Any medical image viewer such as a PACS, Advanced Visualization Viewer or Universal Viewer can be enhanced by technology from Blackford Analysis to provide clinicians with a range of features that can be used to accelerate comparison of images.
Our products include:
Automatic alignment of current, prior and complementary imaging exams
One-click navigation to the same location across exams
Removes manual slice synchronization between exams
Compare studies with like-for-like, side-by-side views
Fuse images from the same or different imaging modalities
Navigating between multiple cross-sectional examinations is challenging. Finding the same location to compare usually involve several mouse clicks and scrolling manually through hundreds or thousands of slices to find the same location to compare.
With Blackford MatchedCrosshairs in your image viewer you simply click once on a location in any scan to instantly find the same location in multiple scans from different timepoints and/or different modalities (CT, MRI or PET).
For example, lung nodules, a common finding in chest CT exams, are routinely followed by serial chest CT where individual nodules are assessed for malignant change. Manually matching nodule location across exams is burdensome due to differences in pulmonary anatomy caused by variance in patient positioning and breath hold.
Image viewers equipped with Blackford MatchedCrosshairs significantly reduce lung nodule location matching time when compared with conventional manual slice synchronization. Preliminary research shows that automatic deformable alignment can reduce location matching time by more than 50% compared to manual slice synchronization.
Comparing exams when the planes of acquisition are different, or where the patient’s position has changed, often requires extensive manual view adjustment.
Image viewers equipped with Blackford MatchedView automatically compensate for changes in patient position and acquisition planes between scans, automatically presenting views of compared exams in the same position and plane, enabling like-for-like comparison.
For example, patients with endovascular aneurysm repair are routinely followed-up with annual multiphasic CTA to assess change in aneurysm sac size and morphology, and detect and characterize endoleak, graft migration, fractures and kinking. A small increase in sac size indicates endoleak, but reproducing surveillance measurements at the same locations can be challenging, particularly when vascular anatomy is tortuous or the aneurysm sac is irregular in shape or size.
An image viewer integrated with Blackford MatchedView provides automatic simultaneous side-by-side, like-for-like presentation of MPRs across exams and contrast phases. Compared MPRs are displayed with matching planes, displayed field of view and thickness, allowing reproducible measurements, rapid appreciation of change in aneurysm size and morphology, and determination of graft migration using the same anatomical landmarks.
Many viewers can automatically synchronize slice location between series of images in the same exam, but slices must be synchronized manually by the user when comparing exams to see the same anatomy as you scroll.
Viewers integrating Blackford AutoSync perform slice synchronization across exams automatically, regardless of differences in acquisition protocol and patient positioning, so that you can start reading immediately when compared exams are displayed.
For example, the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis by McDonald criteria requires demonstration of the dissemination of demyelinated lesions in both space and time. Dissemination can be confirmed with serial MR head studies where the radiologist must identify new T2 lesions, and enhancing and non-enhancing T1 lesions.
Using Blackford AutoSync, synchronized scrolling of current and prior pulse sequences at the same anatomical location across exams speeds interpretation.
Functional images typically have lower resolution than anatomical images, which can make it difficult to locate the anatomical site of functional findings when viewing functional images alone.
Image viewers integrating Blackford Fusion can address this challenge by enabling accurate anatomical location of functional imaging findings by displaying fused views of exams from the same, hybrid, or complementary modalities. For example:
- T1 or T2 weighted MR with DWI
- PET with CT
- PET with MR
- PET-CT with MR
Blackford Fusion provides the benefit of being able to fuse data from complementary modalities that have different strengths. For example, in musculoskeletal applications, MR’s exquisite soft tissue detail can be combined in one view with CT’s high resolution bone images.
This product can also be used to fuse current and prior exams from the same modality, allowing the viewer to appreciate gross and subtle changes in findings in serial exams more easily in addition to seeing change across exams in a single view without saccade.