At the Information Society Technologies Conference, which took place last December in Vienna, the European Information Technology Prize 1998 was awarded to Advanced Engineering Technology for Easymage, a low-cost modular programme used in 3D medical imaging applications. AET is an Italian provider of multimedia processing systems, based in Genoa. The European Commission and the European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering each year reserve a funding of £.5 million to support the most innovative product, designed by a European company or organization.
AET's Easymage software was selected from a shortlist of 25 IT initiatives, that all keep in store great promises for commercial exploitation. Over 300 candidates participated in the contest, which traditionally is open to proposals from 29 European countries with the inclusion of Israel. The Easymage solution is able to process visual data from different modalities, such as Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance (MR). AET has worked for more than five years in conjunction with reputed clinicians to refine the product in an intensive validation process.
The software is based on Microsoft COM/DCOM concepts and conceived to run under Windows NT. The Easymage programme consists of a built-in PACS or Picture Archiving and Communication System, which has been implemented on a Microsoft Software Query Language (SQL) server. The advanced and powerful tool allows the clinician to acquire 3D images for visualization, manipulation and archiving. Easymage fully adapts to the DICOM 3.0 (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard for smooth image transmission from and to any DICOM-compliant device.
Since Easymage readily combines CT and MR images, physicians are offered the possibility to gain a deeper insight into the patient's data which results in enhanced quality of diagnosis, treatment plans and follow-up care. The software has been extensively tested by Professor Giampaolo Biti, the head of the Clinical Physiopathology Department in Florence. This radiotherapy unit each year processes thousands of images, so the need for efficient and fast correlation and archival is evident. Professor Biti considers the Easymage tool as a superior solution with regard to the price-performance ratio.
The system offers tremendous support for the physician who needs to locate a tumour with great precision or delineate specific organs at risk. The tool is equally applied for the design and implementation of optimized radiotherapy treatment plans for cancer patients. Once the validation process finished, which has involved several important clinical centres in Italy, Easymage will be introduced to the market in the first half of 1999. For more information, we invite you to check out the European IT Prize home page.