“I’ve worked with neuroradiologists. The only interaction they have with patients is sending them to collection for unpaid fees.”
An anesthesiologist on Twitter trying to prove his point that Scott Atlas (a neurorad) isn’t qualified to serve as President Trump’s COVID-19 advisor, while potentially hurting some of his colleagues’ feelings.
Imaging Wire Sponsors
- Bayer Radiology – Providing a portfolio of radiology products, solutions, and services that enable radiologists to get the clear answers they need.
- GE Healthcare – Providing point of care ultrasound systems, from pocket-sized to portable consoles, designed to support your clinical needs and grow along with your practice.
- Healthcare Administrative Partners – Empowering radiology groups through expert revenue cycle management, clinical analytics, practice support, and specialized coding.
- Hitachi Healthcare Americas – Delivering best in class medical imaging technologies and value-based reporting.
- Nuance – AI and cloud-powered technology solutions to help radiologists stay focused, move quickly, and work smarter.
- Riverain Technologies – Offering artificial intelligence tools dedicated to the early, efficient detection of lung disease.
The Imaging Wire
Big Nanox Buzz
Nanox has emerged as September’s hottest medical imaging topping, as Nanox articles and social media conversations spread across the internet. It’s been amazing to see and somewhat surprising, especially since much of this activity is coming from folks who had little to do with imaging before now. Here are four sides to Nanox’s surprising and impressive buzz.
- The Investors – Nanox made the majority of its pre-IPO news for its string of big-name/value funding rounds so it makes sense that the majority of its post-IPO buzz would continue to focus on Nanox as an investment vehicle. This buzz has led to Nanox’s stock price more than tripling in the three weeks since its IPO, helped by influential folks like Motley Fool’s Brian Feroldi calling Nanox “one of the most interesting healthcare companies I’ve ever seen” and possibly the “the Tesla of medical imaging,” even if he also warned that Nanox is as risky as a “lottery ticket.”
- The Disruptors – Much of Nanox’s investing buzz is based on suggestions that the startup is poised to disrupt the imaging market, which would require an incredible number of things to go right in order to happen. Those odds haven’t stopped big name publications like Bloomberg from detailing Nanox’s disruption strategy or health business influencers like John Nosta from proclaiming that Nanox fulfills all “6 Ds of exponential growth.”
- The Naysayers – As some might expect, the greatest concentration of Nanox critics can be found on the Aunt Minnie message boards. Most of their criticism focuses on the lack of Nanox-produced images, the company’s “reckless” statements/strategy, the mismatch between its tech infrastructure and strategy, and Nanox’s potential to be the “next Theranos.”
- The Abstainers – You know who’s not talking about Nanox? Most clinicians, imaging leaders, and radiology academics. That makes sense given that Nanox still hasn’t gained FDA approval or launched any systems. However, these folks care a lot more about effectiveness and safety than disrupting their own industry, so they are going to need to see plenty of clinical evidence before becoming part of Nanox’s growing buzz.
- USAF’s Hands-Free Ultrasound: U.S. Air Force researchers developed a prototype hands-free ultrasound system that they say could allow remote patient monitoring while they are en route to medical care. The system bypasses ultrasound’s typically manual operation by placing a flexible transducer array on patients, potentially allowing a single clinician to monitor multiple patients continuously / simultaneously.
- SPIRIT-AI & CONSORT-AI: A collection of AI and clinical research leaders just rolled out the SPIRIT-AI and CONSORT-AI guidelines, adding AI components to the existing SPIRIT and CONSORT trial guidelines. SPIRIT-AI focuses on clinical trials involving AI interventions, while the companion CONSORT-AI guideline covers AI study report content.
- Omega Settles: Southern California radiology group, Omega Imaging, agreed to pay $5m to settle a whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit. The suit alleged that Omega (11 facilities) provided contrast enhanced imaging without proper physician supervision and performed imaging services at some facilities that lacked proper accreditation, while knowingly submitting claims to Medicare and TRICARE.
- CXR CV AI: A University of Tokyo team developed a deep learning tool that uses chest X-rays to diagnose heart failure with 82% accuracy. Trained using 260 “normal” and 378 “heart failure” labeled images (heat failure = cardiothoracic ratio >50%), the tool achieved 75% sensitivity and 94.4% specificity, while producing a heatmap to show how the system made its decisions.
- Visage Signs NYU: Visage Imaging added NYU Langone Health to its growing list of major enterprise imaging clients, announcing a 7-year, $25m Visage 7 contract and launching a collaborative product development alliance with NYU. The deal adds to Visage’s impressive list of recent major hospital system clients (Northwestern, OSU, Duke Health, Partners, Mayo Clinic, Mercy Health, and Yale-New Haven), which now includes 7 of the top 20 ranked U.S. hospitals.
- Peri & Intra Tumoral Radiomics, Better Together: New research out of China revealed that using a combination of peritumoral and intratumoral radiomics features (peri = around tumors, intra = in tumors) extracted from pre-treatment CT images improves esophageal cancer treatment response predictions. That’s from a study of 231 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma that found peritumoral + intratumoral radiomics predicted treatment responses with an 0.852 AUC, far more than using intratumoral (0.730) and peritumoral (0.734) radiolomics alone.
- QT Ultrasound’s China Expansion: QT Ultrasound announced a joint venture with TCL Healthcare that will expand its QTscan breast imaging scanners to China. QT Ultrasound highlighted TCL Healthcare’s presence/influence in China and QTscan’s effectiveness scanning dense breasts as the keys to this alliance, revealing plans to “quickly commercialize the QTscan in China.”
- COVID Code: Imaging departments and centers can now take advantage of a new CPT code (99072) to cover COVID-related operational costs. The new code covers additional cleaning supplies, safety materials (PPEs, symptom evaluation tools), and clinical staff time (cleaning, pre-visit patient instructions) that are “over and above” typical operations.
- CW’s AI Trial: Case Western and NYU will use clinical trial images and data from Bristol Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca to validate imaging AI solutions intended to predict patients’ response to lung cancer immunotherapy treatments. The Case Western-developed AI tools include a treatment monitoring solution that compares CT images taken during treatment with images captured at the time of diagnosis and a pathology algorithm that examines biopsy images to forecast treatment response.
- Samsung & Intel’s Partnership: Samsung Medison and Intel announced a partnership highlighting Samsung’s BiometryAssist and LaborAssist obstetric ultrasound solutions’ use of Intel technology (processors, OpenVINO toolkit, OpenCV library). Samsung joins a growing list of imaging OEMs to make Intel “partnership” announcements, which one could argue are mainly intended to support the companies’ PR goals (vs. actually announcing new/different strategies). Either way, these announcements are quite effective from a PR perspective, given that this story earned Samsung and Intel coverage by numerous tech and healthcare publications.
- CT Révolution: France’s CEA-Leti developed an X-ray photon-counting detector module (PCDM) integrated into a prototype Siemens Healthineers CT that could “revolutionize” whole body CT scanning. The cadmium telluride-based PCDM directly converts X-ray photons into electronic signals (vs. current CTs’ more complex process), allowing the prototype to achieve improvements to spatial resolution, X-ray exposure, image quality, and contrast agent support.
- UK NHSX AI Awards: The UK NHSX rolled out its first round of AI in Health and Care Awards, naming 13 imaging AI companies and academic teams out of the 42 total recipients (530 applicants) who will get a share of £179m over the next three years. Highlighted among the grants are “Phase 4” contracts to four medium-stage AI companies (Aidence, Brainomix, Mirada Medical, Ultromics) who will receive research funding and NHS clinical collaborations with the goal of helping then scale-up to large-scale deployments.
- New KM Solutions: Konica Minolta made a pair of software announcements last week, launching a new digital Penning Analysis tool through its 20/20 Imaging division and its new Exa Gateway remote reading solution. The new addition to 20/20 Imaging’s Opal-Chiro Digital Retrofit DR solution reduces Penning Analysis (determines cervical spine motion) workflow by as much as 80% (15-20min to 3-5 minutes). Exa Gateway is positioned as a “cost-effective” teleradiology platform, connecting hospitals, practices, and teleradiologists using existing PACS systems.
- Mirion Acquires Biodex: Mirion Technologies acquired nuclear medicine and medical imaging company, Biodex Medical Systems, helping expand Mirion into the healthcare space. Mirion positioned the acquisition as a key step towards expanding its radiation measurement technology into medicine and as a precursor to co-developed products from the merged companies.
The Resource Wire
– This is sponsored content.
- This Bayer Radiology white paper details the six steps imaging teams can follow to achieve their dose management goals.
- Check out Riverain Technologies’ on-demand webinar demonstrating how its AI solutions integrated into LucidHealth’s radiology workflow and sharing best practices on how to combine AI with radiologist expertise.
- In its latest Q&A Nuance’s Diagnostics leader, Karen Holzberger, sat down with Dr. Irena Tocino from Yale New Haven Health System to learn about how Nuance solutions helped YNHHS overcome the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Patients have become savvy healthcare shoppers who increasingly rely on price information to make decisions about their care. Join Healthcare Administrative Partners’ CRO, Rebecca Farrington, as she discusses price transparency & consumerism in radiology in this upcoming RBMA webinar.
- Wondering what to look for in your next CT? This Hitachi blog goes beyond slice count, detailing the top three features that your next CT has to have. Here’s a hint: they will help you care for your >30% patients who are overweight.
- As the world navigates the unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, GE Healthcare supports healthcare providers, partners, communities and patients around the world in addressing it. Find information on GE Healthcare’s COVID-19 Resources here.