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Voxar debuts 3-D software targeted for PC environments


Vendor believes product’s low cost will open up marketWhile 3-D technology has drawn interest from the clinical community, the need for expensive, Unix-based workstations has limited its implementation. But companies such as Voxar are seeking

Vendor believes product’s low cost will open up market

While 3-D technology has drawn interest from the clinical community, the need for expensive, Unix-based workstations has limited its implementation. But companies such as Voxar are seeking to change that.

Joining Able Software and Mitsubishi Electronics (SCAN 10/13/99 and 6/9/99), both of which have recently debuted PC-based 3-D technology, Edinburgh, Scotland-based Voxar will debut its new 3-D application at this month’s RSNA meeting. Plug’n View 3D is a PC-based software application that provides a range of 3-D image-viewing capabilities, all for PCs equipped with a standard Pentium II or III processor.

Plug’n View provides standard 2-D image viewing and can handle multislice images. Volume rendering is then possible in real-time, according to the firm. Maximum intensity projection (MIP) and full multiplanar reformatting (MPR), both oblique and dual oblique, are available. Voxar plans to add surface-shaded image views and color volume rendering early next year as a free upgrade.

In addition, Plug’n View has an image e-mail feature, which allows users to e-mail snapshots of any image detail on-screen to referring physicians or patients.

“While most people focus on the diagnostic effect of 3-D software, what’s sometimes missed is getting DICOM-processed images out to the people who can use (them),” said Andrew Bissell, president of Voxar.

In a decision made to encourage expanded use of the technology, Voxar will charge only $5000 for the package, said Don Alvarez, vice president of sales and marketing. Increases in random access memory (RAM) capacity in standard PCs have made this technology feasible, allowing a product at this price point, he said.

“RAM is king in this business,” Alvarez said. “Once computers were able to accept more RAM to achieve 512 megabytes, 768 megabytes, and even one gigabyte of storage, everything was possible.”

Voxar will sell Plug’n View 3D through resellers, who will sell stand-alone versions of the software. In addition, Voxar hopes to entice PACS vendors into integrating Plug’n View 3D into Windows NT-based workstation software. The company is working with two PACS vendors to resell Plug’n View 3D. One firm, DR Systems, will demonstrate integration of Plug’n View 3D into its Dominator primary-reading workstation at the RSNA meeting. MarkCare Medical Systems will also exhibit integration of Plug’n View 3D at the show.

“Our goal is to have Plug’n View 3D be a standard feature on every PACS workstation,” Alvarez said.

Voxar expects to initiate the first shipments of the software on Dec. 15, contingent on receiving Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance. With the launch of Plug’n View 3D, Voxar’s Voxarlib Medical software library will now be primarily deployed in Voxar’s R&D operation, which provides contracted consultancy services to OEMs and end users.

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