“There is little doubt that this represents a new frontier for medicine.”
Dr. Bruce Tromberg, Director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (BLI) at UC Irvine, on the potential impact of Lumitron’s HyperVIEW imaging platform.
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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
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HyperVIEW Moves to Irvine, Towards Commercialization
Lumitron’s potentially groundbreaking HyperVIEW imaging platform reached a key milestone this week, with the opening of its R&D hub and manufacturing center in UC Irvine’s Research Park. The high-resolution laser X-ray system was conceived and developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA) and the shift to Lumitron’s Irvine base represents another step in the breakthrough system’s commercialization. The HyperVIEW imaging system certainly has disruptive potential, boasting 100x greater image resolution than current CT scanners and a 1000x resolution advantage versus traditional X-rays, with lower radiation than X-ray and a CT-size footprint.
Mayo Completes “Epic” Visage Rollout
Mayo Clinic completed its four-phase Epic EHR rollout, with final implementations in Florida and Arizona. This may not seem like an imaging story, but behind the EHR-centric headlines there is an imaging sub-plot, as Visage Imaging simultaneously went live with its Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform at each phase of Mayo Clinic’s Epic EHR rollout (retiring legacy PACS from GE and Siemens along the way). This is quite notable given that no other national health system has operated a single enterprise imaging platform nationwide (most still have separate PACS for each major location), a single diagnostic viewer for all nationwide radiologists, Epic-driven interpretation workflow, and instantaneous access to all patient “prior” imaging. As one insider put it, Mayo achieved the “Any image | Any where | Any time” PACS goal that is often touted, but before now was never really achieved on a national level.
Canon and RaySearch Integrate
Canon Medical Systems and RaySearch Laboratories launched a collaboration agreement that will integrate Canon Medical’s imaging systems and advanced visualization solutions with RaySearch’s RayStation (treatment planning) and RayCare (oncology information system) software. The collaborative products will first launch in the US, positioned as a way to streamline radiotherapy simulation and planning workflow. It’s unclear if this deal will impact RaySearch’s alliance with Philips, which uses RayStation in its Pinnacle treatment planning system, but it could be that Canon serves as a similar partner for RaySearch.
GE’s India-Made MRI
Wipro GE Healthcare and Indian public sector group, SAMEER (part of India’s Electronics and IT Ministry), agreed to co-develop an India-made/targeted “indigenous” MRI system. GE and SAMEER will collaborate on the R&D and development of a new 1.5T MRI platform that will be used in a range of whole-body, portable, and digital MRI systems, leveraging GE-supplied magnets and GE’s MRI expertise. The partnership comes roughly seven months after the Indian Government set a mandate to develop a “Made in India” MRI by 2019 that led to SAMEER’s government funding and now this alliance.
- In an effort to shift more imaging patients to lower-cost outpatient facilities, UnitedHealthcare announced that it will perform site of care reviews for certain CT and MRI procedures (except in Iowa, Kentucky, and Utah, and excluding imaging performed during an inpatient stay or ED visit). Starting on January 1, UnitedHealth will review the “site of care” as part of its prior authorization process and determine the imaging site based on medical need, the member’s benefit plan, and state laws.
- California imaging center CEO, Sam Sarkis Solakyan, found out the hard way that crime doesn’t pay (at least not in the long run). Solakyan was charged with 12 counts of fraud for operating a kickback scheme, paying local recruiters and local doctors over $8.8 million to refer workman’s comp patients to his nine imaging centers where he generated $284 million in kickback-related imaging procedure billings.
- A new report shows that many women in the US still pay out-of-pocket costs for breast screening mammograms, potentially dissuading some women from screenings. The research studied 2015 National Health Interview Survey data on 3,278 women between 50 and 74 years old who had a mammogram the previous year, finding that about 24% of all 50-64yr old women and 40% of uninsured 50-64yr old women had at least some out-of-pocket payments for their most recent mammogram (12% of all 65-74yr olds paid, including 23% with only Medicare).
- King’s College London became the first in Europe to adopt NVIDIA’s DGX-2 AI research system and the NVIDIA Clara AI platform, using the AI solutions “to rethink the practice of radiology and pathology in a quest to better serve 8 million patients in the U.K.’s National Healthcare System.” That’s a big goal. NVIDIA and KCL will team their researchers and engineers with clinicians from major London NHS hospitals focused on discovery of critical data strategies, targeted AI problems, and speed deployment in the clinic.
- The FDA and MITRE published a new medical device cybersecurity playbook to help healthcare organizations prevent and combat cyberattacks. The playbook outlines how to establish a cybersecurity program, defines the responsibilities of different players (e.g. manufacturers, hospitals, etc.) in responding to an attack, and highlights ways to improve cybersecurity operations.
- Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that a deep learning algorithm can reduce false-positive mammogram readings and related repercussions (unnecessary concern, time, cost) by differentiating between false positive, malignant, and negative mammograms. The deep learning program (based on 14,860 images) is able to spot imaging features that are uniquely associated with recalled-benign images thus helping radiologists decide if the patient should be recalled (or if it’s a false recall).
- Immuno-oncology imaging company, ImaginAb, announced a deal to provide its novel minibody CD8 T Cell PET imaging agent to Merck for use in immuno-oncology clinical trials. Merck will also make an equity investment in ImaginAb’s Series B round of financing as part of the deal.
- Not sure if this is good news for neuroradiologists. New research from UCLA found that having overnight (24/7/365) neuroradiologist coverage positively impacts referring physician satisfaction (84% accuracy, 69% timeliness, 77% neuroradiologist accessibility), turnaround times (dropped from 5.2 to 1.3 hours), and resident perception of educational experience (84% positive responses). The research surveyed attending neuroradiologists and referring emergency physicians between October 2016 and March 2017, but neuroradiologist overnights have been on the rise, increasing four-fold since 2015.
- GE Healthcare and Society of Radiography in Kenya (SORK) launched a 2-year initiative to train at least 140 radiographers in the country on current technologies and skills, with SORK providing the accreditation and GE providing equipment, facilitators, and content for the training sessions.
- Italian researchers found that digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) combined with ultrasound automated breast volume scanning (ABVS) is a viable alternative to MRI for breast cancer staging, particularly in situations where MRI is unavailable or impractical. The study looked at 73 cancer patients who underwent the three imaging techniques before an operation, finding that DBT-ABVS was comparable to MRI for all cancers, but still had less sensitivity and a negative predictive value.
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- This Carestream video demonstrates pediatric wrist imaging with the OnSight 3D Extremity System, which is particularly suitable for children due to its high resolution, low dose, and ability to image all planes at the same resolution.
- The POCUS Systems founding team has over 80 years of combined experience in the ultrasound industry.
- This Focused Ultrasound Foundation video details the results from its recently concluded Alzheimer’s Disease trial.
- Time is money for imaging centers and slow days can be costly. This video from Medmo outlines how participating in its marketplace helps imaging centers and radiologists keep their schedules full and their imaging systems running.