Walking the floor of ToxExpo this week, I came across a Barco medical display monitor at the SlidePath booth. The monitor was the Coronis Fusion model, a 6 MegaPixel wide-screen diagnostic color display. This monitor has some impressive features including:
- Ambient Light Compensation (ALC): A technology which continuously measures the amount of ambient light in the room where a display is being used. If the ambient light level rises or falls, the light output (i.e. luminance) of the display in question will be adjusted accordingly.
- Diagnostic Luminance (DL): A backlight technology capable of generating a DICOM-calibrated brightness of 800 cd/m². As a result, color, grayscale and fused modalities can all be read with diagnostic quality on the same display system.
- i-Guard: A tiny embedded photometer positioned at the front of the LCD screen. It has become the industry standard technology for monitoring the image quality and DICOM-consistency of diagnostic displays.
- Uniform Luminance Technology (ULT): This technology reduces luminance non-uniformities and color non-uniformities which typically exist between the center and the corners of an LCD screen. ULT reduces these non-uniformities and makes sure that the display is compliant with DICOM GSDF across the entire screen area.
- IPS-Pro: An advanced LCD technology that substantially improves viewing angle, brightness, contrast, black levels and switching speed.
In addition, Barco medical imaging displays come with MediCal QAWeb. A software package that provides surveillance of all the Barco monitors. QA Web can:
- Notify administrators of quality issues including changes to DICOM compliance
- Provide asset management
- Remotely preform intervention free calibration
- Generate a performance report
It seems logical that diagnostic displays will have a place in digital pathology, however the size, specifications and requirements will likely change. For example, diagnostic displays for mammography must have 510(k) approval and mandate a display standard of at least 5 MegaPixels. Will digital pathology diagnostic displays require FDA approval? The topic of monitors was briefly discussed at the FDA advisory panel meeting in October. Also, the Diagnostic Intelligence and Health Information Technology (DIHIT), a department of CAP STS, issued information last fall on a prototype of a pathology diagnostic workstation, which was supported by many digital pathology solution providers. In addition, many vendors are starting to market and sell similar solutions to the pathology diagnostic workstation, like Bioimagene’s Crescendo which includes a Barco monitor. Aperio and Olympus are compatible with Barco monitors and will be displaying their digital pathology solutions on them at USCAP in a few weeks. Lastly, we can only hope that costs on diagnostics displays will start to decrease. Currently, the 6 MP Coronis Fusion lists for $17,500 USD.