The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has decided to purchase four Vitrea software licenses for computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) image data. The acquisition of the four licenses crown the recent inauguration of a state-of-the-art 3D imaging laboratory for the hospital's radiology department. The Vitrea software, designed by Vital Images Inc., features a built-in clinical workflow and real-time navigation of 3D volume data, allowing the surgeon to view and interactively manipulate the anatomy in 3D at full resolution, without sacrificing any of the detail imaged on the scanner.
Vital Images is a major developer of visualization software and systems for clinical diagnosis, surgical planning and medical research. In this regard, Vitrea constitutes the newest and premier medical visualization software package for routine clinical radiology and surgical planning, which provides "real time" rendering as well as interactive 2D and 3D viewing of CT and MR images. The application is very easy to integrate into a hospital network. Similar to Vitrea, Vital Images also has designed the A3DI software for 3D visualization and evaluation of ultrasound data. The A3DI package is distributed with the HDI 5000 system, manufactured by the ATL Ultrasound company, a division of Philips Medical Systems.
Both the Vitrea and A3DI software programmes run on the fast yet affordable Silicon Graphics O2 workstation. As a result, the limitations that previously kept 3D volume rendering a research tool, have been eliminated by benefits, such as ease of use and network integration. The workstation enables the physician to spend less time on interpretation and diagnosis of patient data. In turn, the system allows the efficient allocation of physician, scanner and operating room time. Potential risks associated with invasive procedures are being reduced whereas the costs for film can be restricted.
The use of electronic data storage prevents the doctor from possible loss of information. Formerly applied conventional methods were unable to display vital diagnostic and surgical data that now easily can be generated with the new software. The software's protocols allow the physician to optimize the image processing for clinical viewing of bone, soft tissue and colour imaging. Vitrea and A3DI are compatible with the major standards of image system communication, such as DICOM 3.0, and the Internet. The surgeon thus can create and post reports electronically for remote viewing on a secured server by a referring physician.
Especially the A3DI programme for ultrasound applications constitutes an important diagnostic tool to detect problems in high-risk pregnancies. The physician is able to look at the anatomy from various perspectives and can select a particular area to zoom in. The parents of the unborn child will have the chance to take a look at the extremely detailed 3D images of the baby's face in the womb, according to Vincent Argiro, who is chief technology officer of Vital Images. In addition, the software shows great potential when applied with contrast agents, in gynaecology and in general abdominal imaging. The Vitrea and A3DI tools will enable physicians in the Massachusetts General Hospital to plan surgical procedures with full understanding of intervening and neighbouring structures.