Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant

Greg Freiherr has reported on developments in radiology since 1983. He runs the consulting service, The Freiherr Group.

Blog | Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant | December 01, 2011

My Favorite RSNA (Really Simple Now Available)

One-click this and drop-in that is my kind of technology.  While I took satisfaction in mastering DOS, for example, remembering the key strokes to highlight a paragraph and the next set of strokes to move it, I don’t want to go back. Radiologists won’t either, after they start using the amazingly simple technologies I saw this year on the RSNA exhibit floor.

Fujifilm demonstrated a dandy called FDR Go flex. All the electronics needed to go from analog to digital were packed into three devices: one a mini-laptop PC, the second a wireless detector, the third an attache-case-like device with built-in handle. The attache case goes in the cassette drawer of the analog mobile X-ray; the PC on top of the console; the wireless detector pretty much wherever you need it (presumably under the chest of a bedridden patient). And, voila! The analog mobile X-ray is upgraded to digital…after linking the whole shebang to the hospital’s PACS network, of course.

Siemens showed a one-click solution for fusing ultrasound with CT or MR. We’ve been seeing for years how these modalities could be linked, but it meant planning ahead and showing a lot of patience when setting up the real-time scan. Fiducials or markers would have to be put on the patient for the CT or MR scans as reference points in the data. These would then have to be registered point by point on the ultrasound. Siemens’ eSie Fusion gets rid of the fiducials and the registration. Instead, algorithms auto-register the data sets – and re-register them again and again, as needed, when they get out of synch, for example, when a patient moves during the ultrasound. How neat is that?

Then there was the imaging robot that glided on virtual rails to the interventional or surgical table, positioning its angiography imaging chain according to command (GE’s Discovery IGS 730) and Toshiba’s new approach to 3-D, which makes ultrasound look like endoscopy (Fly Thru), while showing the traditional planes in three accompanying windows.

One caveat – only Toshiba’s Fly Thru is currently available as part of the FDA-cleared Aplio 500, Toshiba’s new ultrasound flagship. The others were shown as works in progress.

This is why the other moniker for RSNA — Real Systems Not Available — is often more apt than mine.



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