METRONewsNovember 2011
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Message from Metron Support Services    


Metron New Release

Hope you are all enjoying the Fall weather!


In November, we will be releasing version 6.07. 

I wanted to share with you a couple of the new enhancements:


  • We are adding 'always-on dynamic window-level' to multi-view images. 
  • DICOM print capability with Windows XP and Windows 7 32 bit only will be added.
  • The multi-image "Export" button now allows preferences to be set up that can automate saving into certain folders and assigning specific filenames.


Stay tuned for more details in the December newsletter.



John Craig
EponaTech LLC 
Support Services Highlight
Lines and Patterns in Images


Lines_Patterns Cover If you have worked with digital X-Ray you may have experienced lines and patterns in some of your images.   Though DR is susceptible to a couple of these "lines and patterns," it is In CR-based digital X-Ray that we can see several different kinds of flaws in the image and sometimes several in the same image.  The list below should help you better recognize the various types of image flaws and their origins. 

  1. Banding - vertical lines usually 5-20mm thick that are lighter or darker than the rest of the image.  With some CR scanners, manufactured like the popular AllPro ScanX, a manufacturer supplied utility is available to digitally remove the  "banding" lines from all subsequent images.  With the ScanX, the utility is called "Normalize".
  2. Plate Feeding Marks 2Plate feeding marks (pictured) - horizontal lines 2-10mm thick caused by a plate feeding problem.  If the plate sticks or jerks while feeding through the scanner, the image displays a different shade of grey in that exact image geometry. If the plate is viewed more slowly or more quickly by the scanner, the result is a change in the displayed grey scale. If this happens often, your scanner needs service.
  3. Uneven shade marks (pictured) - if the plate is exposed to the light, the image may show odd exposure marks like very light grey oval marks on the end of the plate.  If you see odd exposure marks, are Uneven_Shade_Marksthey in every image you produce or just occasionally?  If not in every image, then it is likely erroneous light exposure to your CR plate.
  4. Thin white lines (not straight) - CR plates will wear out.  One visible sign of CR plate wear can be the scratch marks that develop on the outside of the plate.  The scratch marks can produce an exact duplicate "white" flaw mark in the digital image.
  5. Thin white lines (straight) - hair and dust that gets caught in the optics of the scanner will cause white lines.  This is very common and also easily resolved by using cleaning sheets on a regular basis.
  6. The heel effect - the outer edges of the plate appear less exposed than the center.  In most cases, this is not important because the object of interest is mostly in the middle of the image.
  7. Collimation - though done on purpose, collimation can cause unexpected results.  Imaging software can misinterpret the white space and inaccurately adjust the whole image causing digital image distortion and reducing diagnostic integrity.


Best Practice

What is DICOM? What is a PACS? Is Metron a PACS?


Metron originated as the best image acquisition software in its class. Over the last few years, we have grown Metron into a DICOM communications hub. Metron supports nearly all of the major DICOM function and PACS roles.


DICOM  (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) is the standard method of communications and image file transfer between computers within human and veterinary medical practices.   The purpose of DICOM is to help facilitate the transfer and share of digital images between systems that are not from the same manufacturer or supplier.


PACS  (Picture Archiving and Communication System) is a unique computer system that manages the transfer, storage, and viewing of DICOM files.  As your practice adds digital X-Ray for small animal skeletal, a year later you convert your dental X-Ray to digital, and finally add digital ultrasound, the roll of PACS grows. In addition, a growing number of practices like to forward newly produced images (often called "Studies") to their favorite radiologists.  The PACS is the tool built for that role.


DICOM and PACS is Integration.  Not only do veterinary practices want to integrate or connect multiple digital imaging systems but also integrate with their practice information manage systems (PIMS).  When we add the PIMS to the topic, integration is no longer simple because they each have their own spin on how DICOM and PACS should be used and configured.  For practices that are looking for tight integration between their PIMS and their digital image systems, ask a lot of questions and make sure you understand what they may mean by integration.  Will this be in the medical record as an attachment, do they have the ability to manipulate once it is transferred.  How is the image is stored and how it comes back out of the software are a couple of other good questions.


While Metron's lead role is "Acquisition", consider looking into the advantages of combining images from other acquisition sources into Metron.  Use Metron as your PACS; combine the different modalities (image sources) into one common database.  This approach simplifies staff use for image retrieval and report generation.  In some cases, it is even possible and beneficial for you to use Metron software to improve the performance of other existing X-Ray acquisition systems. 


Integration is key word with PACS and DICOM working as important pieces.   Practices will always be challenged to pick the right amount of integration - too much and you have more complexity and expense than you need - too little and you suffer from staff inefficiencies and medical practice deficiencies.  Metron is both a product and a service.  Call on us to help assess your options and make good choices.


In This Issue
Lines and Patterns in Images
Is Metron a PACS?
We'd love your Feedback
Closed Thanksgiving Day
AAEP Trade Show
Veterinary Dental Forum


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Fill out the survey by Nov 18th and you will be entered to win 3 extra months of Metron Support Services at your next renewal. 


Closed Thanksgiving Day
Metron Support Services will be closed Thanksgiving Day, November 24 so our team can enjoy the holiday with family and friends. We will have limited staff availability Friday, November 25.
Happy Thanksgiving!
(Can we say..Go Packers??)


AAEP Trade Show
AAEP 2011 Logo

November 18-22, 2011 

San Antonio, Texas


The AAEP Trade Show is the place to find the latest advances in products, technology and services for equine health practitioners. With over 600 exhibits to visit coupled with the experts to instruct on the latest industry developments, be sure to take a minute and come and see us at Booth #9089.  We would love to hear your experiences with Metron and answer any questions you might have for us.


Veterinary Dental Forum
VDF Convention Logo

November 10-13, 2011 

Boston, MA


Metron will be highlighted with Inovadent at the Digital X-Ray wet lab at the Veterinary Dental Forum in West Copley Place Nov 12 and 13.  



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