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Emageon Integrates Real-Time 3D Medical Imaging Without the Use of Non-Standard Hardware or Software

New high-end imaging graphic cards with OpenGL support; move welcomed by medical display industry

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Emageon Inc. (Nasdaq: EMAG), a leading provider of enterprise visual medical systems to hospitals and healthcare networks, announced enhancements to its advanced visualization software allowing radiologists and treating physicians to better use volume rendering and 3D navigation in one native, integrated, open- standards package. This improvement means physicians can utilize both 2D and 3D tools without having to resort to third-party software and proprietary hardware to analyze medical images - offering time-savings and increased productivity.

"We are excited about delivering this new enhancement, which provides high quality, real-time 3D medical images using off-the-shelf, OpenGL graphics cards. These new cards are powerful enough to support volume rendering and ray tracing, which is a more accurate algorithm than most other 3D workstations use today," said Mark Gehring, Emageon's Chief Technical Officer. "This feature integrates directly with our existing workflow and eliminates the need for single-task 3D workstations." Neal Templeton, M.D., Emageon's Medical Director added, "This technique produces highly realistic and detailed images of internal anatomic structures, allowing physicians to speed up diagnosis and treatment. This new application of advanced visualization is an excellent way for physicians to productively deal with ever increasing amounts and complexity of image data."

Volume rendering is computationally expensive, leading most vendors to use approximations that reduce computation time. While these short-cut methods produce clinically usable images, they produce artifacts and spatial inaccuracies that are visible in the final image. Emageon uses ray tracing, a more complex and accurate algorithm following the actual path for each pixel in the image. Standards-based graphics cards developed for the computer gaming industry are powerful and programmable enough to perform this type of volume rendering.

Many vendors in the high-end medical monitor industry have expressed their happiness with this enhancement.

"Matrox and Emageon engineering teams continue to collaborate extensively to enhance accelerated OpenGL solutions across multiple displays," said George Rigas, Business Development Manager for Matrox Graphics' Medical Imaging Solutions. "We can serve the customers' expanding needs using any combination of Matrox medical imaging boards within a given PC. Such platforms advance the state of the art in medical imaging and enable new patient assessing techniques to be deployed with pristine image quality, accuracy and reliability."

"Emageon is driving the PACS community forward with this move to encapsulate both 2D grayscale imaging and 3D volume rendering in one product suite," said Harley Firth, Business Development Manager for Richardson Electronics. "We were excited by the prospect of collaborating on the development of this product and look forward to meeting Emageon's continued demands for advanced medical imaging workstation solutions."

"Siemens Display Technologies was an early adopter of open-standards visualization technology and has worked closely with Emageon to bring these dramatic results to market," said Reinhard Braeuer, Director of Sales for Siemens Display Technologies. "We are pleased that Emageon and Siemens Display Technologies continue working together to innovate in a highly competitive environment."

"Working with Emageon has allowed us to accelerate our open architecture programs and deliver a powerful radiology display system for our customers," said Patrick Herguth, VP and GM of Planar's Medical Business Unit. "This solution will allow radiologists and clinicians to use the same workstation for both high resolution gray scale imaging and 3D visualization software. Planar will continue to optimize display architecture to take advantage of the powerful open standards emerging in display technologies."

About Emageon Inc.

Emageon provides an enterprise-level advanced visualization and infrastructure solution for the clinical analysis and management of digital medical images and related content within multi-hospital networks, community hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers. Emageon's web-enabled software provides physicians in multiple medical specialties with dynamic tools to manipulate and analyze images in two and three dimensions. With these tools physicians have the ability to better understand internal anatomic structure and pathology, which can improve clinical diagnoses, disease screening and therapy planning. Emageon's open standards-based solution is designed to help customers improve staff productivity, automate complex medical imaging workflow, lower total cost of ownership and provide better service to physicians and patients. For more information, please visit .

SOURCE: Emageon Inc.

CONTACT: Bill Funderburk of Emageon Inc., +1-205-980-7542, or

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