Barco’s latest diagnostic imaging system combines state-of-the-art display technology with unrivalled ergonomics to provide radiologists with the means to cope with increasing patient volumes quickly, accurately and in comfort.

"There’s never been a more critical need for improving the ergonomics of the radiology reading room. Volume and complexity are at an all-time high," said Eliot Siegel, MD, a diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine professor and vice-chairman of informatics at the University of Maryland, at the RSNA annual meeting two years ago. Visualisation expert Barco understands the challenges in healthcare imaging like no one else and is committed to tackling these with a diagnostic display that will change the radiology reading room forever.

Increasing case volumes, expansion of clinical applications for advanced imaging and defensive medical practices are just a few of the causes that result in a growing and increasingly complex workload for radiologists. Add to this mounting pressure to boost productivity in a climate of declining reimbursements for diagnostic services, and radiologists are embarking on a collision course with severe occupational stress.

A good read

The most important issues in imaging were brought to light when healthcare research agency The MarkeTech Group revealed the results of a recent survey. As indicated by the radiologists themselves, improved picture quality (91%), a more efficient workflow (77%) and better display ergonomics (70%) were believed to help overcome some of their biggest challenges.

Needless to say, precise images are of paramount importance when making accurate diagnoses. Display brightness, contrast, colour/greyscale accuracy and luminance stability are all important factors in achieving the best possible results. Reading dozens of studies per day in an environment with low levels of ambient light, however, can cause radiologists to experience eye fatigue, which is why display ergonomics are an equally vital component of productive reading sessions.

The more, the merrier?

Another major cause of discomfort is neck strain resulting from the frequent head movement when viewing images on multiple screens. Today, the vast majority of radiologists have three displays or more on their workstation. Unsurprisingly, no fewer than 87% report physical discomfort, such as neck strain and back pain, when reading images. Clearly, any attempt to consolidate the diagnostic display footprint would make reading more comfortable.

Display consolidation can also streamline workflow in today’s hospitals and radiology practices. Typically, PACS and breast imaging workstations are deployed throughout the hospital in various locations, requiring radiologists to visit different displays to obtain all of the images necessary to complete their study. Even when displays are located in the same room, it can be disruptive to move between stations to view images.

Considering the factors inherent in the job that compromise radiologists’ ability to work comfortably and efficiently, there is a dire need to improve the ergonomics of displays and the overall reading environment. This understanding led to the development of Barco’s brand-new diagnostic system.

One display for any image

The Coronis Uniti™ is a universal diagnostic colour display designed for PACS and breast imaging – an industry first. It brings together all patient images (breast and PACS, greyscale and colour, static and dynamic, 2D and 3D) on a single screen in order to guarantee the best possible diagnosis and increase overall productivity.

It eliminates the need for a multihead (and less ergonomic) display setup, or the need to move to other workstations to view additional exams. This approach is also reflected in some very inventive features, such as ambient task and wall lighting, and a 33in screen that has been designed to mirror a human’s natural field of vision.

Barco’s new technology might be the answer to the growing challenges faced by radiologists in fulfilling the diagnostic imaging demands of increasingly busy practices, helping them to enjoy a giant leap forward in performance and reading comfort.