2015. 2. 5.

6 display factors that impact reading performance

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We’ve witnessed truly exciting innovations in medical imaging modalities, which revolutionized the practice of diagnostic radiology. To get the most out of these new – and more complex – imaging exams, display technologies need to advance as well.

However, most reading rooms feature a mismatch of multiple displays with differences in resolutions, color appearance, or even no color monitors at all. So the question is: are workstations today configured to maximize the skill and effort of the radiologist?
 
This article highlights six areas that have a massive impact on the optimal field of vision - and hence radiologists’ reading performance.

1. Screen format 

Using multiple displays has one glaring disadvantage – the bezel between displays. That space is right in the center of the field of vision. Why not fill it with an image?

Our ‘Fusion’ format display combines real estate of two displays into one – so you can lay out multiple images anywhere on the screen. It has been shown to increase productivity by up to 19% in retrospective simulated use.

And of course, a radiology display should also be designed to match the radiologist’s natural field of vision, minimizing the need for head and eye movement so that he can comfortably view all images in a more relaxed, fixed position.

2. Image quality

The most advanced display technologies ensure image quality is maximized throughout the field of vision. Our research and development teams have brought exceptional performance in the critical aspects of our display portfolio's image quality, such as local contrast, luminance, uniformity, pixels, and viewing angle.

3. Luminance 

Display luminance should meet ACR guidelines and be constantly bright to create the sharpest image while reducing eye fatigue. And with more light, radiologists can see more detail more quickly.

Even better are extra settings that allow comparison with film-based exams, especially when reading mammograms. Also, an increase in natural light in the reading room – via a keyboard or wall light – has been shown to have a positive impact on radiologists’ comfort.

4. Uniformity 

Several factors can cause non-uniformity. Variations in LCD displays, LED backlights and even optical materials can all be a cause, although this can be managed as part of the manufacturing process. Pick a display that comes with built-in technologies that improve the contrast-to-noise ratio, over the entire screen surface.

5. Pixels 

The number of pixels is directly related to the resolution of the image. A display with the highest number of pixels possible will give the most realistic and accurate image.

An additional benefit of more pixels per inch on a screen is the ability to put more images on the screen with sufficient detail, or one image with more detail. This is especially valuable where multiple modality readings are viewed on the same screen, allowing radiologists to view images side by side with less time spent zooming and panning. 

6. Viewing angle

In a multi-screen set-up, different screens can be angled to face the viewer. But on a single-display system, it is imperative that viewing angle differences do not interfere with field of vision. Barco’s patented Optical Glass is the solution, reducing reflection and improving contrast spectacularly.