CoActiv announces a new digital workflow initiative focusing on women’s imaging and women’s health centers offering full field digital mammography (FFDM) and related imaging exams. With the goal of providing sophisticated, but easy and cost-effective digital image management and storage, CoActiv will introduce into this specialized market its unique, new managed image archiving solution with fully automated prior exam recall.

For sites without a PACS, the new solution delivers a dramatic workflow enhancement by eliminating the need for time-consuming prior exam pre-fetching. For all imaging sites, including those with a PACS, the solution offers CoActiv’s sophisticated, scalable and secure EXAM-VAULT Quad-Redundant storage, updated with a range of new FFDM workflow features.

“Often after converting to FFDM, women’s health centers do not immediately purchase a PACS, because they do not have the overall imaging volume to justify the cost. Some centers may already have a PACS in place that does not support digital mammography and are not yet ready to make an upgrade to a more costly, advanced system purchase,” explains Ed Heere, president and CEO of CoActiv. “In some cases, centers may find they can function satisfactorily by reading exams on the acquisition station. However, eventually centers will be grappling with the issue of how to store large FFDM image sizes and efficiently recall prior exams.”

CoActiv’s new EXAM-VAULT digital image management solution with automatic prior prefetching provides a high-performance and cost-effective answer. “The time spent pre-fetching digital priors stored on the FFDM device itself, on makeshift, temporary archives, or on other offsite archiving systems can be enormous,” Heere commented. “Our new solution includes several years’ worth of onsite mammography storage seamlessly connected with our offsite QUAD-REDUNDANT ARCHIVE system. All data is archived in a total of four geographically distant locations for ultra-secure disaster protection and business continuity.”

As new exams are acquired at a CoActiv FFDM site, they will trigger a DICOM-based prefetching of all relevant prior exams stored in the CoActiv archive, whether onsite of offsite, for auto-transmission to all mammography workstations. Radiologists are then immediately presented with all current and prior studies. New and prior breast ultrasound and MRI exams can be similarly auto-routed either to workstations as required. Eliminating the need to install a PACS represents a significant savings to a medical facility that has recently purchased a costly FFDM system. Moreover, CoActiv’s reasonably priced pay-asyou- go fee structure also eliminates capital expenses for an image storage system. Later, users of the new CoActiv EXAM-VAULT archiving solution with prior exam recall can easily and cost-effectively upgrade to a full CoActiv EXAM-PACS. “However, many sites will find they can manage FFDM workflow simply using our archiving system and need not do so,” said Heere.