Carestream Health debuts new digital radiography system and launches turnkey digital radiology solution to streamline work flow at outpatient imaging centres

Orlando 08 July 2007Carestream Health Inc. has introduced the Kodak Carestream Outpatient Solution, a new turnkey digital imaging and information management package designed for imaging centres that provides precision work flow automation, exceptional operational efficiency and enhanced business optimization. In addition, a radically new digital radiography system from Carestream Health is now available to health care facilities across the globe. The new Kodak DirectView DR 9500 System incorporates an innovative configuration that follows in the footsteps of the award-winning Kodak DirectView DR 7500 System.

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The advanced Kodak Carestream Outpatient Solution - which is currently available for order - delivers efficient, affordable digital work flow for imaging centres and eliminates the need to purchase and integrate systems from multiple vendors. In addition, this solution offers exceptional management reporting with easy-to-read snapshots of staff productivity, referring physician volumes and equipment utilization.

The Carestream Outpatient Solution sets a new industry standard with an "all in one" solution that incorporates a fully-featured RIS, a high performance PACS, on-site or remote archiving, and intelligent enterprise information management coupled with business optimization and professional services. The Carestream Outpatient Solution comes in three affordable configurations and the platform can be effectively scaled to meet the needs of smaller independent imaging centres, mid-size multi-facility sites or large-scale imaging centre chains.

Carestream Health, an independent company, has licensed the Kodak brand for use on several leading-edge products such as its PACS and RIS. The company also sells products under its own sub-brands including Carestream, DirectView and DryView to name a few.

Designed for the diverse operational needs of outpatient centres, this solution provides exam scheduling and capture, diagnosis with advanced diagnostic tools, digital dictation, transcription, Web-based viewing of radiology reports and key images, billing, claims processing and results distribution. Radiology reports can be automatically transmitted to individual referring physicians according to their preference for fax, e-mail or Web-based access.

Standard features include document scanning; mammography scheduling and reporting with MQSA audit support; pre-fetching of prior digital imaging studies; automatic production of reports; and the ability to include key images with the radiology report. Optional features include an integrated billing and insurance claims module, Web-based order entry and scheduling for referring physicians, voice recognition, 3D viewing, vessel tracking, orthopaedic templating, and a medical necessity module that verifies ICD 9 and CPT codes.

Within the solution, Kodak Carestream RIS for Imaging Centers works seamlessly with Kodak Carestream PACS, providing a virtual radiologist desktop for the complete interpretation of a patient's medical condition. High-performance Kodak Carestream Diagnostic Workstations deliver accurate patient information and a worklist to radiologists' desktops to streamline the reading of imaging exams. Role-based licensing allows for user profiles and configurations to follow the radiologist, so interpretations can be made on any workstation in the health care enterprise to create a virtual reading environment.

Two of the premium offerings in the platform incorporate the advanced Kodak Carestream Enterprise Information Management solution. This versatile storage and information management platform efficiently archives radiology images and also consolidates enterprise fixed content information such as scanned patient documents, reports, audio clips, e-mail and video files into a central data repository. This eliminates the cost and maintenance of multiple enterprise archives. All configurations offer Kodak Carestream Hosted Information Management, which is standard on the entry tier and optional for the other tiers. This remote archival service is offered in an ASP model and delivers the management of non-DICOM and DICOM information to meet long-term storage and disaster recovery needs.

In addition, Carestream Business Diagnostics' on-site work flow optimization services are included at each level to help imaging centres achieve greater efficiency and a rapid payback on their digital investment. Also bundled in the turnkey offering are Carestream Professional Services for proficient project management, implementation, training and remote 24x7 system monitoring.

The new DR 9500 system breaks away from traditional configurations that involve detectors mounted in a table and/or a wall stand. Instead, it has a ceiling-mounted U-arm that contains both a tube and detector to deliver unprecedented mobility and operational flexibility.

This system easily moves around the patient to facilitate patient positioning and to enhance technologist convenience and productivity. For example, it allows technologists to capture images of the left and right side of the body without moving the patient. It is ideal for a wide variety of general radiography procedures and offers enhanced speed to the operator and comfort to patients with limited mobility.

The new design of the DR 9500 offers these advantages:

  • Two operator interfaces on the U-arm allow technologists to change the x-ray generator parameters and technique settings without leaving the patient or the exam room. Patient data from a radiology or hospital information system can be transferred - via DICOM worklist - to the system's operator console, as well as to the operator interfaces on the U-arm. These flexible work zones accommodate technologists' preferences and their need to move around as they prepare the equipment and the patient for the desired exam exposures.
  • Autopositioning enables greater productivity and ease of use. With the push of a button, the equipment will move into the preprogrammed position for the next exam.
  • Support for both manual and motorized movements enables easy movement for each exam while a new option called "intelligent motion" allows for greater flexibility and efficiency during positioning, especially for under-table exams.
  • The Bucky and tube are always aligned to enable faster positioning with enhanced comfort for patients, especially those with limited mobility.

Like all other Kodak DirectView DR systems, the DR 9500 delivers superb image quality thanks to Carestream Health's proprietary image processing software, and a large detector pixel matrix of 3000 x 3000 - 143 micron pixels - to capture sharp, detailed images with high DQE and low noise. It also offers the same easy-to-use operator interface featured in other Kodak DirectView CR and DR systems and features a fully integrated system operator console.

Carestream Health offers one of the broadest product lines of digital radiography systems in the industry. In addition to the DR 9500, the company's portfolio includes Kodak DirectView DR 7500 and DR 3000 platforms.

The DR 7500 can be configured as a single- or dual-detector system. The system's wall stand features a unique retractable Bucky capable of three-axis movement and a fixed, elevating table with four-way float provides flexible patient positioning. The table Bucky can be extended from the table to accommodate extremity exams.

The compact DR 3000 system is designed to meet the needs and budget of a broad range of health care facilities including mid-size hospitals, outpatient imaging centres and orthopaedic clinics. It features optional moveable tables and a floor-mounted stand that does not require wall mounts or ceiling suspension provisions. This creates greater placement flexibility and reduces the cost of installation.

With revenues of more than $2,5 billion, Carestream Health Inc., is a provider of dental and medical imaging systems and health care IT solutions; molecular imaging systems for the life science research and drug discovery/development market segments; and x-ray film and digital x-ray products for the non-destructive testing market. The company emerged in 2007 when Onex Corporation of Toronto, Canada, purchased Eastman Kodak Company's Health Group.


Leslie Versweyveld

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