“The way we have been removing, processing and staining tissue for diagnosing diseases has been practiced the same way for over a century,”
– University of Illinois professor, Dr. Stephen Boppart, setting the historical backdrop for his group’s development of a new microscopy technique that allows real-time imaging of living tissue without chemical stains or dyes. It’s probably is about time for a new way to do this.
The Imaging Wire
Turkey’s Big Imaging Tender
The Turkish Government will soon accept bids on a 10-year medical imaging and patient monitoring contract worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The contract brings the first partnerships between multinational medical companies and local Turkish manufacturers since the country announced a requirement that all medical imaging devices are manufactured domestically. Although this dose of economic nationalism may create some hurdles, many manufacturers will see these partnerships as worthwhile given the contract’s 54,593 device opportunity (7,412 ultrasounds, 3,326 DR systems, 438 CTs, 350 MRIs, and 43,327 monitoring systems).
This is How GE Healthcare Spinoff Rumors Start
A recent Bloomberg piece detailed investors’ expectation (and preference) that GE CEO John Flannery announces an aggressive portfolio breakup soon, suggesting that a spinoff of GE Healthcare (and/or the sale of other high-profile units) may be needed to right-size GE’s finances and simplify its corporate structure. This is how GE Healthcare spinoff rumors start… But given Flannery’s “no sacred cows” approach to right-sizing GE and the pressure GE is facing from investors, a healthcare spinoff isn’t out of the question.
Siemens’ New Ultrasound Era
Siemens Healthineers announced the global launch of its new Acuson Sequoia general ultrasound system, highlighted by its performance with overweight patients. This was far more than a typical ultrasound launch (often limited to a press release and trade show display), as Siemens held events globally and employees ramped-up their social media posts/likes/shares, dubbing the Acuson Sequoia as the start of a “new era” in ultrasound. Leveraging the system’s new Deep Abdominal Transducer, Siemens’ BioAcoustic Technology, and other enhancements, the Acuson Sequoia can penetrate up to 40cm, allowing high-resolution imaging regardless of patient size and other personal characteristics (tissue density, stiffness, and absorption). In addition to its high-BMI advantages, the new system launches with improved operator workflow features, a new “UltraArt” image selection feature, and improved Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound (CEUS) bubble longevity. Given the number of overweight (1.9 billion) and obese (650 million) people globally, and this population’s greater healthcare needs, the Acuson Sequoia appears to address a key need among healthcare providers making it worthy of Siemens’ worldwide celebrations and a promising product for the company.
Siemens Adds New PET/CT Features
Siemens Healthineers announced the FDA clearance of new features available with its Biograph mCT family of PET/CT systems and Biograph Vision PET/CT scanner. The new features include QualityGuard (self-calibrates PET detector, reducing staff labor and radiation exposure – currently only available with Biograph mCT), FlowMotion Multiparametric PET Suite (delivers whole-body parametric PET images based on the Patlak reference tissue model), OncoFreeze (provides images that are virtually free of respiratory motion, reducing acquisition time), and CardioFreeze (corrects for respiratory and cardiac motion associated with cardiac PET/CT image acquisitions).
- Siemens Healthineers’ syngo.via VB30 Molecular Imaging Software gained FDA clearance, adding a range of new clinical capabilities for oncology and neurology PET/CT imaging including: automatic Deauville score calculating, a platform for viewing and interpreting parametric PET images, 3D visualization of the disease state in a single image, and improved quantitative analysis of neurological conditions.
- Siemens Healthineers announced the first global installation of its Biograph Vision PET/CT system, placing the new flagship model at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands. The Biograph Vision gained FDA clearance earlier this month and should earn its first US placement soon.
- Siemens Healthineers and KinetiCor presented their co-developed BioMatrix Kinetic Sensor MRI camera system for in-bore monitoring and correction of patient motion, which is currently offered in Siemens’ Magnetom Sola and Magnetom Vida MRI systems.
- The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center began treating patients with ViewRay’s MRIdian Linac image-guided radiotherapy system, replacing the first generation MRIdian System that the center installed in 2014.
- Analogic’s acquisition by Altaris Capital Partners took another step towards becoming a reality, as nearly 98% of shareholders approved the $84 per share (~$1.1 billion) offer. Some of the usual challenges are emerging, but so far this acquisition has proven to be relatively straightforward.
- University of Illinois researchers developed a new microscopy technique that uses pulses of light at different wavelengths to image various tissue features simultaneously, allowing the real-time imaging of living tissue without the need for chemical stains or dyes.
- UK startup Micrima raised an additional £4.4 million (now up to £10.7 million) to fund further development of its Maria radiowave breast imaging system in advance of a late-2018 launch, claiming that Maria will make breast screening safer, more comfortable, and more accessible than mammography due to its use of ionizing radiation.
- Research from Berlin’s Charité Universitätsmedizin revealed that a new time-harmonic elastography ultrasound technique could be used instead of biopsies to diagnose liver diseases due to its ability to identify liver fibrosis by measuring liver stiffness.
- China approved Bracco Imaging’s SonoVue ultrasound contrast agent for use in pediatric urinary tract ultrasonography for the evaluation of vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). SonoVue is already approved for this purpose in the US and Europe and is also widely used in China for other clinical uses.
- Sweden’s Uppsala University Hospital and the European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS) partnered with GlaxoSmithKline. The public-private partnership’s primary goals are to optimize current MRI and PET technology to develop drugs for inflammatory diseases and “translate” emerging PET technology and optical cell-specific probes to develop clinical applications for inflammatory diseases.
The Resource Wire
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- Analogic’s BK Ultrasound bkSpecto urology ultrasound system combines image quality, speed, usability, and small footprint
- Canon Medical Systems details initial experiences with its Aplio’s i-series Ultra-High Frequency Imaging.
- Carestream’s low-cost/weight DRX-Revolution Nano mobile X-ray system
- Fujifilm’s FDR AQRO mobile x-ray combines high sensitivity with small size and low-dose
- GE’s Every woman. Every body. Every town. roadshow brings the company’s breast health technologies and message to centers across the country.
- Hitachi white paper on the business benefits of high-field MRI
- Hologic once again top-ranked for mammography system performance and service
- IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review cognitive data review tool for more accurate patient records
- Konica Minolta’s KDR U-arm x-ray targets office-based X-ray environments
- Philips’ new HealthSuite Insights AI platform curates and analyzes healthcare data and offers tools to build and operate AI-based solutions.
- Samsung committed to low-dose x-ray technology
- Shimaduz MobileDaRt Evolution MX8 premium mobile x-ray
- Siemens’ new Somatom Go CTs add cardiac and image-guided capabilities