Monday, April 07, 2008

i-CAT User meeting notes

The i-CAT Users Meeting was held on March 16, 2008 at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, CA.

The attendees of the i-CAT users meeting were honored to have Arun Singh, the VP of Technology for Imaging Sciences International preside over the entire meeting. We were sorry that Liz Qualtier, the Director of Education for ISI was down with severe flu and was not able to attend.

Chester Wang (Director of Dolphin Imaging & Management) had Swann Liao (Dolphin's Software Engineer) demonstate the new version 11 of Dolphin Imaging software. To discover the complete details of this software, please see the Dolphin Meeting notes elsewhere on the i-CAT blog. Swann did an amazing job of explaining the imaging software and it's newest features. The new tool to measure the airway (volumetrically) will offer the orthodontists a much greater understanding of how their treatments can and will affect the airway, especially in surgical and sleep apnea patients.

With the exponential growth of ISI, understandably it may have become difficult to reach your usual contacts. Now you can contact, Alan Young (Imaging Sciences International's Client service and Special Projects Manager) at his email at or directly on his cell at (209) 642-5878 as your "Go To" guy to answer your specific questions.

Arun Singh explained that the potential reconstruction time for the i-CAT Platinum will eventually be only 20 seconds. The mechanical platform of the new i-CAT enjoys enhanced stability since there is no vertical movement mechanism.

In three to six months, ISI will be able to offer two i-CAT Classic upgrade plans if you have the 14 bit sensor and one plan for the 12 bit sensor.

14 bit Option A: Software upgrade to reduce scan time from current 20 seconds down to
10 seconds. This is especially significant if you have the Extended Field of View (EFOV) option because it reduces the scan time down from the 2 scan total of 40 seconds to only 20 seconds (plus 20 seconds for rewind/vertical motion). Please note there is no reduction for the 40 second high resolution scan. Cost: $2,500.

14 bit Option B: Exchange your 14 bit i-CAT Classic for the new Platinum i-CAT. This option includes a new computer. Cost: $45,000

12 bit Option: Exchange your 12 bit i-CAT Classic for the new Platinum i-CAT with a new computer. Cost: $75,000

NOTE: A brand new i-CAT Platinum costs $170,000! How many other companies (dental or
otherwise) do you know that will allow a trade-in on equipment?

The i-CAT Platinum uses a new reconstruction engine, but it still allows the option to produce the reconstructed volume in XSTD and/or DICOM formats. That means you have the option to use either XoranCAT or i-CATVision, or both.

ISI is working with Codonics to resolve some printer issues.

Carbon Fiber head support is now being beta tested. This new support greatly diminishes patient movement to obtain the best scan possible.

ISI is planning to deploy a new method to formally relay information to all i-CAT users. It will be based on controlled user access with a PIN that is supplemented with email update. An announcement will be made when the new system is ready.

ADA has new codes for cone beam scans.

The latest software version for the i-CAT is This version will almost eliminate the memory issue that required restarting the software. The problem was the software was looking for contiguous memory and the new version can now utilize scattered memory to load the data set.

For i-CAT Vision, the current version is A new i-CAT Vision called “Tigris” will be released in April. It will require the new i-CAT transfer. The iCATransfer upgrade makes the system more reliable but is slower, however, a partial speedup is in the works.

When you use the new version of i-CAT Vision (Tigris), any old workups will not be saved. This fact may be important for some of your referring dentists. If it is necessary to save old workups, you can keep at least one stand-alone (non-networked) WorkStation with the older software and the patient database up to that point.

The i-CATVision. (Tigris upgrade) has full automatic networking capability (scans will be automatically transferred to a central server, and deleted at the scanning station after a safe period.

When viewing i-CAT Vision (implant screen), 3D height sometimes may appear cut off. To rectify, move green and red lines down and up respectively to mark the desired volume and right click to show new volume.

Nerve Canal Estimator will be in “Tigris” version and will require confirmation of 8 points. It also permits manual adjustments if the estimated location strays off course.

The window level of the axial can be adjusted separately from the panoramic and cross section.

Calibration with a special water container will allow more consistent Hounsfield Units (HU) to lessen halo and curtain effect. The physics of cone beam technology limits the ability to completely mimic the HU’s obtained from Medical CT.

A new smaller Field of View model has been introduced by Imaging Sciences under the Gendex brand. This model utilizes a smaller flat panel sensor to produce a 8cm x 8cm (cylindrical) volume, as well as an 8 x 14cm “extended diameter” scan.

Xoran work station key is now available for a nominal fee of only $300. The workstation key makes it possible for a non-acquisition computer to use the Xoran software. Remember that Xoran was a separate company that was married to ISI to develop the i-CAT. Now you have the option to provide your referrals with the i-CAT workstation key to use the acquisition software! This is a prime example of how ISI really listens to the users. Most of you probably do not realize when the i-CAT was initially introduced four years ago, there was no protocol to provide the referring dentists with the ability to volumetrically view the data. Before cone beam technology, if a dentist wanted cross sectional images, the only available option was medical CT. The dentist was not given any option to view the images volumetrically. When the first i-CAT users demonstrated the amazing software, the dentists wanted to fully utilize the ability of the software on their own computers. Xoran gave two options: Purchase the Xoran key for $3,000 or “unlock” a specific case for $100. We had only a few dentists willing to spend $3,000 and most of them opted for the additional $100 that was added to the scan fee. What happened next is a testament to ISI’s exceptional customer service. They saw the problem and developed and released i-CAT Vision! It would have been so easy for ISI to sell i-CAT Vision software for a thousand dollars or more. However, that would not have served in the best interest of the i-CAT users so ISI made i-CAT Vision free software!

When 3DVR was first released, many referring dentists loved it and wanted it! The cost was $1,500 and the dentists simply did not want to pay that much. ISI stepped up to the bat for the i-CAT users and integrated portions of 3DVR into i-CAT Vision. How much? Zero dollars! How many other cone beam units offer any viewing software, free or otherwise?

Starting with the “Tigris” release, the entire 3DVR software is now free of cost, with unlimited copies. Moreover, it would be possible to easily switch between iCATVision and 3DVR, without starting a separate program or re-loading the data.

The i-CAT is optimal for hard tissue viewing. Due to the physics of acquisition, cone beam units are unable to distinguish between different densities of soft tissue at the level of medical CT imaging while MRI is overall the best method for viewing soft tissue anatomy.

Currently, there are three orthodontic software companies that either scan the teeth or scan models to plan bracket placement and arch wires. The major products are Invisalign, SureSmile, and Insignia. For more information about SureSmile, please see last paragraph on i-CAT Blog dated 4/06/08 – Dolphin Meeting.

The 14 bit i-CAT Classic (running software version 3.1.77) has been certified by SureSmile using the .2mm voxel 8 cm height scan. ISI has generated a special scan protocol specifically for SureSmile patients. ISI is concurrently beta testing a special carbon fiber headrest that minimizes patient movement, which is critical for SureSmile scans. The patient should not be in complete occlusion because some separation is necessary for the SureSmile system. Have your referral provide a wax bite or other radiopaque device that stabilizes the position of the teeth. The .25mm full height scan can be reconstructed to .2mm for SureSmile. i-CAT Platinum (the new generation model) is expected to be certified shortly. These are the only units certified so far to have adequate quality and resolution for successful case planning and treatment.

A Research & Development (R&D) project is currently underway to detect and automatically correct for certain types of patient motions, in order to improve the scan quality and retain the necessary resolution/detail, especially for processes such as SureSmile.

User meetings, upgrade options, free i-CAT Vision viewing software with 3DVR, nerve canal estimator, new R&D projects, and the only cone beam unit certified by SureSmile. Are you glad you have an i-CAT?


Blogger devery said...

Mst of the time. I now have a problem, once again, with my acquisition computer. I will keep you posted on how long it takes to get some reponse.

10:06 PM  
Blogger M CARPENTER said...

"A new i-CAT Vision called “Tigris” will be released in April."

April is almost over? Any word on Tigris?

1:55 PM  
Blogger Arun said...

Yes, Tigris was released last week, and a few "pilot upgrades" have already been performed. I will post a message as soon as it is available for download on our web site.


2:43 PM  
Blogger M CARPENTER said...

Great! Thank you Arun!

2:57 PM  
Blogger M CARPENTER said...

Any way I can get Tigris. My doctors are waiting anxiously.

9:59 AM  

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