Matrox Medical Perspectives with Aspyra

ASPYRA's Bill Culton (Product Manager) & Scott Treiber (VP Engineering), describe ASPYRA AccessNET PACS viewer (MedVIEW) performance improvements using Matrox Xenia Pro boards and the free Matrox SDK. (video length: 3min 10s).

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Bill Culton, Product Manager, Aspyra Inc, shares his thoughts on Matrox Xenia display controller boards for the medical imaging market

Welcome to Perspectives, a dialog with industry partners sharing their experiences and solutions with George Rigas, business development manager for medical imaging, Matrox Graphics Inc..

In this issue, we have the pleasure to speak with Bill Culton, Product Manager, Aspyra Inc. ASPYRA AccessNET PACS is a modular designed PACS solution that ranges from imaging modality viewing stations to multi-facility, enterprise-wide implementations with load balancing, redundancy, and remote backup archives, allowing healthcare facilities to build systems with components that meet their needs.

George Rigas (Matrox Graphics): Aspyra is a valued Matrox MED Series solution provider for the PACS and mammography market and together, we recently issued a press release about ASPYRA AccessNET PACS incorporating Matrox Xenia Hardware. What really excited you about Matrox Xenia Series?

Bill Culton (Aspyra): The Matrox Xenia Series provides on-board support for most of the image processing functions needed for fast display of high resolution medical images. This is very unusual from a commercially available product.

GR: Many have said that Matrox Xenia Series is faster than MED Series or anything else they've seen to date. Can you explain how your application uses this increased performance to improve workflow?

Bill Culton, Product Manager, AspyraBill Culton, Product Manager, Aspyra

BC: Even without using the advanced medical functionalities available on the Xenia Series, it is significantly faster than the MED Series. There is no comparison! In addition, we are using the large on-board memory to very quickly scroll through large stacks of images. Tracking functions like real-time window level adjustments, magnification, and panning are performed immediately. I mean, without the draw delays you typically see on large high-resolution monitors used for mammography.

GR: How measurable is this? Can the user go through more studies in less time, are images more accurate, or do a number of things simplify the whole architecture for you?

BC: Absolutely! Our customer's livelihoods and the lives of the patients they serve are often directly related to how quickly and accurately they can review medical images. The raw speed to display an image coupled with the performance improvements gained from on-board window/level, panning, and magnification tracking significantly improves efficiency and quality of healthcare.

Radiologists benefit from smooth window/level, zoom and pan.

GR: We incorporated your request to improve zoom and pan performance. How much has this helped?

BC: The results of these improvements are amazing, especially on the higher resolution monitors like the five megapixels.

GR: Speaking of monitors, the typical three-display set up still appears to be quite prevalent despite large single 4MP display solutions being offered. What advantages do you see with the three-display setup?

BC: While the 4MP display is fine for lower resolution studies such as CT and MR, the higher resolution studies from DR, CR, and especially mammography require higher resolutions such as 6MP and even 10MP. When those are more affordable and readily available I think we will see more customers move to two monitor setups (one 2MP for worklists, dictation, reports, and other patient data and one high resolution for image display). The single high resolution will improve the navigation across multiple image panes without having a bezel area to cross.

GR: So what can we expect in the coming months from Aspyra? What are you working on?

Large study (600 slices): Instant response thanks to Xenia Series hardware image processing

BC: Aspyra continues to enhance and improve our products, distributing these updates with scheduled releases. With the rising need for diagnostic imaging studies, the reduction in reimbursements, and the lack of sufficient number of trained radiologists, we are seeing a trend to a more distributed radiology network which allows studies from different facilities and locations to be read by distant remotely located radiologists. The communication of results from the radiologists back to the referring physician in a timely, secure, and reliable means is also a critical element. In order to satisfy these ever changing customer requirements our product roadmap is divided into short-term, mid-term and long-term projects that add new or improved features, functionality, security, and reliability.

Our short- and mid-term plans include such items as:

  • Increased security (as the computer hackers get more clever with their attacks computer software need to become more sophisticated with defenses, with our Microsoft Gold partnership we work in conjunctions with their improvement to safeguard data and assure only those that have privileges gain access);
  • Improvements in image display performance and hanging protocols;
  • Enhanced referring physician web portal with improved notification of critical results;
  • Increasing automated processes to monitor performance and status of customer system with automated notification to remote service support when problems are detected;
  • Improved means of communication between the different healthcare providers (through alerts and pop-up messaging) which will further enable interoperability and data sharing,
  • Specialty tools for orthopedic and other medical disciplines, and
  • Enhanced management reporting.

Strong, reliable performance across all study types allows for more productive radiology workflow

Long-term, we plan to continue to keep our product current and innovative. As the healthcare industry moves toward a complete electronic environment, companies such as ours will need to come up with innovative solutions for improved interoperability between the different components and applications involved in electronic healthcare records. Our company has always participated in the standards organizations as well as in the IHE initiative to make sure our products have the ability to communicate with other vendor products efficiently. We recently joined the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), so that we can play a role in defining and understanding the interoperability needs that are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).

About Aspyra

Aspyra is a global provider of Health Care Information Technology (HCIT) solutions and services to the healthcare industry. The Company specializes in Clinical Information Systems (CIS), Picture Archive Communication Systems (PACS) and Clinical Image Management Systems (CIMS) for hospitals, multi-specialty clinics, clinical laboratories, imaging departments and centers and orthopedic environments. Aspyra's highly scalable systems can be installed standalone or integrated to provide a single-vendor, enterprise-wide solution.

For more information on Aspyra, its products and services, visit Aspyra.

About Matrox Medical Imaging Solutions

Matrox display controller boards for medical imaging offer a wide range of display output options, resolution capabilities, and features to suit the demanding needs of medical imaging professionals. Matrox Xenia is the first native PCI Express board with all-digital triple-monitor support in a single-slot and the built-in flexibility to drive practically any known medical or non-medical display configuration.

Designed for use with a broad range of 8- or 10-bit grayscale and/or color displays in a variety of configurations, Matrox Xenia Pro includes 1,024 MB of on-board RAM, supporting growing image volume requirements and display resolutions from less than 1MP to as high as 8MP. With new technology to ensure optimum calibration (including Matrox DLC™ and 8/10/13-bit gamma tables), plus additional development potential for increasing hardware-accelerated performance via hardware LUTs and multiple hardware window IDs, Xenia is an expandable solution and a solid investment for medical imaging facilities.

For more information, visit Matrox Xenia display controller boards or contact Matrox Graphics directly.

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