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Seeking perfection - Matrox and Siemens Medical Solutions equip the Imaging Science Institute in Germany

While we may all strive for perfection in our day-to-day lives, whether it be at work or at home, perfection often proves to be elusive, and in many cases simply unattainable.

One medical institution, the Imaging Science Institute (ISI) in Erlangen, Germany, is making perfection its mission and is taking big strides toward improving the overall efficiency and optimized workflow of hospitals.

Established by Siemens Medical Solutions, ISI is an interdisciplinary research institution integrated into one of the most modern university hospitals in Europe, the Friedrich Alexander University Hospital, and is dedicated to analyzing real treatment processes, and the development of optimized treatment paths for specific diseases. In addition, ISI offers a variety of options for clinical demonstration and medical training.

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The ultimate goal of ISI is to bridge the gap between research and practice. Streamlining treatment processes to better serve patients, improve the flow of information within and beyond the hospital and further developing medical IT systems.

At ISI, the entire spectrum of imaging systems and state-of-the-art medical IT can be found in one place, and now they have added Matrox to help them deploy diagnostic workstations using Matrox medical imaging display controller boards, controlling Planar's Dome E3c 3 MP high bright color displays.

Timing is everything

Within ISI, researchers study and tweak the time that is spent on every aspect of the treatment process, so that ultimately, a strategy and plan is developed that ensures that time is optimally used in day-to-day clinical practice, from patient admission and diagnostics to therapy and discharge, ultimately reducing overall costs. As part of their analysis, ISI studies practical solutions to address the following questions:

  • How can diseases be diagnosed quickly and with certainty?
  • Which imaging systems deliver the best results, and when?
  • How can wait times be shortened?
  • How can therapeutic success be increased?
  • How can logistical bottlenecks be avoided?
  • How can information be prepared to better suit target groups?

Diagnostic and treatment installations have been placed within the university hospital in areas such as the cardiac catheter lab, neurosurgery, nuclear medicine, surgical OR, admissions, so that all staff are directly linked to ISI via the "ISI spots". Through this network, ISI can access, analyze, assess and evaluate all data from their imaging systems.

Matrox TheatreVUE Series projects excellence

At the heart of the ISI organization is the Patient Management Center (PMC), where doctors and training participants observe diagnostic examinations live on a large monitor at two state-of-the-art workstations.

In the PMC, doctors and imaging professional take part in conferences, reviews and meetings with the responsible project staff to find the best solutions for the case. Within the PMC, a projection screen setup is flanked by two Fujitsu Siemens large format plasma displays [Plasmavision P-50XHA30-S]. Below each plasma is a typical diagnostic workstation setup with a Navigation Console and two diagnostic imaging displays.

Two main problems were noted with this set-up:

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Problem #1 - The plasma screens can only accept a 1600x1200 resolution at most, or about 2 MP of image data, which means the 3 MP displays have to be configured and run at a 2 MP resolution to make this all work. This was not proficient and certainly undesirable to use good 3 MP imaging displays as 2 MP displays.

Switching to 2 MP displays was not an option, as doctors and radiologists also review mammography images, which require a minimum of 3 MP resolution in the PMC.

Problem #2 - The PMC had too many cables and connections to control. An analog output was connected to an expensive splitter which was then connected to the Navigation Console and to the switchboard - the same setup they had for the two digital 3 MP displays. With three very expensive splitters they were still unable to do achieve success.

The Solution to both problems was to incorporate the Matrox TheatreVUE display projection controller board within the workstation setup, and the Planar Dome E3c 3 MP color line for diagnostics.

The plasma display on the left features a Siemens 3 MP dual-display workstation with Navigation Console. On the right underneath the plasma are two of Planar's Dome E3c high-bright color displays with a Navigation Console, driven by the Matrox TheatreVUE™ display projection controller board.

With the Matrox TheatreVUE board, each required 3 MP imaging display could be used to its full resolution while the second output of the Matrox TheatreVUE projection controller board supplied the same 3 MP image by downsizing it to 2 MP to the large format plasma to show it entirely.

The Matrox TheatreVUE outputs are then routed to several displays and fed to a switcher unit, which is controlled by a doctor or radiologist who can direct the output of any displays to the large format Fujitsu Siemens plasma above the workstation setup allowing the audience to see from a distance.

In all, the expensive switchers are no longer needed, and ISI has not only reduced its cabling, it has also become more proficient with the use of a simpler setup allowing all attendees to view in full glory.

For more information on the Matrox TheatreVUE and other Matrox Graphics medical imaging solutions, please visit: www.matrox.com/graphics

ISI Erlangen is a project of Siemens Medical Solutions. Information is available at www.siemens.com/medical

Research projects in cooperation with the University Hospital Erlangen, can be found at www.klinikum.uni-erlangen.de

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