Artronix

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Artronix Incorporated began in 1970 as a project in a computer science class at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. The class designed, built and tested a 12-bit minicomputer, which later became the PC12 minicomputer. The new company entered the bio-medical computing market with a set of peripherals and software for use in Radiation Treatment Planning and ultrasound scanning. Software for the PC12 was written in assembly language and FORTRAN; later software was written in MUMPS. The company was located in two buildings in the Hanley Industrial Park off South Hanley Road in Maplewood, Missouri.

The company later developed another product line of brain-scanning or computed tomography equipment based on the Lockheed SUE 16-bit minicomputer; later designs included an optional vector processor using AMD Am2900 bipolar bit-slices to speed tomographic reconstruction calculations. In contrast to earlier designs, the Artronix scanner used a fan-shaped beam with 128 detectors on a rotating gantry. The system would take 540 degrees of data (1½ rotations) to average out noise in the samples. The beam allowed 3mm slices, but several slices would routinely be mathematically combined into one image for display purposes. The first generation of scanners was a head scanner while a later generation was a whole-body scanner. The CAT-3 (computerized axial tomography) system was a success at first, but the technology gave way to PET (positron emission tomography) and...
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