Barco launches Coronis Fusion – 6MP color display for PACS imaging

During the recent RSNA, Barco announced the Coronis Fusion –  a 30-inch, widescreen, bezel-free, color display that can be used as two seamless 3 megapixel (MP) heads or one widescreen 6 megapixel display.

I think this it is an overkill but I believe that imaging technology will find a way to utilise the technology or use it as an enabler to go further, but here’s what puzzles me – this multi-modality display is not designed for mammography as ACR recommends that mammography displays be tilted towards the user for reading. This is a feature the Coronis does not and will not have as “Barco has no intention of going toward mammography with this one”.

The benefit of the Coronis Fusion however, is that it has the same luminance and life as a grayscale display. This might translates to a workflow optimisation as both grayscale and color studies can now be read on a single, multi-modality, high-resolution display. However, this largely depends on the workflow of the adopting institute as “no PACS system is the same” 🙂

For more information, read the article here.

Advances in Breast Imaging, Impact in Asia Pacific (Post 2)

While I’ve published this article previously on the 21st Oct 2007, I’ve decided to highlight it again as I’ve been informed by an ex-colleague that my previous employer had published it recently (they are unable to give me credit for it as I’ve left the company) in the latest issue of Asian Hospital and Healthcare Management (projected readership about 125,000 decision makers).

Enjoy the article here

Agfa Healthcare Selects Sun Systems to Power Integrated Healthcare Imaging Solution

I do not usually just post on something that is out in the news but here goes.

“Agfa Healthcare has chosen to use Sun infrastructure for its IMPAX digital imaging platform with the integrated visualization solution from Barco”  (Read more here)

Firstly, lets start with explaining what IMPAX is. During the recent RSNA (2007), Agfa HealthCare highlighted their solutions imaging informatics for clinics, imaging centers, hospitals and regional healthcare enterprises with a new set of IMPAX suites;

  • IMPAX Enterprise Suite:
    For the multi-site healthcare enterprise and Integrated Healthcare Delivery Networks operating in multi patient id domains
  • IMPAX Hospital Suite
    For the hospital that needs integrated multiple specialties and disciplines
  • IMPAX Imaging Center Suite:
    For Imaging Centers and radiology practices
  • IMPAX Radiology Suite:
    The solution that focuses on the self sufficient radiology department
  • IMPAX Cardiovascular Suite:
    Focusing on the specific needs of the cardiology department
  • IMPAX Orthopedics Suite:
    Dedicated to the orthopedic requirements for planning, measuring and simulating within a digital imaging environment
  • IMPAX Mammography Suite:
    Solving the imaging, workflow and reporting needs of Diagnostic and Screening Mammography

Now the entire portfolio of products seems to span across a wide spectrum of the Healthcare enterprise, if Agfa’s infrastructure of choice is Sun, we can expect to see a high level of penetration into the Healthcare Industry for Sun in the near future as Agfa has some really good products.

So now, I’m going to keep my eyes on both Microsoft and Sun Microsystem, the entrants of these two giants (among the many others) will definitely make Healthcare Informatics ‘leaning, meaner and stronger’!

GE buys Dynamic Imaging

Alright guys, GE bought Dynamic Imaging (read here for more). So whats happening in the Healthcare IT industry? First Stentor was acquired by Philips (who replaces their existing PACS with it), now GE buys Dynamic Imaging. Will they re-badge it as Centricity? I certainly think so.

As mentioned in a previous post – “IT Giants Jumping onto the Bandwagon“, the big players in the world of IT are moving into Healthcare Informatics, I guess this adds serious pressure for existing solution providers (especially the ‘big boys’) to ‘raise the bar’ in catching up with technology and I guess the fastest approach is to acquire the smaller / mid sized competitors (which is the norm anyway).

So who’s next? Of the three Modality Giants, only Siemens remains without making similar acquisition, lets see if this will remain the same.

Announcement : Updates to the layout

Dear readers,

We take feedback seriously at binaryHealthCare.com, as such, we have made the following minor adjustments to the site’s layout;

  1. The index page for articles (all sections) has been ‘shifted’ into the “Article tab within the top toolbar
  2. The blogs has been grouped into the relevant classifications to ease searching of old posts (see left window)

Do continue to send us your suggestions, comments and feedback (love-mail, hate-mail or fan-mail etc)

Thanks mates 🙂

How to test drive a PACS workstation

This little article caught my eye and I thought I’ll put it up here to share with you folks. Although the contents suggested that it is meant only for Radiology PACS, I felt that the suggested guidelines is applicable for all PACS (or rather, all types of information systems, be it healthcare or not)

“The relationship between the PACS workstation and the user is a bit like a marriage. Those little nuances that may seem cute in the beginning of the relationship are sure to frustrate the other party in the relationship after the romance wears off. Steven Horii, MD, department of radiology at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center—who spoke this week at an advanced imaging informatics session at the 93rd annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)—offers some methods to help radiologists make the best match in their workstation relationship.

  • See how far a user can progress without any instruction. “This method measures intuitiveness, but isn’t a serious evaluation of the workstation,” cautioned Horii.
  • The keystroke model counts the number of keystrokes required to accomplish basic tasks.
  • The error model counts the number of mistakes made trying to accomplish a particular task.
  • Fitt’s law measures cursor motion needed to hit desired controls.
  • The mouse odometer measures mouse movement during a given time.
  • Time-on-task tracks the amount of time each task or study view requires. Time-on-task should be multiplied by volume to achieve an accurate assessment. “

The original article can be assessed here 

Dental Informatics, EMR and PACS for everyone

I made a visit to the dentist today and while waiting in the queue, I decided to ‘survey the systems in placed’.

The workflow adopted is relatively simple;

  1. Patient registeration (paper records)
  2. A manuel queue system (of FIFO)
  3. The dental assistant (also the registeration clerk) hands the paper record to the dentist
  4. A ‘clinical observation’ of my teeth is performed
  5. The dentist proceeds to explain what he is going to perform and proceeds
  6. Once the ‘repair’ is done, the paper record is updated and kept
  7. I am presented a bill and given a paper written receipt

Simplistic, cost effective and proven workflow. Is there a need for Dental Informatics?

For those unaware, I’m also a member of Dental Informatics Online Community (DIOE). Accordingly to DIOE, Dental informatics is defined as “The application of computer and information science to improve dental practice, research, education and management. Dental informatics can be considered a specialty of medical informatics”.

Now one might be questioning on the possibility of small private dental clinics adopting clinical information systems that will not only cost money but also manpower effort to maintain the systems.

Thats where Electonic Medical Record (EMR) comes in. Once the concept of EMR is accepted and implemented globally, it would only be necessary for all medical records of a patient to be available in the EMR, this includes dental and virtually all aspect of patient records pertatining to healthcare.

Of course, the relevent Clinical Information Systems (CIS) must be available before relevant information can be send to the EMR and medical imaging happens to form the basis of the modern hospital as physicians depends on medical images (well, almost all disciplines) to make their decision, there are Dental PACS, Ophthalmology PACS already available in the market, the demand for PACS in various medical disciplines is growing!

It would seems that PACS is overtaking the medical industry – not bad for an idea that spun out from Radiology 🙂

How would I make a difference?

An academian posed this question to me back on Friday – “What would I teach teritary sudents on Healthcare Applications if I had a chance to design their curriculum”.

Now this is something worth mulling over. Why do I write, speak, evanglise about Healthcare Informatics? Why do I bother building up a knowledge repository at BinaryHealthcare.com? Why am I spending my time and effort on getting the Healthcare Informatics Certification started in Singapore (and the region)?

Because I want to make a difference to my industry. Because I want to help raise the bar. Because I am passionate about what I’m doing. Because Healthcare Informatics can save lives!

The thought of helping local teritary institutes in shaping their curriculum did occurred to me several years back (when I was still working in a Hospital) and I contacted them to volunteer my time and expertise. I did get invited to several meetings but nothing fruitful ever came out, in fact I had it easier with overseas universities, professional associations and climbing the “corporate ladder” in the area of Healthcare Informatics than volunteering my services in “my own backyard”.

But now, I actually have a chance to make a difference to the local scence… well.. sort of.

The ultimate decision on whether my help will be utilise relies largely on the insitute’s final decision, pending on my answer to the question – “What would I teach teritary sudents on Healthcare Applications if I had a chance to design their curriculum”.

Lets hope 2008 will be a good year of Healthcare IT Evanglism!