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Plugin Turns Netscape Browser into a Medical Imaging Workstation


At the Radiological Society of North America, 82nd Annual Assembly, Medweb Inc. announced the availability of its new wavelet Radiology Workstation Plugin for Netscape Navigator 3.0, obviating the need for expensive proprietary workstations.

The Medweb Radiology Workstation Plugin, when installed with Netscape Navigator, turns the popular Web browser into a medical imaging workstation. With identical functionality across all computing platforms the new plugin is a self-contained turnkey teleradiology system as well as a toolkit for integrating hospital-wide clinical intranets.

Available now for Windows95, WindowsNT, Macintosh, Solaris 2.4, Solaris 2.5 and Linux 2.0, a universal license of Medweb Radiology Workstation Plugin is free to all Medwe) Server users, making it possible to set up unlimited numbers of browser-based workstations for less than the cost of a single standard DICOM workstation (typically a minimum cost of US$50,000).

The Medweb Server is conformant with the DICOM standard and includes state-of-the-art wavelet compression capabilities. An online demonstration of the Medweb Radiology Workstation Plugin will be available next week on the World Wide Web . Convention attendees can see a demonstration of the Medweb Radiology Workstation Plugin in person at Booth No. 8015 in the InfoRAD section of the show.

Written in Java and C++, the Medweb Radiology Workstation Plugin includes a number of real-time image viewing and manipulation tools such as Window, Cine, Pan, Flip, Invert, Group By Series, Level, Zoom, Scroll, Rotate, Save As JPEG, and Group By Echo, to make it easy for radiologists, attending physicians and other medical professionals to collaborate on patient care at any time, any place -- even from home.

Cutting-edge Wavelet Compression

The Medweb Radiology Workstation Plugin also gives Netscape Navigator 3.0 the ability to handle wavelet compressed images, requiring approximately one-tenth the size of a comparable JPEG image or one-thirtieth the size of an original DICOM file. The Medweb Radiology Workstation Plugin's wavelet compression makes it possible to store a significantly higher volume of images on any given server and transmit those images much faster, while still retaining outstanding image quality. By using wavelet compression, doctors and specialists can retrieve images 10 X faster than they were doing using JPEG compression over multipurpose ethernets or conventional phone lines using a Netscape Navigator 3.0 browser with the plugin installed.

"The Medweb Server and workstation plugin provide a cost-effective, easily managed system of delivering images to the 96% of medical professionals who practice medicine outside of the radiology suite. It finally provides a tenable solution to image distribution in a filmless environment," said Peter Killcommons, M.D., president of Medweb.

Plugin Extends Medweb Server

In addition to radiology imaging, the Medweb Server can be used as a general clinical telemedicine server to distribute pathology and general physical exam images.

"This will allow us to save money, reach our doctors where they work, and allow them to discuss cases via the workstation as opposed to the telephone," said Dr. Mark Hansen of Honolulu. "What we can do now is look at the same image together, mark it up, and have, in effect, an interactive videoteleconference within our institution and in our far-flung clinics and community hospitals all over the Pacific Basin. It's dramatically enhanced over anything we currently have."

The Medweb Plugin, when used in conjunction with Medweb's new PACS-ROAMER -- an extremely small, light video frame grabber -- allows users to transfer images quickly and easily from non-DICOM ultrasounds, CR machines and high resolution video display system. The Medweb PACS-ROAMER works both with conventional film printers and high resolution desktop image printers. The Medweb PACS-ROAMER can also be combined with the Medweb DICOM Print Spooler to DICOM-enable existing film printers from Kodak, 3M and other vendors.


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