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Improving Medical Imaging Diagnoses

Thanks to AMD at Work for this story

The end of November brings Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but more importantly it brings RNSA – radiology’s annual confab in Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ve attended this show for five years, meeting with our customers and partners and learning about new developments in medical imaging. AMD collaborates with all of the leading medical imaging display vendors, with our AMD FirePro™ professional graphics cards powering high resolution displays for diagnostics across numerous specialties, including orthopedics, digital mammography, radiography, ultrasound, cardiology, surgery, clinical review and more.

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Medical imaging depends on high quality displays and graphics that help radiology professionals see more, enabling improved diagnostic abilities and patient treatment. Most of our partners offer eight and 10 megapixel displays, like this 10MP display from Barco, that make the most subtle details visible for more accurate diagnosis.

One of the hot topics at this year’s show was Tomosynthesis and its role as a diagnostic tool, with several companies announcing and demonstrating new solutions. Barco, a global technology company designing and developing visualization solutions and leader in medical imaging, demonstrated its breast tomosynthesis solution. Used as a complement to 2D digital mammography, tomosynthesis offers multi-frame 3D views of the breast, similar to the slices an MRI offers. These slices provide detailed insight into breast tissue, helping to improve lesion visibility and cancer detection and reduce patient recall rates. Barco’s Mammo Tomosynthesis five megapixel display system, shown below, is driven by its MXRT-7400 display controller, based on the ATI FirePro™ V7800 professional graphics. The combined solution is designed for image delivery without motion blur, increasing correct diagnoses and swift workflows, and pixel-perfect images offering clearer visibility of differences in tissue density.

AMD professional graphics has been an exclusive Barco medical imaging technology partner for almost a decade, and all of Barco’s RSNA demos were powered by AMD professional graphics cards. AMD and Barco are working together to help address customer mandates, whether it be prolonging the life of older technology or undertaking a redesign of existing graphics cards in response to customer requests. Bottom line – we are committed to providing the best visual experience possible for the radiological community.

Another interesting trend at RSNA 2011 is the migration from Microsoft Windows® XP to Windows® 7. Multi-monitor workflows are old news at RSNA. For many years radiology workflows have required three displays: one to display patient information and office applications, typically a lower resolution color display, and two high resolution monochromatic (black and white) displays for reviewing patient scans (see the image below).

This set up historically required two graphics cards, one to drive patient information and a second more powerful card to drive the other two displays. With Windows 7 and AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology*, this configuration can be driven by just one AMD FirePro™ professional graphics card. In addition to saving our partners and their customers’ money, we help eliminate the hassle of maintaining and supporting two graphics cards, and enable partners to offer smaller workstation form factors that power the entire solution – helping to maximize available workspace and reduce power consumption.

At RSNA 2010, the medical imaging industry was predominantly running XP and this year we heard from nearly all of our partners that end users are actively migrating to Windows 7, allowing them to take advantage of AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology. In addition, we hear that many radiology professionals are now asking IT to configure multi-display set ups for them at home, running off of a mobile workstation. With AMD FirePro™ professional graphics, featuring AMD Eyefinity technology, these professionals can work efficiently across multiple screens at several locations at work and at home, without missing a beat. While there is an extra expense for purchasing displays for home use, radiology professionals have the added flexibility to work as needed and potentially increase the number of reviews they do each day.

This migration means significant change for the medical imaging industry but it brings significant opportunity – for improved quality of graphics, diagnostics and treatment. Let’s see what RSNA 2012 brings.

Sandeep Gupte is the general manager for Professional Graphics at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

*AMD Eyefinity technology works with applications that support non-standard aspect ratios, which is required for panning across multiple displays. To enable more than two displays, additional panels with native DisplayPort connectors, and/or DisplayPort compliant active adapters to convert your monitor’s native input to your cards DisplayPort or Mini-DisplayPort connector(s), are required.  AMD Eyefinity technology can support up to 6 displays using a single enabled AMD FirePro™ graphics card with Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating systems – the number of displays may vary by board design and you should confirm exact specifications with the applicable manufacturer before purchase.  SLS (“Single Large Surface”) functionality requires an identical display resolution on all configured displays.

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