Healthcare Industry News:  Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Devices Radiology

 News Release - September 28, 2006

Hitachi Medical Systems America Releasing Ascent(TM) 5.0 Operating System for Altaire(R) and AIRIS(R) II

TWINSBURG, Ohio--(HSMN NewsFeed)--The Ascent 5.0 software upgrade program for Hitachi's Altaire and AIRIS II customers is scheduled to begin in August 2006. This latest version of Ascent, the operating system software for Altaire, AIRIS II, and AIRIS Elite Open MR systems, will provide benefits in the areas of image quality, workflow and clinical capability.

"As always, upgrades to Ascent are offered at no charge to those customers under warranty or enrolled in our industry-leading Ultra Plus Customer Support Program," noted Shawn Etheridge, HMSA MR Marketing Director. "Hitachi is committed to keeping its customers on the cutting-edge of technology through a schedule of regular software upgrades and enhancements."

In its standard configuration, Ascent 5.0 provides many features for both Altaire and AIRIS II, including sequence enhancements, like Shared Echo FSE for simultaneous collection of high quality PD and T2-weighted images, and Gated IR/FIR, which enables free breathing abdominal T1-weighted imaging. Altaire and AIRIS II users equipped with DWI will also enjoy One-Button Acquisition DWI, which initiates all scans necessary for DWI and ADC images with one interaction. The addition of FatSep(TM) FSE will allow AIRIS II users equipped with Hitachi's FatSep(TM) sequence to expand its application to T2-weighted imaging, combining the throughput advantage of FSE with fat/water separation.

Additional exciting new options for Altaire users include CardioSuite, a powerful cardiac imaging package, as well as RAPID(TM) parallel imaging software and receiver coils. Ascent 5.0 also offers all platforms the Workflow Plus optional package, a suite of interoperability features enabling conformance with IHE's Scheduled Workflow integration profile.

Hitachi Medical Systems America, Inc. markets premium and high performance Magnetic Resonance Imaging systems of Hitachi Medical Corporation, Tokyo, Japan. These include Echelon(TM) 1.5T, Altaire® high field open, and AIRIS® Elite advanced mid-field open MRI systems. The company has over 1,500 MRI systems installed throughout the United States and over 3,100 MRI systems installed worldwide. HMSA first established a leadership position in the medical industry with Open MRI systems and also offers CT, Ultrasound, PET and PET/CT products.

Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT ), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company, with approximately 356,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2005 (ended March 31, 2006) consolidated sales totaled 9,464 billion yen ($80.9 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors, including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, medical imaging equipment, consumer products, materials and financial services.

Source: Hitachi Medical Systems America

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