Vienna will be the place to be from 7-11 March as more than 20,000 visitors head to the city for the 25th European Congress of Radiology.

Waiting to greet them will be 300 companies keen to flaunt their wares at Europe’s largest medical imaging event.

Evident among vendor offerings this year are innovations in shared workflow, data access and mobility – all designed to shorten lead-times, support diagnostic quality, and help clinicians collaborate more effectively.

Getting workflow to flow

Exhibiting under the umbrella theme ‘M-power your radiology department’, Agfa HealthCare (Booth 103, Expo A) says it will use ECR 2013 to show how its open-standards-based solutions can enable more collaborative workflows.

It will showcase DR solutions based on its MUSICA image processing algorithm; these include mobile and fully automated DR rooms, such as its DX-D 600 system, and the remote-controlled DX-D 800.

Agfa will also launch a CR 12-X table-top CR system which, it claims, will offer hospitals an affordable move to the high image quality and customer-specific, optimal workflow of CR. Other items on show will include RIS/PACS/Reporting, X-ray upgrades and mobile applications. Click here for more details of Agfa’s exhibits.

Meeting the changing needs of clinicians

Sectra (Booth 411, Expo D) says its exhibits will reflect the radiology needs of physicians, as highlighted in a recent company survey.

These include the latest version of its RIS/PACS featuring instant messaging, teaching files, support for multi-disciplinary team meetings, central handling of non-DICOM images, and the latest in volume visualisation. Also on display will be Sectra’s:

  • Visualisation Table, a 46” multi-touch display for interacting with real-size 3D images: users can visualise skeletal tissue, muscles, organs and soft tissue by virtually slicing, segmenting or peeling off layers of tissue. Sectra claims this will promote a deeper understanding of anatomy and improve the quality of education
  • Breast Imaging PACS, allowing images from any modality – ultrasound, MRI or tomosynthesis – to be displayed side-by-side with mammograms
  • OneScreen, a first step in identifying patients at risk of osteoporosis. With a single, standard X-ray image of the hand, it can measure women’s bone health (bone mineral density) and send images to Sectra’s OneScreen online service. Sectra says the service is especially useful in combination with mammography
  • Orthopaedic Solution comprising a digital-templating tool integrated in PACS and calibration markers. The company claims it not only increases radiology efficiency as the need to retake images decreases, but also supplements explanations and provides supporting measurements. Click here for more on Sectra’s exhibits.

GE Healthcare (Booth 202, Expo B) plans to announce productivity and access solutions that address what it calls “a new era of patient-driven, collaborative care.”

It argues that this will be outcomes-driven and require practitioners to integrate workflows, consolidate patient information and collaborate with other healthcare experts in making faster clinical decisions. GE says it is introducing solutions which, for the first time in Europe, enable clinicians to:

  • Unify viewing – through Centricity PACS and PACS-IW with Universal Viewer
  • Streamline workflow – through Centricity RIS-i featuring eRadcockpit, a new web-based reporting platform
  • Consolidate patient information – with Centricity Clinical Archive
  • Increase radiologist mobility – through Centricity Radiology Mobile Access (CRMA)
  • Improve departmental performance and productivity – through value added services including proactive system monitoring, cloud solutions, business and workflow intelligence, and education services. Click here for more information about GE Healthcare’s exhibits.

Those that can, teach

Innovations this year from Fujifilm Medical Systems (Booth 210, Expo B) include a Teaching File application that creates a virtual archive for scientific and clinical purposes through free-text search to enable rapid consultation and sharing of PACS content.

It allows radiologists and other users to view key-images and reports instantly by searching the database.

Fujifilm says its solution lets users quickly track request and response operations for a second opinion, thereby reducing medical errors. It says an advanced indexing engine, along with a tagging capability, will also improve workflow.

In addition, Fujifilm will use ECR 2013 to announce two newcomers to its Synapse PACS platform:

  • Synapse Wave, incorporating discrete role assignment, allows secure access to Synapse PACS images and reports, enabling patients to directly access their images and reports and share them with doctors who may not have access to the hospital network or PACS system
  • Synapse ERm, which Fuji describes as a work-in-progress product, is a mobile application designed to support smooth communication in the emergency treatment of acute stroke and coronary conditions by linking clinical images and data on mobile devices to enable medical staff outside a hospital to support emergency diagnosis and treatment. An Emergency Call function notifies specialists about urgent cases on their mobile devices, while a Timeline Display captures messages between them as secure tweets.

Going mobile

Mobile access is the main focus, too, for TeraMedica (Booth 415, Expo E). It will be launching Evercore Connext Mobile, an extension to its Evercore Connext tool suite that provides non-DICOM data ingestion and distribution capabilities, including XDS and HL7 standards.

The company says this will bring seamless point-of-care data capture to iPad and iPhone devices by storing photos, videos, sounds files, notes and more at the press of a button.

The new solution uses a worklist on the mobile device to associate acquired data with the appropriate patient context and visit, encounter or order in the Evercore VNA.

It also provides a link to an integrated EMR for distribution and viewing through TeraMedica’s Univision viewer; the latter offers users a complete clinical patient view, displaying both DICOM and non-DICOM data, including non-DICOM toolsets.

TeraMedica says the solution provides high security for captured data using server based authentication and encrypted data capture and transmission – thereby ensuring data is safeguarded in the event of a lost device. A task queue also provides transmission status to the user and retry capabilities in the event of a dropped network connection.

Meanwhile over on Booth 102, Expo A, Philips Healthcare innovations include an AlluraClarity dose management solution; IMR and iDose Premium Package image quality solutions; a new Multiva 1.5T MR system; DuraDiagnost digital radiography systems; a MicroDose SI mammography system; plus a patient centric CT platform, iPatient. As well as hosting several lunchtime symposia and workshops during the event, Philips has a demo truck parked by the entrance where visitors can experience its latest advances in mammography.

Lowering dose, targeting therapy

Exhibiting under its ‘Made for Life’ banner, Toshiba Medical Systems (Booth 311, Expo C) will demonstrate technology innovations such as AIDR 3D, an ultra low dose clinical solution that lowers noise level by up to 50% and reduces the patient dose by up to 75% in comparison with conventional technologies.

Also on show will be its FlyThru ultrasound technology which, according to Toshiba, provides a new perspective in 3D by looking from the inside out. The company will also host two lunchtime symposia featuring "Clinical Advances in Multimodality” at this year’s event.

Carestream Health (Booth 211, Expo B) will showcase a raft of additions to its medical imaging and healthcare IT technologies which, it claims, are already at work in 90% of hospitals worldwide.

These include a new portal allowing patients to electronically access and manage their X-ray exams; new lesion management tools for improving accuracy in assessing changes in cancerous lesions; and, as a work-in-progress, a smaller-format digital radiography detector that provides high-quality, dose-sensitive X-ray images for paediatric, orthopaedic and general radiology exams.

Visitors to the booth will also be given hands-on demonstrations of the company’s DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray System, Vue Cloud Services and MyVue patient engagement portal. Click here for more details.

Last, but by no means least, Siemens Healthcare (Booth 12 Expo A) says it will use this year’s show to introduce new possibilities for clinical detection, more accurate diagnosis and more targeted therapy to help overcome challenges in the clinical setting.

It plans to demonstrate how its high-quality, economical systems and IT are helping to improve patient and staff access to imaging.

The goal – efficiency

Overall, companies heading for Vienna say their latest imaging innovations can help increase efficiency and efficacy in a healthcare organisation’s daily clinical routine.

Visitors to the exhibition at the giant event will be able to judge their claims for themselves. However, notable absentees from this year’s ECR exhibition include Acuo Technologies, BT Health and McKesson.