Carestream Health to present new products at HIMSS and ECR 2010

Atlanta, Rochester, Vienna 11 March 2010Carestream Health Inc. has showcased its vendor-neutral CARESTREAM Clinical Data Archive that virtualizes enterprise storage and provides on demand delivery of images and data to locations throughout the enterprise, regardless of where the information is physically stored or where it originated. These capabilities can streamline IT tasks and help health care providers reduce expenses. The company's latest archive was demonstrated at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference.


"Health care systems have an urgent need to create a consolidated, enterprise-wide repository for images as well as other forms of patient data currently stored on a variety of vendors' systems in diverse locations. By fulfilling these requirements, our vendor-neutral archive enables health care providers to simplify IT management and administrative functions while simultaneously containing costs", stated Diana L. Nole, President, Digital Medical Solutions, Carestream Health.

This enterprise-wide storage solution can be accessed through a Web client or integrated to existing EMR/HIS systems and provides a single point of access to the clinical patient portfolio. The data archive also delivers expanded layers of security to enhance the protection of patient data.

The data archive delivers a multi-tier repository for industry-standard data such as XDS, XDS-I and DICOM, as well as other non-DICOM data objects. It offers a true vendor-neutral environment through use of mechanisms such as dynamic tag morphing. Tag morphing facilitates interconnection of incompatible DICOM devices by allowing the archive to reference an internal library of PACS-specific tag addresses and attributes. With this capability, a DICOM header can easily be modified when transmitting DICOM image data acquired on one vendor's PACS for widespread access by other users. This vendor-neutral archive allows health care facilities to maximize their investment in existing PACS systems, while simultaneously enabling efficient access to patient information across the enterprise.

For facilities that need to replace their PACS, the CARESTREAM Clinical Data Archive can help reduce the cost and complexity of data migration, while at the same time maintaining integrity and access to clinical data.

The archive allows IT administrators to choose from a series of new monitoring and management tools designed to address a range of facility sizes and needs. A user-configurable notification capability allows IT managers to identify specific errors and conditions that will trigger an alert. These management tools equip a system administrator to provide excellent service levels at a lower cost - particularly in large and complex enterprises.

The CARESTREAM Clinical Data Archive contains multiple layers of security to ensure that patient information can be viewed only by authorized individuals or groups. Rules have been further enhanced to allow location-specific and application-specific restrictions. Sensitive data can also be encrypted for specific modalities, archived sites, as well as for the entire archive.

At the HIMSS conference, Carestream Health has also displayed its CARESTREAM DRX-1 detector that forms the foundation for a highly productive family of DR products that includes an affordable system to equip analogue x-ray rooms with the latest DR technology; a fully automated DRX-Evolution suite that offers virtually unlimited patient positioning; and a work-in-progress DRX Mobile Retrofit Kit that integrates the DRX-1 detector into select Siemens and GE mobile x-ray systems to achieve more efficient imaging work flows.

Because the DRX-1 detector is both cassette-sized and wireless, it can be moved from one exam room to another, which delivers exceptional flexibility and cost-efficiency for health care providers. When the Retrofit Kit is available, facilities will be able to use the same detector in their mobile x-ray systems.

The DRX-1 enables facilities to quickly and affordably convert existing analogue x-ray rooms from film- or CR-based radiography to the enhanced efficiency and image quality offered by DR technology. The DRX-1 detector is the same size as a 14 x 17 inch (35 x 43 cm) cassette, so it fits into existing Buckys and allows use of standard grids. Preview images are available in about six seconds and patient images can be transmitted to existing HIS/RIS or PACS systems over a secure wireless network.

The recently introduced DRX-Evolution combines the flexibility of the DRX-1 detector with the productivity of a fully automated DR suite. Health care facilities are able to improve efficiency and enhance patient care because the DRX-1 detector offers virtually unlimited positioning and eliminates the need to move a patient around a fixed detector. The lightweight DRX-1 detector delivers enhanced patient comfort that is especially important for trauma cases. The detector can be removed from the Bucky tray for tabletop views, and the DRX-Evolution system's wall stand can be positioned by the table for cross table views. Images from either the table or the wall stand are communicated over a secure wireless network and appear on the console in seconds.

Carestream Health is developing a DRX Mobile Retrofit Kit that will allow users to quickly and easily upgrade several popular mobile x-ray systems to DR, and achieve valuable gains in work flow. The lightweight, wireless and durable DRX-1 detector can improve staff productivity, and will make positioning more comfortable for critically ill patients compared to systems with heavier, tethered DR detectors.

To support the imaging needs of ICU departments, Carestream Health will offer innovative software that can help enable more accurate diagnosis. Using the original exposure, the new software will display an enhanced image with more precise visualization of lines and tubes, which are typically difficult to view.

In addition to products based on its DRX-1 detector, Carestream Health offers several modular DR systems along with a comprehensive portfolio of single- and multi-cassette CR systems and tabletop CR systems. Carestream Health's image processing software provides exceptional image quality, and a consistent user interface for the company's CR and DR platforms improves technologist productivity and reduces the need for training.

In addition, Carestream Health has showcased the advantages offered to IT staffs by its SuperPACS Architecture and its latest PACS platform - a work in progress - at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference.

Carestream Health's newest PACS platform helps facilitate IT support by providing users with one easy-to-use display interface to associate imported DICOM and non-DICOM data into an existing patient portfolio. The currently available CARESTREAM PACS already delivers the ability to view DICOM and non-DICOM data, eliminating the need for IT staff to provide users with access to different systems to obtain this information.

The SuperPACS Architecture simultaneously streamlines radiologist work flow and simplifies information management by creating a global enterprise-wide worklist that contains imaging studies created from multiple vendors' PACS located throughout the enterprise. Using advanced tunneling technology, data-intensive studies can be quickly delivered to radiologists on demand from any location, and do not require pre-fetching or pre-archiving of the image data to a central location. Since patient information and metadata from existing archives are synchronized into a central database, IT staffs do not need to perform expensive and time-consuming migration of pixel data.

The company's SuperPACS Architecture easily combines or separates patient data created at multiple sites by supporting a Master Patient ID using IHE profiles. This means that a patient-centric view may be created and assures that data from different patients - who may have been assigned the same local patient ID at different facilities - does not get mixed up.

Carestream Health's PACS and SuperPACS Architecture are designed to meet the needs of hospitals and health care enterprises, regional health networks, single- or multi-site imaging centres, reading groups and teleradiology services.

Carestream Health has introduced its new CARESTREAM Image Suite, a fully featured, affordable CR/mini-PACS solution that adeptly satisfies both the imaging needs and budgets of clinics and physicians' offices. Image Suite combines selected models of CR systems with PACS software that can run on a variety of PC-based workstations. Use of standard PCs helps lower costs and delivers greater flexibility for users. Image Suite has not yet been approved in the USA.

Image Suite also delivers comprehensive image review capabilities including magnification, annotations, measurements, layout and other tools. Clinicians can adjust and reprocess raw image data on the host workstation to enhance visualisation capabilities and help deliver better patient care. Most mini-PACS systems give clinicians very limited image manipulation capabilities by only allowing window and level adjustments to the processed image. Image Suite also features Carestream Health's exceptional image processing software to further optimise image quality.

Image Suite will include a choice of DIRECTVIEW Classic, Point-of-Care 140 or Point-of-Care 360 CR readers and will be primarily sold and serviced by Carestream Health's channel partners. Image Suite will also support DICOM storage from other modalities, including ultrasound, MR, CT and exams from other vendors' CR systems. Being able to integrate all types of imaging systems makes the Image Suite an attractive, scalable solution for general practitioners, orthopaedists, podiatrists, chiropractors, other specialists and clinics. It is scheduled to be available worldwide in the second quarter of 2010.

The system features DICOM store/print/modality worklist and images can be stored on CDs and hard disk drives. Carestream Health's processing software streamlines work flow and provides automatic identification of body part/projection to eliminate manual data entry.

Image Suite options include a report/notes template; long-length imaging software; and up to eight concurrent licenses for web viewing and/or patient registration. Mammography imaging is supported when the system is configured with Classic CR Readers in countries where the CARESTREAM Mammography Feature is approved for use but not in the USA.

Digital images in DICOM/JPEG/BMP/TIFF formats can be imported and the system can be connected to document scanners for digitization of paper records. The system also supports output to paper printers.

At the European Congress of Radiology 2010, Carestream Health has been showcasing a range of innovative solutions designed to offer enhanced productivity, added convenience, time saving and cost efficiency for clinicians and IT staff. Solutions on show included the Enhanced Vendor Neutral Archiving Solution. Carestream Health showcased the latest generation of its vendor-neutral CARESTREAM Clinical Data Archive, already an established component of the company's data management business, with a worldwide base of installations.

Future upgrades to the latest PACS platform were showcased as work in progress together with advanced capabilities of the latest Carestream Health RIS/PACS platform. Upgrades to the latest version of CARESTREAM PACS will equip radiologists with tools to enhance productivity by bringing reporting capabilities into a multi-site solution that already includes clinical information, image data and interpretation tools. These reporting capabilities will complement the existing ability of CARESTREAM PACS to perform cross-site reading through a unified global worklist. The new functionality will allow radiologists to add information such as key images, measurement results and other content directly into the report with the click of a button or through voice commands.

Shown at ECR for the first time was also the company's new web-based cardiology PACS that integrates seamlessly with the radiology PACS so that the same workstation can be used for diagnostic reading and clinical review of cardiology and radiology studies.

Carestream Health has been demonstrating a number of powerful productivity enhancing features for its latest RIS platform, which can help health care providers of all sizes realise greater efficiency and lower costs in their imaging work flow. Benefits include gains in productivity for schedulers, radiologists and managers; features that can be customized to streamline work flow throughout the enterprise and critical results reporting to help ensure the highest level of patient care. In addition, strategic management tools help providers analyse performance and maximise revenue opportunities.

Three members of Carestream Health's Digital Output portfolio were on show:

  • DRYVIEW 5850 Laser Imaging System: A tabletop, low- to mid-volume laser imager providing 508 pixels-per-inch (ppi) output for full-field digital mammography (FFDM) and CR based mammography systems.
  • DRYVIEW 5800 Laser Imaging System: Prints up to 75 large format images per hour. Features 5 film sizes, with two film sizes on-line at any time and supports distributed applications including PACS, CT, MR, NM, US, CR and DR systems.
  • DRYVIEW 6800 Laser Imaging System: Offers on-demand printing with three film drawers and five film sizes and prints from a full range of modalities at up to 200 films per hour and 650 ppi resolution. An optional five bin sorter is available for easier retrieval of films by modality.

On show was the recently launched EHR-M3 screens for Carestream Health's CR mammography imaging systems that feature reduced noise and a higher detector quantum efficiency (DQE) for improved image quality. These screens will be available for use with all existing and new DIRECTVIEW CR Systems that are equipped with the company's Mammography Feature.

CARESTREAM eHealth Managed Services (eMS) Cloud has reached one billion stored images worldwide, representing more than 500 terabytes of data. The company currently operates eight data centres in five countries throughout Europe and North America, with more planned to open soon in Japan and Argentina.

CARESTREAM eMS provides a full range of eHealth services - from eHealth Archive services to eHealth PACS services and eHealth collaboration services - to hospitals and radiology centres. The data is stored on data centres, fully protected and instantly retrievable by any authorised user, enabling multi-site work flow and image distribution.

Maasstad Ziekenhuis in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, one of the latest implementations of CARESTREAM eMS, signed a long term pay-per-study service agreement with Carestream Health for remote storage of DICOM and non-DICOM data. The site uses the CARESTREAM eMS service as a PACS neutral remote archive to secure the 180.000 studies generated annually by the Maasstad facility. Over 25 additional terabytes of legacy data is currently being migrated.

"We selected Carestream Health to migrate and manage our large volumes of data as they were ahead of their competitors in leveraging an eMs service, in particular with their technical configuration and expertise", stated Tjeerd Canrinus, IT Manager at Maasstad Ziekenhuis. "We had a smooth connection to the service and are now archiving all types of data without any management burden. We have even started discussions to expand the service to other data produced by Maasstad hospital."

The move to CARESTREAM eHealth Managed Services has proved so successful that there are plans to make it the foundation of a full information management system at Maasstad Ziekenhuis.

Worldwide hospitals are facing significant increases in the volume of medical data, combined with increasing constraints on security and availability. The expertise required to guarantee long term enterprise wide access to data is becoming increasing out of reach for many hospitals or imaging centres. Connecting to the Carestream eHealth Managed Service Cloud thus becomes the solution for the future: it allows multiple health care facilities to share a common data centre platform and pay only a fraction of the total cost based on their own use. Capital and operational expenses are reduced, since all hardware, software, maintenance, monitoring, upgrades and obsolescence management are included as part of the service. Risk is also decreased thanks to access to high level specialised expertise and technology.

Carestream Health has also signed a long-term RIS/PACS eHealth Managed Services (eMS) agreement with Stichting Samenwerkende Ziekenhuizen Oost Groningen (SSZOG) in The Netherlands. The agreement covers the group's three hospitals located at Stadskanaal, Winschoten and Delfzijl in the north of the country and will manage an estimated 1,3 million radiology studies across the duration of the contract. As part of the deal, work flow within and across the sites will be protected with remote support and pro-active monitoring from Carestream Health.

Currently the hospitals operate three PACS systems from different vendors and in a move towards closer co-operation across the enterprise the group began to seek a vendor to unify RIS, PACS and archiving services during 2009.

The Fryslan Data Centre in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, will provide secure remote image archiving and access together with disaster recovery. Fryslan is one of eight data centres operated by the company in five countries throughout Europe and North America. This vendor-neutral data archive virtualises enterprise storage and provides on demand delivery of images and data to locations throughout the enterprise, regardless of where the information is physically stored or where it originated.

eHealth PACS Services is the latest addition to Carestream Health's eHealth Managed Services portfolio, which also includes data protection and remote archiving services. The new eHealth PACS Service is delivered on a pay-per-study model ensuring a leading-edge solution powered by CARESTREAM PACS without capital investment.

"Our new eHealth PACS Services will deliver peace of mind and provide health care professionals with the ability to focus on patient care rather than IT management issues", stated Patrick Koch, World Wide Business Director, eHealth Managed Services, Carestream Health. "This type of service offers the benefits of a predictable TCO with no hidden costs, guaranteed availability of data and tools with no system or data management requirements."

Carestream Health's CR-based mammography imaging systems and multi-modality breast imaging workstation passed Mammography Image Integration Profile testing conducted by Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) International at its recent North America Connectathon. This compliance helps ensure interoperability with other systems for a streamlined work flow.

Mammography imaging is available on selected DIRECTVIEW CR systems in Canada, Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and other regions of the world where the CARESTREAM Mammography Feature is approved for use.

The company's CR systems offer enhanced work flow and productivity for health care providers by allowing the capture of both mammography and general radiology exams on the same imaging device. Specialized cassettes and screens are required for mammography imaging.

The company also offers a vendor-neutral, multi-modality CARESTREAM Mammography Workstation that can improve radiologist productivity through the ability to display surgical files, clinical images and patient data in any format at one workstation. It enables efficient diagnostic review of all breast imaging exams - FFDM, ultrasound, MR, CR and others - as well as all general radiology exams. This eliminates work flow bottlenecks created by the need for radiologists to read FFDM exams on each vendor's proprietary workstation, and then switch to additional workstations to review other types of breast and general radiology exams.

Productivity at the workstation is further enhanced through the display of mammography CAD markers, integration of breast MRI CAD, and decision support tools. The company's mammography workstation can be integrated with RIS/PACS systems from multiple vendors.

IHE International is composed of more than 300 member organisations from around the world and is dedicated to promoting the adoption of standards-based and interoperable solutions for health care information systems. The organisation hosts annual Connectathon events in North America and Europe. Its committees create implementation specifications called IHE Profiles that use established standards to address interoperability needs.

IHE Profiles are an important element of the interoperability capabilities defined by the United States Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) and were recognized in January 2009 as requirements for federal procurement in the United States by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Carestream Health's latest RIS platform is now available worldwide. The new CARESTREAM RIS can help enhance patient care through radiation dose tracking and user alerts, while critical results notification helps ensure confirmation of results delivery and appropriate follow-up by referring physicians. The new RIS also offers data collection and reporting capabilities that can equip managers to maximize revenue opportunities, while delivering gains in productivity for schedulers, radiologists and managers.

"Our new RIS offers an impressive slate of features that can enable health care providers of all sizes achieve greater work flow efficiency and reduce costs", stated Diana L. Nole, President, Digital Medical Solutions, Carestream Health. "In addition, it equips users to input dose amounts that are compared with user-defined thresholds to guide health care facilities in minimizing the potential for overexposure."

The RIS enables users to enter radiation thresholds for each type of exam. Technologists enter the dose of each exam, and the RIS issues an alert to the technologist if the dose is out of range. The RIS also collects and reports exposures for all exams. This system can be used to track radiologic imaging exams and radiation therapy treatment. Dose management is an option included with the platform that can be activated but is not required.

For critically ill patients, the RIS tracks critical results notification and issues warnings for aging messages to help ensure that patients receive prompt treatment. In addition to enhancing patient care, the RIS also boosts efficiency by expediting scheduling of single, dual and series imaging exams across multiple locations and is used to confirm eligibility and evaluate that procedure codes are consistent and accurate.

Radiologists' productivity is significantly improved through interactive voice dictation, voice command and control and mouse-less reporting. The RIS selects a standardized report based on the exam procedure, and patient and exam information is pre-populated. This eliminates the need for radiologists to search for the appropriate report format and manually insert information.

The RIS is designed for user customization across a variety of features including screen displays, patient communication materials, scheduling rules that can vary by site, management reports and other important functions. This allows the system to present to the user the information that they need, when they need to see it.

Fully featured mammography tools capture patient history, current exam findings, pathology reports, patient follow-up and tracking and help automate radiology reports. Letters to patients and referring physicians can be quickly customized, generated and tracked. Available reports include MQSA basic audit data, initial diagnosis statistics, patient follow-up and patient status.

Management tools help administrators boost efficiency by displaying staff and resource utilization, as well as contributing factors such as cancelled exams and patient no-show lists. If managers determine that process and work flow changes are needed, they can redesign screen displays to support these adjustments. The RIS also supports integration of in-house or outsourced billing systems.

CARESTREAM RIS is Microsoft .NET-connected to offer unmatched flexibility and scalability, while supporting an optimized radiology work flow across small, single-site or large, multi-site enterprises.

Carestream Health Inc. is a worldwide 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. More company news is available in the VMW November 2009 article Carestream Health is shipping 10,000th point-of-care CR system and launches web-based cardiology PACS and portable wireless detector.

Source: Carestream Health

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