“In a hostile and unforgiving environment, this digital X-ray system is a great help for our expedition.”
Fabio Catalano, a medical consultant on the Antarctic Concordia scientific research facility, touting the performance of the Caresteam DRX-Transportable System/Lite tablet-based X-ray system that the station relies on.
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- Carestream – Focused on delivering innovation that is life changing – for patients, customers, employees, communities and other stakeholders
- Focused Ultrasound Foundation – Accelerating the development and adoption of focused ultrasound
- Medmo – Helping underinsured Americans save on medical scans by connecting them to imaging providers with unfilled schedule time
- Pocus Systems – A new Point of Care Ultrasound startup, combining a team of POCUS veterans with next-generation technology to disrupt the industry
Keep these companies in mind each time you enjoy The Imaging Wire. Check them out and see how they’re driving our industry forward, and shoot them a note if you’re interested in learning more. They’re all great companies run by solid people.
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Fujifilm SonoSite stepped into the informatics arena this week with the launch of its SonoSite Synchronicity point-of-care ultrasound workflow solution. Fujifilm highlighted Synchronicity’s ability to help organizations optimize POCUS workflows (integrates with existing systems and can be implemented across departments), support billing efficiency (ensures exams comply with billing requirements), improve quality assurance processes (standardizes workflow for a hospital’s entire POCUS fleet), and streamline credentialing (helps manage physician ultrasound credentialing process). Of course, Synchronicity also represents a new opportunity for Fujifilm SonoSite to expand its role and its revenue potential within its ultrasound clients, both supplementing and supporting its hardware business – particularly for providers who don’t yet have a PACS system in place or don’t mind adding an additional system.
Siemens and Storz Targeting Urinary Stones, and Customers
Siemens Healthineers and Storz Medical announced plans to sell Siemens’ Cios mobile C-arms combined with Storz’s Modulith SLK Inline shock wave lithotripsy system, providing their respective customers with a solution that can locate and treat urinary and renal stones. The announcement was made in Germany by two very European companies, in a partnership we expect will initially target European customers.
Avante Ultrasound Goes West
Avante Health Solutions acquired California-based Ultra Solutions, representing a big step towards its goal of building a nationwide ultrasound sales and service presence. Ultra Solutions joins Charlotte-based Global Medical Imaging (acquired almost exactly 3 years ago) as the West and East coast divisions of Avante Ultrasound. The acquisition also continues Avante’s push to add new regions and capabilities through acquisitions that most recently brought-in midwest MIR/CT reseller and service provider, Equipment Maintenance Solutions (EMS).
GE’s Training Investment
GE Healthcare expanded its 3-year partnership with SonoSim, making an equity investment in the global ultrasound education and training company and adding “enhanced” SonoSim education services across regions and ultrasound applications. The announcement emphasized how growing ultrasound adoption is creating new education/training challenges, suggesting that the combination of SonoSim’s training services and GE Healthcare’s products address these two trends. There’s no word on how this investment will affect SonoSim’s other partnerships.
- Here’s one sign that SonoSim was a solid investment from GE (see above) research from China shows that the country has a major shortage of doctors who are registered to perform ultrasounds. The report found that although there are 130k ultrasound-registered doctors in China, another 100k to 150k are needed to meet the country’s current clinical demand.
- Fujifilm Holdings made a pair of investments intended to develop new AI technologies and train new AI experts in Japan. The company’s new “Creative AI Center Brain(s)” will focus on developing new AI technologies in collaboration with academic institutions, while its new Fujifilm AI Academy will help develop employees and people from other companies into future AI and ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) experts.
- AI diagnostics firm IDx announced the completion of a $33 million Series A funding round, revealing plans to use the capital to accelerate adoption of its IDx-DR diabetic retinopathy diagnostic system and develop future diagnostic AI solutions. The company previously generated $22 million in angel investments and is planning a future IPO.
- A new JACR study (n=1,500) reveals that dense breast reporting laws (now in 36 states) are associated with increased breast density awareness and more doctor-patient screening discussions. Women in these states are significantly more likely to learn breast tissue type from a mammogram results letter (60% vs. 48%) and discuss supplemental screening (67% versus 53%) than women from states without a density law. These laws are also bringing a shift in modality usage, as a separate study revealed an uptick in follow-up ultrasounds after states adopted density notification laws.
- GE ended John Flannery’s eventful 14 months as company chairman and CEO, appointing former Danaher CEO H. Lawrence Culp (a GE outsider) to replace him in hopes that Culp will be able to speed-up GE’s turnaround. Despite speculation that this change may delay the GE Healthcare spinoff, the healthcare division assured that it is proceeding with the spinoff as planned.
- Body Vision Medical officially launched LungVision, a real-time imaging bronchoscopy tool that specializes in diagnosing small peripheral lesions and attaches to standard imaging equipment (CT, ultrasound, and fluoroscopy). Body Vision Medical has apparently been gearing up for this moment for a while, as LungVision gained FDA clearance in May and the company just scored an $8.5 million investment to fund its commercialization a few weeks ago.
- Mednax acquired relatively-large Las Vegas-based radiology group, Radiology Specialists (25 radiologists), marking its seventh radiology practice acquisition in its history (first in Nevada).
- GE Healthcare and medical test equipment maker, BC Group International, announced the development of a new procedure for safety testing GE’s TEE Ultrasound probes. GE’s new guidelines now include deflection controls as well as testing for leakage caused by bite holes, damage, or other breaks in the sheath of the TEE probes, and require testing after every usage (shifting testing requirements to the Ultrasound or Cardiology Departments).
- Wisconsin-based mobile medical photo sharing company, ImageMoverMD, raised another $1.6 million in funding, increasing its fundraising total to $4.3 million since launching in 2013. ImageMoverMD allows medical professionals to securely capture and share photos with their smartphones without violating patient privacy laws. Although ImageMoverMD focuses on external photos (rashes, wounds, etc.), the company was founded by a pair of radiologists and this feels like a very relevant concept for “our” type of imaging.
- As you may expect from this particularly ultrasound-centric issue of The Imaging Wire, a recent study found that emergency department medical claims for limited ultrasound studies are on the rise, particularly in comparison to claims filed by radiologists. The retrospective study (2011 – 2015, n=42,576) found significant linear increases in claims from ED doctors for retroperitoneal, soft tissue, and transabdominal GU studies.
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– This is sponsored content.
- This Medmo video details how its healthcare marketplace platform and network of participating radiologists help underinsured patients pay as little as possible for their imaging procedures.
- Focused Ultrasound technology is currently used for commercial treatments and clinical trials at 727 sites across over 50 countries. Check out this dashboard to see where and how focused ultrasound is changing lives.
- Carestream’s DRX-Transportable System/Lite tablet-based X-ray system is in use at the Italian-French Concordia scientific station in Antarctica (620 miles from the coast AND on a 10.5k foot mountain!).
- POCUS Systems is now approved as a Veteran Owned Business with the US Government Office of Veterans Business Development, paving the way for partnerships with the federal healthcare delivery systems.