Rogan's "Everything On-line" technology makes pre-fetching of digital medical images superfluous

Zeist 17 March 2000Rogan Medical Systems, a provider of PACS, Picture Archiving and Communication Systems, located in Zeist, has introduced a novel method to present digital medical images including x-ray, Magnetic Resonance Images (MRI), and other imaging modalities, directly to the computer screen without applying any so-called pre-fetching techniques. Because Rogan's innovative "Everything On-line" technology is able to make available all the images in real time, the need no longer exists for both a time-consuming and complicated connection to the Radiology Information system nor the hospital information system.

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Until now, the medical specialist had to present the list of images which he wanted to consult a day on beforehand in order to timely load them into the system. Overnight, the required images then were fetched in batch-mode out of the PACS system to place them in stand-by locally. This way to proceed was necessary since the available bandwidth often does not allow to directly download very large images. In most cases, local workstations have insufficient disk capacity to load a large number of big-sized image files.

Rogan's new "Everything On-line" (EOL) technology is based on Raid-technology, high-speed Ethernet, Dicom compression standards, and Digital Video Discs (DVDs) placed in jukeboxes as a storage medium. The system runs on Windows NT workstations. The implementation requires only days or weeks, according to Rogan, in contrast with a regular system which takes months to install. "The present low pricing of hardware allows the hospital to start small and gradually scale the system. To date, it was impossible for hospital organisations to afford themselves this type of technology", states Hans Mekenkamp, manager Original Equipment Manufacturer with Rogan.

This is confirmed by the specialised cancer unit Daniël den Hoed in Rotterdam. The medical images production in this clinic is more or less comparable to the one in a university hospital. Currently, all the images from the past four years are available on-line. "We merely intend to acquire storage capacity for the near future", comments radiologist M. Oudkerk. "We do not wish to pinpoint ourselves in a world which is changing so rapidly."

In the mean time, the new Rogan system also runs in the Shanghai First Peoples Hospital in the National Republic of China. The implementation of the innovative system only took twelve days. In the following years, Dutch hospitals will invest many hundreds of million florins in PACS systems and digital radiology. At present, fifteen hospitals in The Netherlands work with viewing stations and PACS components, provided by Rogan. The company realises more than half of its turnover abroad. Rogan's largest installed base runs in Germany and in the United States.

Delft Instruments, which hosts a large medical division, recently acquired a 35-percent share in Rogan. In multiple respects, Rogan Medical Systems constitutes a competitor of the equally Dutch company Applicare, which last year has been acquired by GE Medical. The Automatisering Gids has served as the news source for this article. You can read on GE Medical's acquisition of Applicare in the VMW July 1999 article GE Medical Systems to fetch in medical software technology with Applicare Medical Imaging.


Leslie Versweyveld

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