Vendors tout their success in 3D workstation face-off

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It didn’t take long for workstation vendors to send out press releases highlighting their product’s success following the 3D workstation face-off at Stanford University’s 10th Annual Symposium on Multidetector-Row CT held in Las Vegas earlier this month. 

While it is only natural for each vendor to tout its own success, everyone at the face-off—vendor and physician alike—is a winner because the competition fosters innovation.

“This is nothing but good for our industry as it forces us to rise to new challenges,” said Robert Taylor, PhD, president and chief operating officer of TeraRecon,.

Each year, as part of the Stanford symposium, a CT workstation challenge from participating vendors process the same CT datasets to showcase the product’s capabilities. The challenge’s primary objective is to view and compare how each major workstation, or thin-client, can be used for visualization and analysis of volumetric MDCT data. This year’s workstation and thin-client face-off featured cases from virtual colonoscopy to cardiac, lung nodule analysis and emergency studies on brain perfusion and carotid artery CTA.

TeraRecon, which showcased its Aquarius iNtuition system, stated that “all tasks were completed with high accuracy, blazingly fast performance, workflow optimization and time to spare.”

For the first time, the company showed an advanced “fully integrated cardiac workflow enabling multi-phase coronary analysis and ejection fraction calculation all within the same user interface, unlike solutions that require the data to be reloaded into a different tool, for each analysis.”

Tony DeFrance, MD, medical director of the CVCTA Education Center in San Francisco, said the ViTAL solution from Vital Images “automatically segmented the three major coronary arteries in all ten cardiac phases—unlike any other vendor—in a very complex clinical case.”

DeFrance, a cardiologist, added that the “advanced clinical functionality and workflow efficiency is crucial for diagnosis in a busy clinical practice.”

Claudio Smuclovisky, MD, director of South Florida Medical Imaging Cardiovascular Institute, said the Philips Healthcare workstation enabled him to complete all the case studies, with time to spare.

“Of all the vendors, Philips was the fastest,” Smuclovisky said. “I found the navigation of the data sets to be quick and easy, particularly with zero-click automated features that allowed for fast post-processing.”

Carestream Health stated that its PACS workstation, “flawlessly completed all clinical imaging exams within the allotted timeframe.” The workstation’s on-board 3D tools offer “significant convenience, efficiency and cost savings, since they eliminate the need for a separate 3D workstation,” the company said.

Jennifer A. Hill, MD, CEO of Renaissance Imaging Medical Associates in Los Angeles, who manned the workstation for Carestream, said, “The workstation has all the necessary tools for diagnosis, so I don't need to go to a special workstation to access 3D or other advanced tools.”

Siemens proclaimed the company’s syngo portfolio of applications “hit the jackpot with face-off performance.” Siemens further stated that syngo WebSpace, its thin-client technology, offers a “cost-effective solution for fast image distribution and high availability, and routine to advanced clinical postprocessing.”

While Visage Imaging said its CS Thin Client/Server enterprise visualization solution combines features of advanced visualization and PACS in a single, fully integrated platform.

“In contrast to other products shown at the face-off, our solution fully scales across the entire enterprise—and makes it unnecessary to invest in and maintain a patchwork of archives and specialized workstations,” said Marcelo Lima, president of Visage.

As with the previous five workstation face-offs, this sixth one challenged providers of advanced 3D image processing technologies to demonstrate that their product is user-friendly, sophisticated and able to operate under emergent circumstances without compromise on performance or functionality.