R2's Universal Breast Imaging Workstation and MeVis BreastCare's soft-copy reading software support advanced CAD applications

Bremen 03 December 2003R2 Technology Inc., specialised in computer-aided detection (CAD), and MeVis BreastCare (MBC) GmbH Co. KG of Bremen, Germany, a developer of softcopy reading software for breast cancer diagnosis, have signed a license agreement whereby the MBC soft-copy reading (SCR) software will be incorporated into a R2 breast imaging workstation, currently under development. This agreement supports R2's efforts to develop a universal CAD workstation.


R2's Universal Breast Imaging Workstation with advanced CAD applications was shown at the 89th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), November 30 - December 4, 2003. "Soft-copy reading and CAD technology have proven to have a significant impact on the efficacy and quality of patient care due to the improved accuracy of mammography reading", stated Carl Evertsz, Ph.D., CEO of MeVis BreastCare, and co-ordinator of the European Commission sponsored SCREEN Trial or Soft-Copy REading ENvironment.

"This agreement provides R2 Technology the means to implement a state-of-the-art multi-modality universal CAD workstation powered by MeVis BreastCare SCR software, which is currently being used with Siemens and Hologic LORAD digital mammography systems. By integrating CAD marked images and patient information into an optimized work flow, this new system will provide radiologists the best of CAD and soft-copy reading technology available for early breast cancer detection worldwide", continued Dr. Evertsz.

The SCREEN Trial, which was first announced late last year, was designed to develop a soft-copy reading environment that can replace film-based reading in screening mammography programmes. There are currently seven University Hospitals throughout Europe actively assisting in the transition from film-based to digital mammography screening programmes by integrating digital mammography and soft-copy reading using CAD technology from R2. The company was selected as the exclusive CAD provider for the European Commission sponsored breast cancer SCREEN Trial.

The R2 Universal Breast Imaging Workstation, which will be market-ready in early 2004, will provide radiologists a medical imaging review workstation that is free from vendor-controlled modality-workstation constraints such as propriety image processing and enhancements. The workstation will also provide the added value of choosing advanced image analysis and visualization support tools from R2 Technology's portfolio of enhanced CAD applications.

CAD is used by increasing numbers of radiologists as "a second pair of eyes" when reading a mammogram. Analogous to a spellchecker system on a personal computer, this technology uses computer algorithms to identify areas on the mammogram containing characteristics that may warrant a second review by the radiologist. Clinical trials have demonstrated that use of the ImageChecker system as an adjunct to review by the radiologist could result in early detection of up to 23,4 percent of the cancers currently detected with screening mammography in those women who had a prior screening mammogram 9 to 24 months earlier.

"We are very pleased to have this agreement with MeVis BreastCare and the license to include the MBC soft-copy reading software into our new breast imaging workstation", stated Mike Klein, president and CEO of R2. "Our latest in a long stream of new products based on the OmniCAD platform vision, this universal workstation will deliver a clinically relevant solution to the radiology community."

First to commercialize CAD for both film-based and digital mammography, R2 has shipped more than 1200 ImageChecker CAD systems worldwide, including more than 230 for use with Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) systems. In 2003, some eight million women will have their mammograms interpreted with the aid of this leading CAD technology for the early detection of breast cancer.

The universal breast imaging workstation will serve as a foundation for R2's growing suite of CAD products for digital mammography based on the company's proprietary OmniCAD technology. This includes the new ImageChecker DM CAD system, recently approved by the FDA, which supports the mixed film and digital mammography environment by offering an integrated solution with an open architecture and a vendor neutral platform to support CAD processing for analogue and digital mammography. The ImageChecker DM CAD system will initially support digital images acquired on the GE Senographe 2000D. However, future releases will support FFDM systems from other R2 partners, including Fischer, Hologic/Lorad and Siemens.

R2 Technology Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is a recognized expert in the development and commercialization of computer-aided detection (CAD), an innovative technology that assists radiologists in the early detection of breast cancer and other abnormalities. As a medical software company, R2 is developing CAD systems for a variety of imaging modalities and disease states. More R2 Technology news is available in this VMW issue's article Virtual Colonoscopy focus of CAD license agreement between R2 Technology and University of Chicago.

Leslie Versweyveld

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