"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.