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Virtual Consults | An AI Incident | Pancreatic Flags

“We thought it would be easy, but it turned out to be really, really hard,”

The UNC Cancer Center’s Dr. Norman Sharpless, on their experience with IBM Watson during the early stages of healthcare AI’s learning curve.


Imaging Wire Sponsors

Arterys | Bayer Radiology | Canon Medical Systems
Fujifilm Healthcare Americas | GE Healthcare |
Healthcare Administrative Partners | Novarad | Nuance
Riverain Technologies | Siemens Healthineers
United Imaging | Zebra Medical Vision



The Imaging Wire


Virtual Consults

New research out of MGH shows that point-of-care virtual radiology consultations are well received by patients and primary care providers, suggesting that they could “advance radiology’s value in care delivery.”

  • The Study – The researchers performed video-based radiology consultations with 3 primary care providers and 43 patients at a primary care clinic, surveying the patients and the PCPs.
  • The Patient Results – The patient results were positive – 93% were satisfied with the virtual consultations, 88% stated that it improved their understanding of their condition, and 91% were interested in similar consultations in the future. Perhaps most notably, the patients’ interest in receiving their imaging results from radiologists increased from 56% before the virtual consultations to 88% after.
  • The PCP Results – The PCPs were satisfied with 97% of the virtual consultations and found that 83% of the consultations helped their management decisions.
  • The Takeaway – The 2020-2021 virtual care boom has largely skipped radiology, but it’s becoming clear that all specialties will have to find a way to adapt to this shift. This study reveals a straightforward way for radiology to increase its role in virtual care that seems to work for both patients and referring providers.


Why United Imaging’s DR (uDR)?

United Imaging’s uDR X-ray portfolio combines low radiation dosage and brilliant images with a focus on user automation and patient comfort. Like United Imaging’s other systems, the uDR lineup comes in all-inclusive configurations and software upgrades for life.

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Non-Contrast 4D Flow Validated

This University of Chicago study detailed an Arterys-based non-contrast 4D-flow CMRI sequence that acquires multiple overlapping thin slabs, and could improve image quality, diagnostic accuracy, and aortic flow measurements compared to the non-contrast single-slab approach.

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The Wire

  • An AI Incident Silver Lining: A particularly transparent Aidence blog gained praise from the AI community, detailing how a hospital client identified discrepancies with their AI-based pulmonary nodule assistant, and how they reacted (notifying clients, fixing the product, improving QC processes, etc.). In addition to underscoring the importance of rigorous post-market surveillance, this is a solid example of how AI users and developers can (and should) work together to make AI as effective as possible.
  • Flagging Pancreatic Findings: A new JACR study detailed the positive impact of a University of Texas Southwestern structured radiology report feature that automatically added patients with incidental pancreatic findings to their EHR’s pancreas clinic registry. Over two years (n = 376 flagged reports, 474 unflagged), flagged patients were far more likely to be seen/discussed by the UTSW pancreas clinic (50.3% vs. 16.7%), undergo follow-up imaging (50% vs. 25.5%), and receive proper management of follow-up findings (37.1% vs. 21.7%).
  • The NYT on IBM: The New York Times added to the internet’s growing archive of “what went wrong with IBM Watson” stories, blaming its struggles on corporate hubris, product fit mistakes, unsuccessful acquisitions, and an understandably steep learning curve. The NYT piece also shared some reasons for optimism, including a more focused product strategy based on solid NLP tech and a right-sized goal for Watson to contribute to IBM (vs. transform IBM).
  • Lunit & Guardant Health: Lunit announced an alliance with major liquid biopsy company, Guardant Health, that includes a $26m investment in the AI startup and ongoing product development collaborations between the two companies. Guardant plans to utilize Lunit’s cancer detection and treatment planning AI tools to expand its own precision oncology platform. Lunit still plans to launch its IPO later this year.
  • Independent Overnights: A new JACR study found that radiology residents who independently perform overnight interpretations (next-morning reviews / feedback) produced 33% more studies per hour during their first year after residency than residents who were directly supervised by attendees (same-shift reviews / feedback). The study was small (n = 49) and the two groups were just as accurate, but the authors suggest that this might show that directly supervised residents can struggle transitioning to independent radiology work.
  • POCUS Space Race: SonoScape’s X5 PoC ultrasound system is aboard China’s Shenzhou-12 spaceflight, where astronauts will use the ultrasound to conduct medical exams. Ultrasound has become about as common in outer space as billionaires these days, as Butterfly’s handheld ultrasound and UltraSight’s cardiac AI guidance platform also recently took off on space missions.
  • Routine Screening for ABUS BI-RADS 3: A new AJR study suggests that women with BI-RADS 3 lesions detected via supplemental automated breast ultrasound exams (ABUS) can safely maintain routine annual mammography screenings. The researchers performed ABUS exams on 2,257 women with dense breasts and BI-RADS 1 or 2 mammography screening results, finding that none of the women with ABUS-based BI-RADS 3 lesions (n = 394) were diagnosed with breast cancer in the same quadrant as their lesions after two years. This approach also significantly reduced recall rates (3.8% vs. 21.3%).
  • Canon Integrates Vital Images: Canon Medical Systems revealed plans to integrate its Vital Images enterprise imaging subsidiary, which will become Canon Medical Informatics and play a greater role in Canon’s global healthcare information technology (HIT) strategy. Vital Images’ integration is part of Canon Medical’s increased focus on HIT as a key global growth pillar.
  • COVID LUS Follow-Ups: Spanish researchers found that lung ultrasound is valuable for monitoring COVID-19 recoveries. The researchers performed LUS on 96 patients (while hospitalized, and at 1 & 3 months after discharge), finding that only 20.8% completely recovered by their one-month exam and 68.7% completely recovered after three months. Delayed recoveries were most common among patients with moderate and severe ARDS, many of which had residual lung lesions after three months (32.4% & 61.5%).
  • Transparency Penalties: After months of non-compliance from many US hospitals, CMS is proposing far more severe fines for healthcare cost transparency violations, potentially increasing penalties from $300/day to up to $5.5k/day ($2m/yr max).
  • PET/CT Alliance: Spain’s IMAS initiative will combine technology and resources from GE Healthcare, AI startup Quibim, and Spanish public health/research groups to develop an advanced Whole-Body PET/CT scanner. The collaborators plan to expand the PET/CT system’s axial coverage, potentially reducing acquisition time or dosage without impacting image quality, while also allowing simultaneous acquisition of the body’s main organs.
  • RAYUS Adds Foundation: RAYUS Radiology (formerly CDI) continued its nationwide expansion, acquiring Pittsburgh-based Foundation Radiology Group (>100 rads, 45 hospitals/health systems, 7 states). RAYUS/CDI has been an active acquirer since its own PE acquisition in 2019, but it’s become more aggressive in the weeks since its RAYUS rebranding including acquisitions in Washington, Florida, and now across Foundation’s Northern & Northeast US territories.
  • Secondary Interpretations Gap: An Emory study (n = 7,740 interpretations, 25 months) found that nearly half of patients are billed for their secondary diagnostic imaging interpretations (47.5% billed, 17% paid them), leading to small but often unexpected $14.55 average out-of-pocket charges. The researchers called for improved transparency and better communication about the value and cost of these secondary interpretations.
  • Flywheel on Siemens Teamplay: Flywheel and Siemens Healthineers launched a partnership that will make Flywheel’s clinical research imaging informatics solution available via Siemens’ teamplay research / collaboration platform. Starting in North America, Siemens’ research partners can utilize teamplay and Flywheel to share their data and algorithms with research partners.

HAP’s Practice Benchmarks

Know how your practice measures up? In this post, Healthcare Administrative Partners details the key benchmarking quality metrics and how they can help radiology practices improve.

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The Resource Wire

  • Learn how Salem Regional Medical Center improved its radiology workflows and cut service and syringe expenses after adopting Bayer’s MEDRAD Stellant FLEX system.
  • Tune in to Riverain Technologies’ on-demand webinar demonstrating how its AI solutions integrate into LucidHealth’s radiology workflow and sharing best practices on how to combine AI with radiologist expertise.
  • Learn how Novarad’s Nova RIS system helps radiology departments streamline front office workflows, ensuring they get all the reimbursements they’ve earned while also providing a great patient experience.
  • More efficiency and accuracy – less burnout and IT overhead. Those are the key results from adopting cloud speech technology detailed by Nuance in this infographic.
  • We’ve heard a lot about the AMA’s new Category III CPT codes for artificial intelligence. Check out this post from Zebra-Med CEO, Zohar Elhanani, about how these codes bring the next step in Zebra-Med’s population health mission.
  • With Turbo Suite Excelerate by Siemens Healthineers, you can reduce MRI exam times by up to 50%. See how it’s possible in these videos featuring example hip, knee, and brain scans.
  • Check out this Imaging Wire Show interview with Fujifilm Healthcare Americas’ Dave Wilson, detailing what we can expect as Hitachi Healthcare becomes part of Fujifilm.

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