Varian Medical Systems Completes Major Software Redesign To Simplify Radiation Oncology Management | Varian

Varian Medical Systems Completes Major Software Redesign To Simplify Radiation Oncology Management

Salt Lake City, UT - October 20, 2003 - Varian Medical Systems,Inc. (NYSE:VAR) today announced it is introducing a redesigned version of its
VARiS Vision radiation oncology management software to streamline and
accelerate the complex clinical processes involved in treating cancer with
radiation therapy.

The new VARiS Vision simplifies the many steps involved in delivering a
multi-week course of radiation therapy, including treatment planning,
simulation, scheduling, patient positioning, treatment delivery, verification,
and quality assurance.  It is designed to help clinicians implement the
latest advances in radiation therapy, from IMRT to Dynamic Targeting™
image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT).

Streamlined Clinical Processes
"We have developed an easy-to-use, fully integrated system that for the
first time puts all clinical operations and patient information into a single
powerful, relational database so that all data and the images are available
exactly when and where they are needed,” said Kolleen Kennedy, vice
president for Varian's Oncology Systems business.  “This can be used
to streamline delivery of all forms of radiotherapy."

The comprehensive database at the heart of the new VARiS Vision system
eliminates the need to enter the same patient data into treatment planning and
information management systems.

"This saves time and reduces the chance of errors," Kennedy said. 
Prescription information that is entered into an electronic patient chart is
easily converted into a treatment plan using Varian's Eclipse software,
without the need for importing or exporting data.  Furthermore, any new
entries or edits to the prescription or electronic patient chart are instantly
reflected throughout the system.  "This system is configured to keep
information current in all parts of the treatment process." Kennedy said.

VARiS Vision software offers especially powerful image-management and
utilization features.  It provides radiation oncologists with immediate
access to patients' diagnostic, planning, simulation, and treatment
verification images--right on a desktop workstation.  For example,
doctors using one of Varian's Dynamic Targeting™ image-guided radiation
therapy tools can immediately see new images acquired just prior to treatment,
compare them to reference images from the treatment plan, and make on-the-spot
adjustments to the day's treatment.  These changes are captured by the
VARiS Vision system and integrated into the patient record, providing medical
staff with an accurate and up-to-date view of the patient's course of
treatment at every point in the process.

Enhanced Practice Management
In addition to being a fully integrated clinical process management tool,
VARiS Vision is a robust practice management tool.  The program includes
tools for analyzing staff and resource allocation, synchronizing activities,
and improving a department's workflow at every step of the process.  The
new scheduling manager (Time Planner™) keeps track of people, machines,
and recurring appointments, with real-time conflict resolution, and
automatically captures costs and charges at the time of service.  It also
translates workflow information into relative value units (for billing and
workload analysis) and billing codes with the new Activity Capture™
module.  VARiS Vision can generate over 100 different managerial reports
designed by radiation therapy professionals.

The newly formatted electronic patient chart provides a complete overview of
patient information and treatment status on a single-screen.  The display
includes quick links to the treatment schedule, prescription, plan, images,
and delivery data.  With the program’s new RT Chart module,
clinicians can prescribe treatments, create or edit plans and treatment
fields, and prepare reference images.  "The scope of work that can be
handled with a VARiS Vision application on a single workstation is
tremendous," said Mike Sweitzer, information and imaging systems marketing
manager.  "The flexibility and versatility of this new program should
lead to more efficient processes and better treatment capability wherever it
is used," Sweitzer said.

User Interface
Displays in the newly designed VARiS Vision software put more
information on screen and make it easier to read.  A new format
eliminates the problem of working around overlapping windows while still
providing all the necessary information for each stage of the clinical
process.  "Customers have been asking for a cleaner, more intuitive
display that is rich with readily accessible relevant information for the task
at hand," said Sweitzer.  "We have worked with design experts to achieve
that objective using enhanced toolbars, on-screen tabs, "pick" lists, "drag
and drop" functions, semi-automated operations, and other interactive controls
to make this the handiest information management tool available for radiation
oncology departments."

Network architecture
For clinical reliability, the VARiS Vision system is designed so that
complete treatments can be delivered independently from hospital network
servers in the event that connections are lost.  The software also
incorporates DICOM and HL7 standards for easy connections and interfaces with
all compatible systems and software such as MedOncology and tumor
registry. 

Refinements in the new VARiS Vision software have reduced the time and cost of
installation in eight beta-test sites,” Kennedy said.   Now
fully released, the VARiS Vision radiation oncology management software is
part of Varian’s new Inspiration™ environment of seamlessly
integrated radiation oncology tools for delivering advanced, image-guided
radiation therapies.  It is on display here at this year’s annual
American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) meeting through
October 22, 2003.

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