“I can’t stop tweeting about this trial. Whatever one thinks about its results it has done two things: a) made bioplausiblity great again and b) made people realize that imaging shouldn’t be treated like drugs and devices. (told you so)”
A tweet from Philadelphia-area radiologist, Saurabh Jha, regarding a recent University of Edinburgh study that found that coronary CT angiograms may reduce the risk of heart disease or heart attacks. It also makes bioplausiblity great again.
The Imaging Wire
Alpha Imaging Gets into the Branded Hardware Game
Major US medical imaging distributor, Alpha Imaging, entered the branded equipment market with the launch of its Intelli-C tilt C fluoroscopic imaging system for value-based healthcare environments. Although it’s rare to see a branded hardware launch from a distributor these days, the Intelli-C starts off with some credibility, as it’s made by NRT X-Ray and is based on technology that was used in GE’s Precision MPi system and NRT’s Celex system (plus, Alpha Imaging already sold and serviced the NRT Celex). Alpha Imaging has big goals for the new Intelli-C, calling it “a game changer” due to the market’s limited available options able match its combination of flexibility, low-dosage, and small footprint (likely low costs, too). The industry’s technology superpowers may not view the value-based C fluoroscopy segment as the home of the next “game changer,” but the Intelli-C certainly marks a big step for Alpha Imaging and we like big steps at The Imaging Wire.
U of Edinburgh Makes Case for Early CTAs
A 4,100-patient study from the University of Edinburgh found that performing coronary CT angiography in addition to standard cardiac tests allowed for earlier and more-accurate diagnosis of heart disease, leading to treatment that reduced heart attacks by 41% over 5-years. That’s a compelling result. With this evidence, the researchers recommended that routine CTA scans should be added to cardiac testing guidelines, claiming that CTA is faster and lower-cost than current methods and its cardiac management benefits will prevent future procedures/costs.
HeartFlow’s Growing Buzz, and Growing Debate
Forbes published a wide ranging profile on HeartFlow, detailing its impressive funding and market valuation ($467m / $1.5b), the strongly differing opinions on the value and effectiveness of its CT FFR analysis software, and the debate on whether the patients who HeartFlow helps are actually better off (it depends on if you think stents are beneficial). As these debates continue on, HeartFlow’s insurance and physician adoption continues to grow and exposure like this should help drive awareness even further.
Doctors’ Role in Recalls
An interesting new behavioral study from Indiana University and the University of Minnesota found that medical device companies are less likely to recall potentially defective products if the defects are detectable by physicians, trusting that the doctors would notice the defect and decide not to use the flawed device on patients. However, if the defect is hard for physicians to identify on their own, medical device product managers are more likely to initiate a recall out of fear for patient safety.
Siemens and MUSC Get Strategic
Siemens Healthineers and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) announced a strategic partnership intended to improve health care quality and costs in South Carolina by “expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving the patient experience, and digitalizing healthcare.” The partnership combines MUSC’s strengths in clinical care, research, and education with Siemens Healthineers’ technological and workflow-improvement capabilities, following decades where the two maintained a traditional equipment provider/client relationship.
- Less than two months after AMG acquired Piramal Imaging, the molecular imaging agent developer has been renamed as Life Molecular Imaging (LMI) and integrated into AMG’s Alliance Medical Molecular Imaging division. The integration gives the new AMG division a portfolio that includes R&D labs, a network of cyclotrons, radiopharmacies, and imaging facilities.
- Agfa HealthCare and South Carolina’s Greenville Health System (GHS) announced the completion of a two-year enterprise imaging implementation, converging several PACS systems onto a single 4,000-clinician platform. Agfa and GHS highlighted a range of improvements resulting from the implementation, including greater clinical efficiencies, improved clinical confidence, cost reduction, and quicker access to medical images and diagnostic tools.
- Genesis Medical Imaging founder and former president, Robert Dakessian, announced the launch of HealthMed360, a new national medical imaging (CT, PET/CT, MRI, Ultrasound) sales, service, rental, refurbishing, and parts provider based in Illinois.
- Researchers from Germany found that MRI could be more effective than mammography among ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) patients with non-invasive breast cancer, as it identifies intermediate-grade and high-grade DCIS tumor size more accurately than mammography.
- Health Canada licensed Siemens Healthineers’ 1.5T MR MAGNETOM Sola MRI scanner, making the 5-month old scanner available through the Canadian public health system.
- iSchemaView increased its RAPID installations by 48% since April 2018, with the cerebrovascular imaging platform now in use at 520 stroke centers in 22 countries (plus 55 additional orders). The software achieved FDA clearance in May 2018.
- Visage Imaging’s latest newsletter (no link – you have to sign up for it) highlighted the results of the company’s recent deals with Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) and Mercy Health. YNHHS went live with the Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform in July and has since peaked at 40k imaging studies displayed in a single day, with access by over 1,700 users and 170 radiologists. Visage also gave an update on its recent Visage 7 Open Archive deal with Mercy Health, revealing that it has already migrated 50% of Mercy’s 25M imaging studies and 800TB of imaging data.
- Riverain Technologies deployed its ClearRead CT nodule detection AI solution across SimonMed Imaging’s locations. The major US radiology and imaging practice will use the solution in its lung cancer screening program.
- Carestream announced a deal with Phoenixville Hospital in Eastern Pennsylvania, installing a DRX-Evolution Plus System, two DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray Systems, and five DRX-1 Systems to support its radiology department, ER, OR, ICU and NICU. The long-time Carestream customer began its digital conversion process several years ago and this latest installation appears to complete its DR conversion.
The Resource Wire
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- Agfa Enterprise Imaging integrates clinical videos and images into a single application
- Analogic’s BK Ultrasound bkSpecto urology ultrasound system combines image quality, speed, usability, and small footprint
- Canon Aquilion Precision, the world’s first Ultra-High Resolution CT system
- Caresteam touts benefits of weight bearing CT imaging
- Fujifilm’s FDR AQRO mobile x-ray combines high sensitivity with small size and low-dos
- 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’s 3Dimension Mammography System leads with 3D imaging and patient comfort.
- IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review cognitive data review tool for more accurate patient records.
- Konica Minolta publishes latest Kontours issue.
- Philips’ new HealthSuite Insights AI platform curates and analyzes healthcare data and offers tools to build and operate AI-based solutions.
- Samsung’s RS85A premium ultrasound combines image quality with advanced ergonomics
- Shimaduz MobileDaRt Evolution MX8 premium mobile x-ray
- Siemens’ new Somatom Go CTs add cardiac and image-guided capabilities