Kodak Unveils New Products at ECR 2001
Eastman Kodak Company's Health Imaging Division (Rochester, NY)
unveiled several products at the European Congress of Radiology
(ECR) Annual Conference in Vienna, Austria, March 2-6, 2001,
including its full radiology workflow system for capture, storage
and use of images and information. The Kodak solutions concept
combines Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) and
Radiology Information Systems (RIS) in a modular integrated
During the ECR Conference Jane Guinn, Regional Sales General
Manager Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand said, "With the
recent acquisition of Computer Knowledge Inc. (CKI), a RIS
provider, we can now provide an innovative fused PACS/RIS system.
This week here at the ECR we are displaying Kodak's full digital
imaging workflow solutions from PACS and RIS, to reporting and
image distribution via web technology."
In addition, Kodak displayed the range of DryView Laser Imagers
and the new DirectView DR System that allows for image preview
within 10 seconds after exposure with a cycle time of 35 seconds.
The DirectView DR System uses an amorphous selenium detector array
that converts X-rays directly into electronic signals, requiring no
intensifying screens, intermediate steps, or additional
CAD Mammography Usage on the Rise
More than 1 million women worldwide have had their mammograms
interpreted with the aid of the ImageChecker, Computer Aided
Detection (CAD) System, according to an announcement by R2
Technology, Inc. (Los Altos, CA), at ERC 2001.
"With more than one million women benefitting from their
mammograms being interpreted with the aid of the ImageChecker
annually, we really can make a difference in early detection," said
Michael Klein, president and CEO, R2 Technology. "Our clinical
trials, in addition to other independent studies, demonstrated that
the ImageChecker software increases breast cancer detection rates
by up to 20.5 percent. This data shows that, for every five cancers
detected, a sixth one could be detected when CAD software is used
as an aid to analyze mammograms."
In December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Medicare,
Medicaid and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000,
providing incremental reimbursement of $15 for film-based screening
mammograms when new technology, like the CAD system, is used. The
$15 reimbursement amount became effective April 1, 2001.
Legislation Aimed at Making Mammography Coverage
The Mammogram Availability Act of 2001 (HR 292), introduced by
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) would make coverage of screening
mammography mandatory for all public and private health plans.
The bill would require all health plans that already cover
diagnostic mammography to also cover annual screening mammograms
for women aged 40 years and older. In addition, it prohibits
insurers from denying coverage for annual screening mammography on
the basis that the procedure is not medically necessary or not
"The decision whether or not to have a mammogram should be made
by a woman in consultation with her doctor on the basis of medical
concerns--not by a bureaucrat on the basis of cost," said
The legislation has been referred to the appropriate committees
and bipartisan support is expected.
Mobile Platform Supports Bluetooth Wireless
PatientKeeper, Inc. (Brighton, MA) demonstrated the first mobile
healthcare platform to support Bluetooth wireless technology at the
recent Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
Bluetooth wireless technology allows users of handheld devices
to communicate with other devices enabled by this technology, such
as PDAs, PCs, cell phones, printers, and network access points, all
without the use of cables and synchronization cradles, or the use
of line-of-site technologies.
Developed by a consortium of technology vendors, including Palm,
Intel, and Nokia, Bluetooth wireless technology provides
high-speed, ad hoc communications connections with a range of up to
100 meters, or about 300 feet, as well as built-in encryption and
Mitsubishi Imaging Products (Irvine, CA) recently introduced the
P-91DW Digital Monochrome Printer. It has an 8 MB memory and can
print up to six different image sizes and multiples of four
different pictures per sheet. Resolution is 1026 * 786 pixels and
256 gray scale levels and print speed is 3.8 seconds. AR