Matrox Medical Perspectives with Quest International

Bill Greenblatt, Vice President of Sales, Quest International, shares his thoughts on Matrox 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 Greenblatt, Vice President of Sales, Quest International, Inc. Founded in 1982, Quest International, Inc. is a leading sales, service, engineering, re-manufacturing and support organization for high-tech computer based equipment. Quest International maintains ISO 9001:2008 Registration, the international standard for excellence in quality and service.

George Rigas (Matrox Graphics): Our relationship goes back a few years when you were mostly serving the radiology marketplace as a Totoku and NEC representative. Now Quest also offers a new line–AlphaView. How has radiology changed for Quest over the past five years?

Bill Greenblatt (Quest International): As we have seen in most high tech markets, the products keep getting more powerful, more user-friendly, and less expensive. This is certainly true in the diagnostic display environment. LCD displays have completely replaced CRTs and the differences among medical monitors' specifications have decreased markedly. Quest concentrates on bringing added value to the diagnostic monitor sale by providing pre- and post-sale support. Our mission is to work with our customers and understand their needs before specifying hardware and software.

With the AlphaView products, we are able to bring state-of-the-art performance to the market with the lowest relative cost by concentrating on the features, like self-calibration, that are truly useful. We realize that these monitors are professional tools and that the purchase is a business decision. We want to guarantee that our customers realize the greatest return on their investment.

The next evolutionary change is the greater use of color in diagnostic imaging. In the recent past, color monitors were decidedly inferior to grayscale in terms of visual characteristics such as luminance and contrast. We now have 2MP and 3MP color displays that provide the same luminance and contrast as grayscale displays did only one year ago. This enables new software to utilize the additional dimension of color to enhance image and improve the efficiency of the radiologist.

GR: As a long standing Matrox MED, RAD, and Aurora Series partner, what interested you the most about offering the new Matrox Xenia Series?

BG: Installation of video cards tends to be our number one source of tech support calls. Xenia is amazing—intuitively it knows just what to do. I do not recall even one call for help installing this card.

GR: In terms of monitor outputs Bill, the three-display set up seems somehow ingrained in radiology configurations. What does Xenia simplify in this configuration?

BG: Xenia does not seem to care about the monitor configuration. The driver loads easily and correctly. I wanted to duplicate our customers' experience, so I installed our first board without once referring to the manual. It was extremely intuitive and there were no problems.

At RSNA last year, we had a Xenia Pro driving an AlphaView AVC4 (4MP, color, dual link) monitor as the navigation console and two AlphaView AVC5 (5MP grayscale, single link, packed pixel) monitors on the diagnostic imaging outputs. Fourteen megapixels in a single PCIe slot! I have told our customers that if they like Aurora, they will love Xenia.

GR: What has been your experience with Xenia so far? How do you position it for customers?

BG: Our experience has been excellent. Customers have been especially happy with the performance. I have a graphic board diagnostic program that I use to establish performance baselines on all of our display boards. Xenia measures about six times faster at 2D operations than the MED cards that we have been specifying for years. We consider Xenia to be a problem solver since it only uses a single slot and there may only be one graphic slot available in the workstation. It is also less expensive than two MED boards, or a MED and a RAD, which could be needed for a triple monitor configuration. That is certainly a plus in this economy.

GR: Is there something that Matrox Xenia does not address for you today?

BG: The first Xenia driver required a navigation console, so one was forced into certain configurations. The latest driver fixes that and one can drive one, two, or three monitors from any output. I cannot think of any features that have not been incorporated.

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

BG: The latest AlphaView and Totoku color monitors feature luminance and contrast ratios that were previously reserved for grayscale displays. Thus color displays will gain traction in the diagnostic space since they open new doors to the programmers for additional features.

Most hardware changes will be evolutionary. Better LCD panels will deliver better blacks and less off-axis gamma change. Green initiatives will lower the power consumed by the display and will soon eliminate the toxic mercury used in the CCFL backlights. We will not, however, see new technology like OLED for several years.

Many changes will involve the way diagnostic monitors are calibrated and automatically tested to assure intervention-free displays that meet the recommendations of AAPM-TG18. Much like today's automobiles which continuously measure and control the combustion process to minimize emissions, our next generation of monitors will perform testing and calibration in the background.

Our AlphaView and Totoku diagnostic monitors have demonstrated extremely high reliability and stability. In fact, AlphaView was the first LCD brand with a 5-year warranty across the entire line. This has now become the norm among the major suppliers.

About Quest International, Inc.

Established in 1982 and ISO 9001:2008 Registered, Quest International, Inc. sells and repairs all manufacturers' medical imaging peripherals including, LCDs, CRTs, VCRs, printers and workstations. Quest is the North American, Master Distributor and Authorized Repair Center for Totoku medical displays, AlphaView LCD® medical displays and a Value-Added Reseller of the full-line of NEC medical and large-screen displays.

Quest is a leading provider of in and out-of-warranty service of IT infrastructure hardware/software from all industry-leading OEMs. As specialists in IT Infrastructure Support Services, Quest is dedicated to providing vendor neutral product and service support of business IT Infrastructures in any environment. Through on-site, depot and remote service offerings, Quest is able to provide enterprise-wide service for daily computing environments, to mission-critical datacenter and storage facilities. Quest is an Authorized HP Partner for the full-line of Hewlett Packard computing solutions and an Authorized Reseller of Qualstar Automated Tape Libraries and Nexsan Disk Storage Systems.

For more information, visit Quest International or call Bill Greenblatt directly at (800) 231-6777 extension 61.

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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