The European Cytogeneticists Association (E.C.A) yearly meeting, the 11th European Cytogenetics Conference took place in Florence, Italy and MetaSystems was proud to be sponsor and exhibitor of this event. Visitors to the MetaSystems booth had the opportunity to see the current pre-release edition of Neon, probably the last one before the official product launch. Of course also MetaSystems Probes took the opportunity to provide cytogeneticists and other passersby to show and explain the newest probe kits and product lines. The German MetaSystems team has been actively supported by the colleagues from MetaSystems s.r.l. in Milan.
Case and Image Data Platform
Neon represents the next generation of case and imaging management platforms made by MetaSystems.
Neon is a brand new platform for case and image data organization, and it is the basis of all MetaSystems devices. MetaSystems solutions are designed to address particular imaging and image analysis tasks. Neon collects the data from any imaging job, and from external sources, and presents them in a comprehensive and versatile case management dashboard. Hence, Neon always has the most relevant information for the user at hand; fast and secure, regardless of where the information originates. Strong data management algorithms, several convenient display modes, and many options for selecting and filtering content make Neon the perfect basis to organize large quantities of heterogeneous information.
In laboratories, data are usually generated from many different, sometimes unrelated, sources. Patient data may originate from a central lab information system; samples may be identified by bar codes; and images may come from the automated scanning system or from a manual capture station. Neon was designed to collect data from all different sources, and to unite them to form an efficient and well structured workflow. Neon reliably manages cases, images, and results of single workstations, as well as of large multi-user installations. It guarantees that all relevant information is visible whenever and wherever it is needed. Neon‘s powerful and flexible workflow settings facilitate seamless integration with existing routines and allow for the use of a variety of different imaging applications.
Neon uses a brand new file format, and it organizes and displays information in an extremely efficient and customizable way. Neon users always have access to exact information on case status, history of images, analysis results, and much more. Data import and export, even with customized data fields and global, cross-application reports, facilitate daily work.
Neon helps to achieve maximum control over all imaging and data handling procedures. Patients, physicians, and technicians benefit from consistent documentation, secure handling of sensitive data, and user-friendliness in all procedures. Neon's flexibility assures seamless integration of the system with existing procedures. Analysis steps, for example, can be individually defined, and then composed to mimic a complete workflow. In analysis, each stage of the workflow can either be assigned to a case manually (by authorized users), or based on predefined conditions. For example, a case can automatically display the status 'Created' if the patient's name has been entered to the datasheet. If a predefined number of images are generated by the scanning system, the system can change the status to 'Captured'. As soon as the first karyogram is done, the status will change automatically to 'In Analysis'. Neon is prepared to create, to handle, and to archive case and image data in a highly convenient and secure manner. Neon users can setup customized datasheets to enter case data, which can contain their own user-defined data fields. Once entered, all information can be retrieved very easily, and case and/or image lists can be filtered based on any of the entered criteria. Of course it is alternatively possible to import information from external laboratory information systems.
If images are acquired using the Neon Metafer slide scanning platform, they can be identified by the information on their bar code labels: Neon ensures that the sample information is automatically merged with the respective case. All data are useless if it is not possible to summarize them in a convenient and transparent way. Neon offers two strong tools to achieve this objective: the powerful case statistics package and the reporting engine with graphic template editor. The statistics package can be used to query all data and to summarize the results graphically (e.g., as a histogram) and as tables. Results of queries can also be implemented in report templates, which can also contain results of Metafer scans, images from the Ikaros karyotyping module, and of course any information entered in the case datasheet. Reports can be printed, saved as a PDF file, or exported to external software; this allows for the results of the analyses to be provided to clients, or shared with colleagues around the world.
Neon cares for data integrity and security. Each Neon installation comes with integrated user management, which can be activated on different security levels. In small installations, where secure user management is not required, it is possible to switch off the password protection. In labs with high security standards, users are required to type in user names and passwords. Features like minimum password lengths, password expiries, and required password formats, can be set by the administrator.
Access rights can be precisely defined, and even assigned to certain user groups. Administrators can define (and delete) new user groups and provide each group individually with the required rights.
Neon routinely generates several log files. In addition to the logs with system events, there are also error logs, server logs, and case histories. The latter contain each single change of case related files, either of images or of case data, and can be accessed conveniently from the case view. Users with sufficient rights can even add history entries here, for example, to document actions that happened outside of Neon.
For our customers with software update contracts, Neon will become available upon release.