:

See homepage.mac.com/rossetantoine/osirix/

Gray-scale display

An upgraded version of Barco's Nio diagnostic gray-scale display system is available. It features a new, ultrafast display controller, more extended quality assurance functionality, and a better design, according to the vendor.

See www.barco.com

Computer-aided detection

iCAD has introduced a combined mammography/MR solution for early detection of breast cancer. It has integrated the new Second Look 500M system with Confirma's CADstream technology. Results of the CADstream analysis are available on the product's review station.

See www.icadmed.com