The Radiological Society of North America's (RNSA's) annual meeting is big—really big. This multinational show has exhibits from around the world and some of the big players have just incredible space. Walking through Siemens' and Fuji Film's creations makes you feel like you are in a small city.
There is activity everywhere. Some demonstrators take the approach of periodic stage presentations. These exhibitors draw in passersby to fill seats for formal presentations. Most of the presenters appear to take a more casual approach with small armies of sales personnel ready to provide personalized guided tours. While the grand presentations tout greater precision, higher resolution, and suggest better patient outcomes, innovation can very much be found in some of the smaller corners of the show.
Anatoimage is one of the more unique exhibitors with a very engaging product on display called the Anatoimage Table. The table itself is a life-size virtual autopsy system. The system uses dual touch-screen displays horizontally mounted to form a single table. The unit has a built-in cadaver rendered using holy detailed volumetric data. Rather than being a gray color from preservative, the organs exhibit a more realistic coloration similar to living tissue. The various tools provided the user allow virtual dissection of the digital cadaver. Interestingly, as the organs are volumetrically rendered, they retain their shape allowing the user to see how the organ might look during surgical procedures with a live patient. This is definitely worth a stop when you are making the rounds on the floor.
For those of us who work on the imaging side of the industry, several manufacturers of anatomical phantoms have some nice displays. If your company is planning to develop real-time patient tracking, some of the analogs have simulated movement such as a beating heart.
With the hive of activity, patience and persistence will allow you to speak directly with the presenters. Make sure to spend a little time investigating the periphery as there are some gems to see!
Andrew Dallas, an editorial advisory board member, frequent contributor, and president and CTO of Full Spectrum Software is representing MD+DI at RNSA. Check back frequently to get his take on this important event.