Last week's annual Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting was a showcase for new imaging technology, scientific techniques, and clinical discovery.

Apple's iPod continues its travels as plat-de-jour in multiple industries, with a combined US and Swiss radiologists demonstrating how their Mac-based open-source medical imaging software, OsiriX, can merge information from multiple imaging modalities into a single presentation.

The resulting images can then be viewed on the new iPod photo digital music player.

RSNA, the largest medical conference in the world, drew 60,000 people (including 7,000 international registrants) for a massive program that featured some 315 scientific sessions, 284 "refresher" sessions, and 1,684 scientific papers, representing 16 subspecialties of radiology, as well as 504 poster sessions, 1,141 educational exhibits, 643 vendor exhibits, and 51 plenary sessions.

Life science highlights

Medical imaging informatics researchers at UCLA showed off the recently released Version 2.1.0a of DataServer, an open-source XML gateway to radiology information systems, picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), and other radiology databases at research institutions.

The researchers said they found DataServer to be a useful tool in viewing patient demographics, encounter notes, imaging, laboratory reports, and other clinical documents from a single access point. "DataServer's extensible architecture and support for web and XML technologies provides a foundation for integrating data across medical environments for both clinical and research purposes," the researchers concluded.