Friday, October 31, 2008

Endings

I have been characteristically vocal on the Off-Topic forum of Aunt Minnie concerning the upcoming election. I have run up against a fellow nicknamed OutpatientRadRules, a fellow Jew (although nonpracticing) who is rabidly in favor of Mr. Obama becoming President of the United States. ORR's posts took on an increasingly shrill bent:
Funny thing Dalai ---you keep trying to change my vote--I already voted on October 16th---early voting.....Love it! I would appoint Palin for undersecretary of the artic...I think she can see parts of the artic from her living room window! Why is it that die hard consevatives think a vote for a democrat is somehow unpatriotic or unamerican. You sir don't know what democracy is nor do you have any conecpt of what a governemnt is for! As for Israel...have you been there for more than a business trip? Has your family bled and died in '48 or '67--if not then respectfully shut the F up!.....What you know about Israel would then be in my judgement nothing worth the fuzz in between your toes. I served on a kibbutz for a full summer working alongside the Israeli Army, I served guard duty with a gun defending myself and friends so I think I have alot more personal insight to the whole mideast situation than you...I also count palestinians both in and out of Israel my close friends. So don't give me the standard American conservative rant from soemone who sends a check to AIPAC and thinks he supports Israel any more than a fellow colleague with a differnce of opinion. I am fine with Obama and willing to see what happens . . . Israel will not sink into the sea.
In another thread, he even got rather personal, deriding me for my "paunch" as seen in the photo with Robin Williams. Sometimes, enough is enough. I posted the following response:

There are beginnings, and there are endings. This will be the last answer I post to you, Outpatient. Your responses have become increasingly erratic and angry, and even personal. I get enough chiding about my midsection from my wife, thanks. How does that contribute to our discussion to point out my excess poundage? Sadly, I think further discourse with you serves no purpose.

Here are some final musings for you....

I actually do respect you for a number of things. I am proud of you for voting. This is the number one duty of a citizen of a democracy, and yes, I do understand what that means, thank you. My request to you, and to everyone here, is to simply think long and hard before casting that vote. I will assume you did so. I respect you for identifying with the Jewish people, if not our faith. As a Jewish parent, I would be devastated if my children made your choice of one and not both, but I would continue to love them, and in the end, I would have to respect their decision. I respect your service on the Kibbutz, something many other Jewish teens have experienced. I did not have that opportunity, but I hope my children will someday. I have some friends from Syria, though none who are Palestinian. I have no relatives that I know of who fought in any of the Israeli wars. However, about half of my family left Eastern Europe in the early part of the 20th Century and came to America, and the other half perished in the terror of the Holocaust. My outlook is therefore not quite the "standard American Conservative rant". That racial memory, if you will, probably colors my thinking more than any other factor. Clearly, otherwise-rational people can be made to do some very irrational things in the right settings, with the right prompting, and under the influence of the right demagogue.

I have a problem with hero-worship, and voting in lock-step with a particular group, and this is what troubles me most about your innumerable pro-Obama posts. Let me digress. A few years ago, I got into trouble on a website supporting the old Palm Treo 650, one of the first smart-phones. It was introduced with several serious flaws, it crashed, it didn't do much of what it was supposed to do. It did have a much nicer screen than its predecessors, and the blind praise flooded in based on the screen, but ignoring every other problem. I played the "Emperor's New Clothes" game, and pointed out the flaws in this device, and I was soundly trounced by those who only saw what they wanted to see. I think ultimately I was proven correct, although not all would agree. You, too, are seeing only the "pretty screen," Mr. Obama's fine presentation, but choose to ignore what lies beneath. The lavish praise you have heaped upon him is not deserved. Like many members of our tribe, you vote Democratic, assuming with a 50-year-old tradition that they have the best interests of Jews, and Israel, at heart, even when presented with evidence to the contrary. I truly and honestly feel that Mr. Obama is not the best choice for Israel, or for our people. At the very least, there are significant questions about his support for Israel, and for the Palestinian cause, which have not been and will not be answered. We Jews have turned a blind eye to the increasing anti-Semitism manifested by the Left, sometimes blatant, and sometimes masked as anti-Zionism, and we are doing so yet again in this race. What I asked you to do is simply weigh all the evidence, and not march blindly into the voting booth hell-bent on bringing Mr. Obama to power. I can't, and I wouldn't consider controlling your vote. That is yours, it is precious, and it is your right and obligation as a citizen of this nation to vote your conscience.

That's all I have to say about that. I do wish you well in your future endeavours, ORR.


As an aside, I got an email from a non-posting AM reader:

You keep saying Obama isn't what he says he is, and I get the feeling that you are right. Sorry to trouble you, but i've never missed voting in a presidential election and i am agonizing about this. Can you offer any more insight?

I responded with a fairly benign explanation of my views, as per my earlier blog post below. I told him that I assumed he was a legitimate questioner, and not someone looking for ammunition for the AM board. The reader answered:

Yes, I am very legit. Also very confused. I am spiritual in nature but not overly religious, though my beliefs are founded in the bible. I'll stop short of saying that I believe Obama is the Anti-Christ, but the correlation is so overtly clear that it makes my skin crawl. I cannot bring myself to vote for the man. though I admit to being mezmerized when he speaks. Thank you very much, Dr. Dalai. Thank you.

Add to this the post of someone actually trying to chide me...by attributing to me a very well-written and very frightening look backward from the year 2012. This document is obviously written from a Christian perspective, and clearly beyond my meager capabilities. There is some hyperbole, but some of the scenarios ring true enough to scare me to the depths of my being:


(28) Taxes: Tax rates have gone up on personal income, dividends, capital gains, corporations, and inheritance transfers. The amount of income subject to Social Security tax has nearly doubled. The effect on the economy has been devastating. We have experienced a prolonged recession. Everybody has been hurt by this, but the poor have been hurt most of all. In dozens of cities there are just no jobs to be found. It turns out that the people President Obama called “the rich” were mostly not all that rich. They were just ordinary people who worked hard, saved, and built small businesses that provided jobs and brought economic growth. They were the people who kept inventing new and better ways to produce things and bring prices down. They were the people whose companies produced the goods and services that gave us the highest standard of living in history of world. They were the people who provided the competition that kept prices of everything so low. And the top 50% of earners were already paying 97% of income taxes collected by the U.S. government in 2006.

President Obama increased their tax burden so much that many business owners decided they didn’t want to work any harder when the government was taking so much away. “The land of the free?” Not for the most productive workers in the American economy. Just as nearly two million citizens in the decade prior to 2008 had moved out of California and New York when the Democrats had control and kept raising state taxes, many of these entrepreneurs have now moved their money, their factories, and often themselves, overseas. So many jobs have been lost that welfare rolls have swelled, and President Obama is calling for more taxes to meet the needs of those without work.

However, Obama’s tax bill still included “tax credits” for the lowest 40% of earners, who were said to “need the most help.” Since the bottom 40% were not paying any Federal income taxes in the first place, these “tax cuts” were actually a gigantic redistribution of income, a huge welfare payment, a way to “spread the wealth around,” as Obama had told “Joe the Plumber” on October 13, 2008. When critics objected that Obama’s policies were leading to inflation and unemployment, he responded that our goal should not be merely to increase America’s materialism and wealth and prosperity, but to obtain a more just distribution of wealth, even if it costs everybody a little to achieve that important goal.

.....


(25) Israel: “The home of the brave”? In mid-2010 Iran launched a nuclear bomb which exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night cabinet meeting, Israel’s Prime Minister agreed. Israel is now reduced to a much smaller country, hardly able to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain.

President Obama said that he abhorred what Iran had done and he hoped that the UN would unanimously condemn this crime against humanity. He also declared that the U.S. would be part of any international peacekeeping force if authorized by the UN, but the Muslim nations in the UN have so far prevented any UN action.

.....


Many people thought he sounded so thoughtful, so reasonable. And during the campaign, after he had won the Democratic nomination, he seemed to be moving to the center in his speeches, moving away from his earlier far-left record. No one thought he would enact such a far-left, extreme liberal agenda.

But the record was all there for anyone to see. The agenda of the ACLU, the agenda of liberal activist judges in their dissenting opinions, the agenda of the homosexual activists, the agenda of the environmental activists, the agenda of the National Education Association, the agenda of the global warming activists, the agenda of the abortion rights activists, the agenda of the gun control activists, the agenda of the euthanasia supporters, the agenda of the one-world government pacifists, the agenda of far-left groups in Canada and Europe – all of these agendas were there in plain sight, and all of these groups provided huge support for Senator Obama. The liberal agenda was all there. But too many people just didn’t want to see it.

Christians didn’t take time to find out who Barack Obama was when they voted for him. Why did they risk our nation’s future on him? It was a mistake that changed the course of history.

Let's hope this isn't prophetic. Let's hope we don't have to find out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politics and PACS

This post represents a shameless theft of an idea from Mike Cannavo, the One and Only PACSMan. However, I'm going to massage it and make it my own.

I have been bantering about the upcoming election with the boys (no girls that I know of) on AuntMinnie.com's Off Topic Forum, for months and months. I had resolved not to bring that discussion to the blog, but frankly, this seems the right time to flip-flop and go ahead with such a post.

As we stand today, one week from the election, Mr. Obama is leading Mr. McCain in the polls. The nation seems intent on believing in Mr. Obama and his mantra of CHANGE, without really delving into just what that means. In many ways, this parallels some of my observations over the years about purchasing PACS.

I have sparred with and against a lot of the guys on AuntMinnie, as well as various PACS companies, PACS administrators, and rads, for a number of years on the board. Believe it or not, I have a lot of respect both my friends and my adversaries in that venue.

I am dismayed at the faith in, and near-worship of, Mr. Obama, just as I worry about the unwarranted confidence placed in some PACS companies. In both cases, these opinions may not be backed up by experience, personal, or on behalf of the candidate. We know very little about Mr. Obama, and we know very little about what he wants. But from every shred of evidence that comes to light, Mr. Obama is in his heart a radical leftist, possibly a socialist, who has learned to hide his leanings behind eloquent speeches and flowery CHANGE and FAIRNESS rhetoric. There are enough hints out there as to what he is all about to make us quite wary. At the very least, there are significant questions that have not been answered beyond Mr. Biden's unsubstantiated denials and subsequent exile of the questioner. Every time Mr. Biden (or Mr. Obama) slips or something new comes to light, it is either suppressed, or the messenger is shot (so far, only figuratively). Mr. Obama has declared his desire for "redistribution of wealth" to Joe the Plumber, and recently unearthed audio tapes show that he was disappointed in the court system for not accomplishing this shift. Mr. Obama is not the man he would like you to think he is. His goals are not in line with mine, and probably not with yours. The "redistribution of wealth" thing is a clue. Consider as well Mr. Obama's statement about selection of jurists: "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges." Translated, the courts should take the side of the plaintiff, especially if they happen to be a minority, and be against "Big Business".

You can call it "hyperbole", you can call it "drama", you can call it "neocon-Zionist rhetoric", but an Obama presidency has the potential to change this nation into something entirely foreign to what we now know and love. THIS POSSIBILITY EXISTS, and laughing about it or denying it doesn't make it go away.

There is a (very) loose parallel between the suspension of rationality concerning Mr. Obama's true motivations and the blind faith many have in some PACS companies. We are told that they have our best interests at heart, that they will CHANGE your enterprise for the better, when in some instances they deliver a reskinned version of the same GUI that didn't work well in the first place. The beautiful display, like eloquent prose, can be very deceiving. But those who vote on such things, who might not be the radiologists, and who might outnumber those radiologists who care, want to believe that this CHANGE is for the better, whether it is or not. They want to hunker down in the belief that LARGE PACS will take care of them, and be the safe choice. Sound familiar?

Politically, we have got to get beyond the Bush presidency. It was a disaster in many ways, but it's almost over. I voted for Mr. Bush twice, and I have no regrets. The alternatives were unacceptable to me and to a lot of other people. We have to make the decision when we step in the booth, and we do the best we can at that moment. But McCain is not Bush. He will not be a perfect President, and he was not my first choice as a candidate, and nor was Mrs. Palin, but I think McCain will do a good job. He deserves your consideration. As I type this, McCain is giving a speech in Pennsylvania. He has finally, in the last weeks of the campaign, matured into a statesman. His delivery is eloquent and powerful, and his words ring true. This man is a hero, a patriot, a man who loves his nation and fought for it. If you parse his words, no hidden meaning comes to light. We cannot say the same for Mr. Obama's equally eloquent but empty speeches.

Again, the similarities to PACS are uncanny. One company might promise to take the maintenance burden off of IT, to "redistribute" the responsibility, so to speak. Another might appeal to the loyalty to a particular product line, and a third might chide the customer for that very same loyalty.

I have had bitter arguments over the years about whether or not a Windows back-end is as good as those written in UNIX or LINUX, digital bigotry, if you will. I can cite instances of someone favoring a system for this reason alone. Mr. McCain has never used the race card, he has never counted on white people to vote for him simply because he is white, and rightly so. Mr. Obama has made numerous oblique references to race, some subtle such as the "historic nature of this election" and "I don't look like those other presidents" for which he is always forgiven. It is clear that 95%+ of African-Americans will vote for him, racially-motivated or not. But somehow, that's OK. I could go on.

I still have significant questions as to why a half-term US Senator skyrocketed to this position. Has anyone ever asked why he was appointed (some would say anointed) to give the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention? As near as I can tell, he caught the eye and the ear of John Kerry during the 2004 campaign (Kerry's presidential bid, Obama's senatorial bid) with his wonderful prose. We should realize that Mr. Obama won his election after his Republican opponent, Senator Jack Ryan, became mired in a "sex scandal" and withdrew from the contest. According to the Wikipedia, "People alleged to be Barack Obama's backers emailed reporters about the divorce controversy, but refrained from on-the-record commentary about the divorce files. On March 29, 2004, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider ruled that several of the Ryans' divorce records should be opened to the public," and these records alleged that Ryan took his then wife Jeri (of Star Trek Voyager fame) to sex clubs. Mr. Kerry (and I would assume that Mrs. Heinz-Kerry, a true ultra-liberal, had something to do with this as well) decided that Mr. Obama deserved the national stage. I have to believe at some level that there are a few very wealthy, very powerful liberal folks who have decided for us that it is time for the US to have an African-American, liberal president.

Reflecting on the PACS world, this reminds us of the situation wherein the IT department (or to be fair, the occasional rogue radiologist) decides that System X is the only one that will do, and shoves it through the PACS selection process without proper due diligence on the part of everyone else. Trust me, it happens.

I could rant more, but I'll spare you. All I want to accomplish with this post is to make those of you planning to vote for Mr. Obama think about your choice one more time. I will assume your heart is in the right place, and that you want to do the right thing for your country, your family, and yourself. But please be sure you realize what it is you are voting for. What you see on the surface might not reflect what lies beneath, and what lies are beneath that surface. It's sort of like selecting PACS, except with PACS you can at least demand a web-demo. The flaws in an otherwise slickly-demonstrated GUI might become apparent upon a prolonged test. Unfortunately, our test for a President lasts four years, and there can be a lot of damage done in that time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My PACS

You don't want to know the origin of this parody, trust me. . . With apologies to Mickey Avalon....

My PACS has a great low fee
Your PACS uses Pocket PC
My PACS screen is 6MP
Your PACS won’t burn a CD

My PACS holds 10 TB
Your PACS is on a USB
My PACS is faster than lightning
Your PACS is just plain frightening

My PACS is all the rage
Your PACS should get off the stage
My PACS is so hot its melting
Your PACS is awful smelling

My PACS has a real nice GUI
Your PACS is just plain screwy
My PACS has a modern skin
Your PACS looks like the AOL Login

My PACS is supercool
Your PACS can only drool
My PACS covers half the planet
Your PACS just needs to can it

My PACS can sure do that
Your PACS just sits and gets fat
My PACS has a lot of moxy
Your PACS can only work by proxy

[Repeat 2x]
It’s time that we let the world know
Dude, you gotta let film go
My PACS is the best you’ll find
P.S. no one’s got PACS like mine!

My PACS covers every function
Your PACS needs some low grade suction
My PACS serves the enterprise
Your PACS can only theorize

My PACS has a MetroE
Your PACS just plays MP3’s
My PACS has great diagnoses
Your PACS is full of neuroses

My PACS takes 5000 slices
Your PACS just knows how to raise its prices
My PACS is pretty darn swift
Your PACS should be set adrift

My PACS has a fast workstation
Your PACS works like a third-world nation
My PACS is a fine machine
Your PACS needs a shot of caffeine

My PACS can conquer the ocean
Your PACS runs on raw emotion
My PACS never gets in trouble
Your PACS couldn’t see with the Hubble

My PACS is transendental
Your PACS has just gone mental
My PACS is a thundering stallion
Your PACS smells like a scallion

My PACS is nice and easy
Your PACS is pretty sleazy
My PACS is way more than good
Your PACS don’t act like it should

[Repeat 2x]
It’s time that we let the world know
Dude, you gotta let film go
My PACS is the best you’ll find
P.S. no one’s got PACS like mine!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Internet's TRUE PURPOSE Discovered!

The shocking truth about the reason d'etre of the Internet is finally exposed, courtesy of Avenue Q:



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Exploring PACS Secrets

If you've come to this blog to read about PACS, then you have almost certainly visited AuntMinnie.com as well. Mike Cannavo, the One and Only PACSMan, is about as well-known in the PACS world as Aunt Minnie herself, having been in the business longer than most PACS administrators have been alive.

In 2004, Mike wrote the first installment of "Exploring PACS Secrets," and the series continues today, with the recent publication of "Part XX: Will PACS Survive?" AuntMinnie.com has graciously packaged them all up in a .pdf file available here.

In many ways, I've taken this journey several steps behind Mike (although for a good part of it he didn't even know a thing about this jerk calling himself "Dalai",) having immersed myself in the field pretty heavily beginning in 2003. In rereading the various entries of "Secrets," I am struck first by how prophetic some of the entries have turned out to be, and second by how much more irreverent (and irascible) Mike has become over the years.

This is good reading, people, and you all need to have a look. It's almost as wonderful as Dalai's Laws of PACS! Hey, it's my blog and I can have all the shameless plugs I want!

Monday, October 20, 2008

An Evening With Mork

Every once in a while, it's nice to hang up the white coat (which I don't wear) and ignore PACS and radiology for a few hours. The other week, Robin Williams came to a nearby town. We've been fans for years, so Mrs. Dalai, Dalai, Jr., and I went to see him. For a few bucks more, we got to actually meet him, which was a great experience. Robin's show is non-stop pandemonium and hilarity, and if you get the chance to see him in person, GO! He may be 57, but he has more energy than a nuclear power plant. But be forewarned, the show isn't for the prude or the faint of heart! Fortunately, Dalai, Jr. had heard all those words before. . .

Friday, October 17, 2008

One Hundred Thousand Hits!!!!

What a milestone! From humble beginnings in a log cabin... Wait, wrong story.

Anyway, this evening at 5:51 P.M., someone from Vilnius, Lithuania became visitor 100,000. As it turns out, I have some ancestors from Lithuania, so this landmark is closer to my heart than some. Sadly for my Lithuanian friend, he (or she) was looking for something about LogMeIn, which I mention only briefly in an old post.

I've just renewed the domain "doctordalai.com" for another four years. Let's see if we can get to 1,000,000 visits by then!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time for a New PET?

Because of budget constraints, I can't even purchase my SPECT/CT, let alone replace my solid but aging PET/CT. Still, it's always exciting to see what's up and coming in the field.

It seems I should have saved my Euros and gone to the European Association of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Munich instead of the SNM in New Orleans earlier this year. Not one, but two major PET/CT upgrades were announced by both GE and Siemens.

GE (GE Healthcare of Chalfont St. Giles, U.K.) brings us the new Discovery PET/CT 600. I've taken the liberty of reproducing the introductory Flash presentation below:



If you peruse the information (and it takes a little work with this particular Flash construction) you will find a number of nice features, including a 70cm bore, and a table that accomodates patients who are gravitationally challenged at up to 500 lbs. We also have Motion Match motion management, an IBM BladeCenter for fast reconstruction, VUE Point HD lesion detectability, and even PET VCAR efficient treatment assessment, which appears to give one the ability to follow lesions on serial scans much like the MIMVista program. But it is the graphic below that I find rather interesting:


I'm not really sure what this means. I've written before about the differences between Bismuth germinate (BGO), which GE has used for a while and cerium-doped lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO), the crystal scintillator used by Siemens for the past several years. However, that article is currently off-line because it refers to some equipment that I am currently using, and I would not wish to offend anyone. The only chart I could find concerning the differences is from Siemens:



Basically, this shows that LSO gives a better response to the anhillation radiation coming out of your patient than BGO. The latter might theoretically be more sensitive, stopping more photons if you will, especially if the crystals are thicker, as the green chart seems to indicate. However, the name of the game is counts, and LSO wins hands-down. Daghighian, et. al., writing in IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science in August, 1993, agree:


A new scintillation crystal, cerium doped lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO), is discussed. It has light intensity which is 75% of NaI(Tl), scintillation decay time of 12 ns (30%) and 42 ns (70%), effective Z of 66, and density of 7.4 g/cm3. The fast decay time and scintillation light output of LSO are superior to those of bismuth germanate (BGO) for positron emission tomography (PET) and the stopping power of LSO for 511-keV photons is only slightly lower than BGO. The detection characteristics relevant to PET applications of small crystals of LSO (2×2×10 mm) are compared with those of BGO. The energy resolution at 511 keV is 12% full width half maximum (FWHM) for LSO and two to three times wider for BGO. The coincidence timing of two opposing crystals, using a position sensitive photomultiplier tube (PMT), is 1.4 ns FWHM for LSO and more than three times higher for BGO. Using a fast PMT, coincidence timing for LSO yields 0.46 ns FWHM.

Stopping power seems to be analogous to sensitivity in this setting. Why is GE still using the older and less optimal BGO? Maybe Siemens owns the patents for LSO. Now, there is another scintillator in the wings, LYSO, Cerium doped Lutetium Yttrium Orthosilicate, which is as good or better in some ways than LSO. I know GE had been toying with LYSO, but maybe it hasn't yet panned out.

But back to the green graphic. "...potentially reducing the dose requirement and allowing for faster scans and increased throughput..." Ummmm, well, maybe, but it all depends upon the reference value for comparison, doesn't it? I'm not seeing any claims about 5 minute scans here.

I have no details yet on whether the Discovery PET/CT 600 is 2D/3D, although I will assume that it is. Nothing yet on the CT component, either.

Siemens marketing division is apparently composed of '80's throw-backs, as their new ad campaign reads: "I want my mCT!" (OK, maybe you children are too young to remember the old "I want my MTV" slogan.... Just go ahead and rub it in.) It seems that their new offering is too cool to even be called a PET scanner...welcome to the world of molecular CT with the new Biograph mCT. And what else does the "m" indicate?


maximum-return-on-investment CT.
minimum-dosage CT.
more-patient-comfort CT.
meets-every-need CT.
made-for-the-future CT.

Based on the rather detailed brochure, the mCT appears to be a mating of the latest LSO high-resolution PET with the latest Siemens Definition Adaptive Spiral CT. In fact, it's more of a symbiosis than the older Biographs, as the pieces are much more integrated. This is not just a CT and a PET scanner bolted together. From HealthImaging.com:

“This system looks like a CT, feels like a CT, but it has PET embedded within it,” Markus Lusser, VP Global Marketing and Sales, Siemens Medical Solutions Molecular Imaging, told Health Imaging News. “Just by looking at it, you might think it is just CT—you cannot clearly see it has PET at first glance.”The traditional PET-CT approach is to build the PET scanner next to a CT scanner, Lusser said, with about a 6-foot long tunnel. The Biograph mCT, which has approximately a 3-foot long tunnel that is 78 cm wide, and has a 500-pound-capacity bed, is designed to accommodate a variety of patients.

The mCT can be purchased with different slice-counts, from 40 to 120 slices in CT as well as PET features that range from TrueV extended field-of-view technology to ultraHD-PET. “We are offering 128-slice CT configuration which is unmatched in the PET arena,” Lusser said, adding CT scanners dominating the PET-CT arena are mainly 16 slice.

Notice that the bore is 8cm wider than the GE 600, which might cover that last serving of Hagen Das, but the weight-limit is the same. The CT can resolve down to .24mm, although some of the literature says .33mm instead, still pretty small. And, there is attention paid to dose-limitation:

Taking comfort a step further, Biograph mCT addresses two of the foremost concerns related to scanning: scan time and radiation dose. Biograph mCT’s Adaptive Dose Shield protects the patient from unnecessary pre- and post-spiral radiation, conserving 20% dosage in routine CT exams.With its ultra-low dose capability and super-fast PET acquisition time, Biograph mCT gives you everything you need. So scanning can be less stressful for you and your patients.
By "super-fast" they mean a 5 minute PET/CT exam time. That is pretty darn fast.

I may have to get to RSNA this year after all, just to see these two new additions. Of course, it would be nice to be able to actually buy one....

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Some PACS History

David Clunie has a new post on his blog that goes deeper into PACS history. As with many things technical, the US Military spec'ed out some of the early versions, in this case giving us the ancestors of Centricity PACS. This post, and the reproduced RFP itself, is a recommended read for all involved in PACS, and might have been a good resource for various folks in the USPTO.

Has anyone else noticed the explosion of patent-infringement suits in the last few weeks in the medical imaging arena?