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Laser imaging systems which produces high-resolution multi-format films directly from diagnostic radiology procedures image data. The hard copy that these imagers produce is for diagnostic purposes, instead of using an onscreen electronic image. Most laser imagers use standard wet film processing for developing laser-sensitive film, some use special dry-processing methods. These devices include a laser source, controlling computer, optional film processor, and interface to imaging system or host computer.
1. Laser Imagers can be divided into wet and dry processing categories, and then further divided into system throughput, depending on a facility's demand.
2. The dry processing laser printer units eliminate the facility's pollution concerns and the need to process chemicals, and therefore are advantageous over wet-processing systems. Some other benefits include: less maintenance costs - such as darkroom ventilation, chemical storage, and additional plumbing, electricity, and drainage. Also, dry processing laser printing systems can be strategically placed almost anywhere in a facility because of their compact nature. 3. A dry processing laser imaging system may be a cost-effective solution for a facility that is upgrading or purchasing new equipment. Facilities that are already using wet processing equipment usually stick with it; the film is well produced, the conversion from one system to another can be too costly, and the radiologists are comfortable with the stability of developing by wet processing systems.
4. Laser imagers of all categories should have eight input ports, pixel matrix size should be 4000 Ã— 5000 for high and low throughput imagers and 2000 Ã— 2500 for small format imagers.
5. All laser printers should be able to record about 4,000 shades of gray. 6. In nuclear medicine departments, the dry small format laser imager is most commonly used.
7. Facilities must first determine the necessary throughput of the system based on the current patient load. They should also make sure that the laser printer's system's memory and throughput can handle the number of imaging devices that will be connected to it.
8. Low-throughput laser imagers should average 60 films/hour, while high throughput imagers should average 120 films/hour, while low-throughput laser printers should average 60 films/hour.
9. For high-throughput laser imagers, the average print time should be about 20 seconds/film, and about 60 seconds/film for low-throughput imagers.
10. Dry small format laser imagers, used specifically for NM and ultrasound, average the same throughput as low throughput imagers. They need a smaller film size than high and low throughput imagers, using 20 Ã— 25 cm films.
11. For all laser imagers, local hard-drive storage is recommended. In order to accommodate various images, imagers should have multiple formats.
12. Users need to follow calibration procedures recommended by the manufacturer for acceptable long-term performance.
13. All units should offer remote diagnostics. To increase system compatibility, DICOM interface options are recommended.
14. ACR/NEMA DICOM 3.0 is a standard that ensures data exchange among laser imaging devices, regardless of the brand or image format used. The purpose of this standard is that several devices meeting the standard could be organized into a system that communicates without customized interfaces.
15. Facilities may find a DICOM compliant system more compatible with existing laser printing equipment, especially DICOM gray scale conformance.
Before you purchase your Laser Imager, we recommend you ask the seller the following questions:
Software installed? (Name + Version)