From November 27 through December 2, 2005, more than 26,000 radiology professionals attended the 91st Scientiﬁc Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA 2005). Nearly 700 companies exhibited a full range of radiologic products. The January 2006 edition of this column presented some of the news from the show. This column highlights a small sample of some of the other innovations exhibited in Chicago.
RSNA 2005 review: Part 1
From November 27 through December 2, 2005, more than 26,000
radiology professionals attended the 91st Scientific Assembly and
Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA
2005). Nearly 700 companies exhibited a full range of radiologic
products. The January 2006 edition of this column presented some of
the news from the show. This column highlights a small sample of
some of the other innovations exhibited in Chicago.
TeraRecon unveils enterprise-class 3D server
TeraRecon (San Mateo, CA) introduced its enterprise-class
3-dimensional (3D) server, AquariusNET VLE, at RSNA 2005. Designed
to address the increasing demands for 3D postimaging processing in
large, integrated hospital networks, the AquariusNET VLE is capable
of concurrently reconstructing up to 30,000 images with real-time
performance. Its rendering engine consists of quadruple 4-Gigabyte
TeraRecon VolumePro 1000 rendering boards.
The company also introduced EliteAccess, which combines the
AquariusNET thin-client with the Aquarius Workstation to provide
access to both workflow-optimized tools and high-end workstation
applications through a single thin-client user interface.
The AquariusNET Server solution delivers distributed 3D
visualization capabilities throughout the enterprise using the
facilities' network. To activate 3D functionality, users download a
thin-client application from the server to any number of personal
computers (PCs) located anywhere within the enterprise. Users can
also access the system from outside the facility using a virtual
private network (VPN) over broadband Internet or a wide area
network (WAN) connection.
"Every day, physicians need to review more volumetric studies in
more locations, and in an ever-decreasing amount of time," said
Chief Operating Officer Robert Taylor, PhD. "New technologies, such
as the AquariusNET VLE Server and EliteAccess, deliver unmatched
processing power enterprise-wide, with convenient access to the
full range of advanced clinical applications."
CAD Sciences unveils new name/collaboration
The company formerly known as 3TP Imaging Sciences (White
Plains, NY) reintroduced itself as CAD Sciences at RSNA 2005.
According to the company, the new name is intended to reflect the
company's current focus on computer-aided detection (CAD)
technology for breast and prostate magnetic resonance (MR) imaging
and to more accurately portray its latest suite of CAD products
that employ the company's proprietary Full-Time-Point analysis
The company also announced that its ƒTP pharmacokinetic
algorithm is now fully compatible with the Altaire high-field open
MR system from Hitachi Medical Systems America, Inc. (Twinsburg,
OH). The marriage of these technologies will provide the user with
"the innovative approach of a four-compartment pharmacokinetic
analysis algorithm" in an "open MRI system designed with excellent
patient accessibility and comfort," the company stated.
"The collaboration between CAD Sciences and Hitachi has led to
the creation of a product solution that is optimized for the
radiologist who wishes to provide patients with a comfortable and
open imaging environment in conjunction with superior image
processing capability to facilitate and streamline lesion
diagnosis," said CAD Science's CEO, Ray Joslin. "ƒTP is the only
commercially available product of its kind that calculates vascular
permeability (PERM) and extracellular volume fraction (EVF) values
for all pixels in contrast-enhanced MR studies."
The privately held company, which designs and distributes CAD
and MR angiography (MRA) software, also featured its Server2 and
WorkSpace software platforms at RSNA as well as the VTRAC MRA
solution with fully automated arterial and venous separation
Zonare upgrades convertible ultrasound system
Zonare Medical Systems (Mountain View, CA) introduced several
upgrades to its z.one ultrasound system, including two new
transducers, calculation packages, and a program designed to
automatically recognize and adjust for differences in body sound
The new P10-4 transducer, for use with neonatal, infant, and
pediatric patients, offers up to seven different frequencies,
including harmonic imaging at 8.0 MHz received, two color Doppler
frequencies, and three B-mode frequencies. The P4-1 small-footprint
transducer was designed for abdominal and obstetric/gynecologic
sonography and has nine available frequencies (Figure 1). This
transducer also offers penetration up to 30 cm.
The two new calculation packages were developed to address
abdominal and venous imaging. Both provide a protocol checklist
with reports that include organ sizes, Doppler results, and a
section for notes or comments.
The third major upgrade announced at RSNA was designed to
address the varying speeds at which ultrasound sound waves travel
through the body. This feature provides the ability to
automatically adjust the sound speed based on differences in a
patient's body habitus, which, in turn, optimizes the clinical
"The new upgrades further increase the value of the z.one system
and demonstrate the power of Zone Sonography technology," said
Donald Southard, President and CEO of Zonare. "The new transducers
greatly expand the imaging capabilities and applications of the
system, whether used as a full-featured, cart-based system or a
premium compact system. More importantly, Zone Sonography
technology has allowed us the ability to automatically adjust for
each individual's unique body sound propagation and fully optimize
the ultrasound image."
Barco unveils medical diagnostic luminance color display
Barco (Kortrijk, Belgium) used RSNA 2005 as a backdrop to
introduce its first high-bright medical color display system with
According to the company, the new Coronis Color 3MP Diagnostic
Luminance display system offers the benefits of a color display
without compromising on gray-scale quality. With a calibrated
brightness of 500 cd/m
, this system was designed to address the increasing needs of
multimodality imaging and color-enriched applications.
The display, which is based on PCI Express architecture, is
bundled witha high-performance, ATI-powered display controller and
includes the company's proprietary Uniform Luminance Technology.
This technology was designed to correct luminance nonuniformities
to DICOM standards.
The Coronis Color 3MP Diagnostic Luminance also features the
company's I-Guard sensor technology, designed to continually guard
and adjust the luminance output of the diagnostic viewing area, and
the company's intelligent Ambient Light Compensation (ALC) system,
designed to ensure that the system remains DICOM-compliant under
all lighting conditions.
Barco also previewed an integrated suite of cardiac analysis
applications as a work-in-progress. CardiaMetrix, a new suite of
clinical application modules available within the company's Voxar
3D product, was designed to enable structural and functional
analysis of contrast-enhanced computed tomography angiography (CTA)
studies. It incorporates several clinical application modules,
including coronary vessel analysis, calcium scoring, 4-dimensional
(4D) cardiac analysis, and cardiac (left ventricular) functional
analysis. According to the company, it delivers high-quality
visualization of 2-dimensional (2D), 3D, and 4D images of the heart
and provides tools for the automatic calculation of heart function
parameters and quantitative analysis of cardiac anatomy, including
the coronary vessels.
"Our new CardiaMetrix suite reflects our commitment to the
continuing development of clinical applications designed for, and
integrated into, a PACS workstation environment," said Calum
Cunningham, General Manager of Barco's Voxar Product Group.
Cedara Software features works-in-progress
Cedara Software (Toronto, Ontario), a Merge Healthcare company,
previewed a suite of software solutions for oncology diagnosis and
treatment analysis as a work-in-progress at RSNA 2005.
The Cedara I-Response software solution is being developed using
a proprietary technology known as Functional Diffusion Mapping
(fDM) for MRI. Designed for clinical assessment of response to
cancer therapy, this technique allows the user to visualize changes
in tumor tissue resulting from cellular mechanisms rather than only
measuring tumor growth. According to the company, this method
provides the potential to precisely monitor the impact of cancer
therapies at an earlier point than is possible with current
technologies. The company notes that it is hoped that by allowing
clinicians to study tumor activity at both the cellular and
anatomical level, this technology may provide a foundation for
fast, efficient, and personalized cancer treatment.
Cedara also introduced a new clinical product line, Cedara
OncologyWorks, that includes functional components designed to
assist with therapy planning and response assessment through
positron-emission tomography (PET)/ CT fusion, MR-based functional
diffusion mapping, tracking quantitative tumor measurements over
time, and patient follow-up management.
Kodak highlights mammography advances
Eastman Kodak Company (Rochester, NY) featured enhancements to
its CAD system for mammography and its CARESTREAM Radiology
Solutions as well as a range of works-in-progress at RSNA 2005.
For its film-based Kodak Mammography CAD system (Figure 2), the
company showcased enhanced flexibility, including:
- new options for viewing CAD results in portrait or landscape
- the ability to save scanned mammograms as DICOM files,
- the ability to save log files from the system and report the
number of markers per film and per case.
Kodak displayed mammography CAD hardware capable of performing
bone mineral density testing as a work-in-progress. Using the same
film and X-ray unit as a mammogram, an X-ray of a woman's hand will
be produced and scanned by the CAD digitizer. The software will
automatically analyze the hand image to produce a report that will
indicate the woman's bone density. The company also announced that
it is developing digital CAD algorithms for use with full-field
digital mammography and computed radiology (CR) systems.
Kodak also previewed the DIRECT-VIEW CR Mammography Feature for
the company's CR 850, CR 950, and CR 975 Systems, designed to allow
the user to produce mammography images with the company's
DIRECTVIEW CR Mammography Cassettes and new EHR-M screens. This
optional feature will enable healthcare facilities to perform
general radiography and mammography examinations on the same CR
The company also demonstrated enhancements to its CARESTREAM
portfolio of information management solutions for mammography
providers. New mammography-specific features for the CARESTREAM RIS
(radiology information system) platform include automatic
generation of patient letters and pending requests for annual
recalls and a mammography information drawing tool with annotation
Enhancements to the PACS module include the ability to store
original images and a single secondary capture image containing CAD
markers for some digital CAD systems as well as support for
additional mixed color and resolution monitor displays.
"We offer an innovative portfolio of image capture, display, and
information management solutions for mammography," said L. Jeffrey
Markin, General Manager, Output Systems and Mammography Solutions
and Vice President. "Our CARESTREAM Radiology Solutions platforms
offer productivity-enhancing, mammography-specific features, and we
also offer professional services that help mammography transition
smoothly to a digital workflow."
Vital Images highlights ViTAL Solutions
Vital Images, Inc. (Minnetonka, MN) showcased its ViTAL
Solutions portfolio at RSNA 2005, featuring its Web-based
ViTALConnect and enhancements to its Vitrea and ViTALCardia
ViTALConnect is a full-featured Web-browser distribution tool
designed to allow users to access 2D, 3D, and 4D advanced
visualization images on any Web-enabled PC or notebook computer. It
also features new software collaboration tools designed to
facilitate interactive communication between radiologists and
referring physicians, including the ability for remote users to
restore the original Vitrea workflow and report. In addition, as
part of a collaborative effort with Commissure, a New York-based
early-stage workflow company, Vital Images has integrating
technologies designed to consolidate status information and produce
a real-time worklist. From this worklist, ViTALConnect users are
able to launch directly into a clinical application workflow linked
to a voice-driven report-authoring system and create a multimedia
The company's cardiac image analysis solution, ViTALCardia, was
presented with several recent enhancements including support for
the large amount of data required for cardiac analysis, and
enhanced enterprise-wide communication using customizable cardiac
reports. ViTALCardia, which can be enabled on ViTALConnect,
includes a variety of specialized components, including: CT
Cardiac, General Vessel Probe, Cardiac Functional Analysis, VScore
for coronary artery calcium scoring, and Automated Vessel
Measurement for stenosis measurement.
RSNA 2005 was an opportunity for the company's flagship product,
Vitrea, to display its new CAD-driven workflow optimization
features and highlight its integration into many PACS partners'
solutions, including those from McKesson Medical Imaging Group
(Richmond, BC), Eclipsys Corporation (Toronto, ON), Sectra
(Linköping, Sweden), and DR Systems (San Diego, CA). The company
also showcased its long-term relationship with R2 Technology, Inc.
(Sunnyvale, CA), highlighting automatic lung nodule detection,
automatic measurement of temporal change, and pulmonary arterial
review. In partnership with Medicsight, PLC (London, UK), Vital
Images also previewed an application for automated polyp detection
and measurement that uses its InnerviewGI CT colonography system.
With Confirma's (Kirkland, WA) CADStream, they presented an
application for the automatic detection of breast lesions using MR
"Our many partnerships underscore Vital Images' focus on
growing, cultivating, and extending the reach of our comprehensive
ViTAL Solutions portfolio," said company President and CEO, Jay D.
Miller. "The breadth and depth of these relationships reflect the
expansion of the requirement and extent of ViTAL Solutions in
routine clinical review."
IBM presents new personal health management
IBM (Armonk, NY) featured its new personal health management
portal, MyNDMA, that is linked directly to the National Digital
Medical Archive (NDMA) from i3 Archive, Inc. (Berwyn, PA).
When i3 Archive began the NDMA project 6 years ago, only 4
hospitals contributed records and had access to the database.
Today, 24 hospitals and more than 300 doctors and researchers have
access to more than 1 million digital mammography images.
The new MyNDMA takes this national system one step further,
allowing women around the country to manage their personal medical
records, including digital mammograms and diagnostic test results,
with secure storage of personal images and data and on-demand
access from another hospital or radiology center.
"Women battling breast cancer typically see several different
doctors through the course of their treatment. Even though digital
images make storage easier, before now there has been no easy way
to transport digital images and patient data from doctor to
doctor," explained Marisa C. Weiss, MD, President and founder of
the nonprofit organization, breastcancer.org. "Giving these women
direct access and control of their medical records isn't just
convenient-it's empowering-and it can often be critical to the
success of their treatment."
Designed in collaboration with IBM, i3's NDMA securely collects
mammography images and related breast data from doctors, hospitals,
and radiology centers around the United States. With patient
consent, these individual images and data can be made available to
physicians and researchers seeking to develop better treatments for
breast cancer and accelerate a cure. Powered by IBM's grid
computing, researchers can search the archive on demand, giving
them immediate access to the critical data needed to identify
breast cancer patients for clinical trials in less than a day.
"What i3 has been able to achieve with NDMA is a means to
deliver better care to individual patients by giving doctors the
technology resources and infrastructure needed to compare
mammograms from year to year," said Carol Kovac, GM, Healthcare and
Life Sciences Industry, IBM. "With MyNDMA, this data and
information will, collectively, be able to enhance breast cancer
treatment for women across the country and, we hope, will one day
help find a cure for this disease."
The NDMA data is made available to doctors, hospitals, and
radiology centers through IBM grid computing using two IBM eServer
xSeries systems. Data is cataloged and indexed using IBM's DB2
Universal Database and stored on IBM EXP300 Storage Expansion
DOBI previews ComfortScan System
Also at RSNA 2005, DOBI Medical International, Inc. (Mahwah, NJ)
previewed the latest version of its dynamic optical imaging system
designed for breast cancer diagnosis and management, ComfortScan
This system uses high-intensity, light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
and gentle external pressure to identify vascular abnormalities or
tumor angiogenesis in the breast. According to the company, this
technology is designed to provide unique functional data that is
unavailable with conventional mammography.
The system was designed so that the patient stands in front of
the machine while the breast is properly positioned. The breast
holder then inflates, applying gentle pressure. The computer
controls the light that is transmitted through the breast and
recorded by a digital camera. The computer then processes the
difference in the variations in intensity between tissues with
angiogenesis and those without, and the results are available
The ComfortScan system has CE Mark and UL designations for
international distribution, and DOBI Medical is a certified ISO
9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 company. The system is not yet
commercially available in the United States.
RSNA 2005 review: Part 1