Defining ROI | Ultrasound Implant | Saving AI

“’I did residency during a pandemic’ is going to be the new ‘I did residency before work hour restrictions’”

Twitter radiologist and excellent follow, Dr. Shadowgazer.

We’re very happy to welcome United Imaging as an Imaging Wire sponsor. It’s been amazing to see United Imaging establish itself in the U.S. over the last two years (mission, products, business, and research), and I can’t wait to share their message with you.

Imaging Wire Sponsors

  • Arterys – Reinventing imaging so you can practice better and faster.
  • Bayer Radiology – Providing a portfolio of radiology products, solutions, and services that enable radiologists to get the clear answers they need.
  • GE Healthcare – Enabling clinicians to make faster, more informed decisions through intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services.
  • 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.
  • Novarad – Transformational imaging technologies that empower hospitals and clinicians to deliver clinical, operational and fiscal excellence.
  • 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.
  • Siemens Healthineers – Shaping the digital transformation of imaging to improve patient care.
  • United Imaging – Our mission, Equal Healthcare for All, pushes us beyond conventional boundaries to help clinicians expand modern, digital, intelligent care to more people within their communities.
  • Zebra Medical Vision – Transforming patient care with the power of AI.

The Imaging Wire

Defining AI ROI

Aidence just shared a timely blueprint for showing Return on Investment with imaging AI, calling the current lack of ROI evidence “the main barrier for AI adoption.” Here’s their blueprint:

  • Understand the Incentives – AI ROI depends on the buyers/users’ unique incentive systems, noting the significant incentive variations between different countries (public, private, hybrid) and the preferences of different groups within those countries (HMOs, practices, insurers, etc.).
  • Communicate Your Benefits – AI providers should clearly communicate the solution’s main benefits (e.g. faster reading and reporting) and its direct (e.g. faster nodule detection) and indirect impacts (e.g. detect more actionable nodules, reduce follow-ups).
  • Match Benefits & Incentives – Then, AI providers should communicate how these benefits align with the customer’s unique incentive system. In countries like the Netherlands that might mean focusing on efficiency, while both efficiency and quality could be emphasized in countries like the UK and U.S.
  • And Remember – “All stakeholders benefit from efficiency gains,” while quality gains are only relevant for some payors (e.g. national health systems, HMOs, insurers) as a way to cut costs (e.g. reduce follow-ups & late-stage treatments). That’s important, because payors are going to have to believe AI is cost-effective before they’ll start reimbursing for AI.

The Wire

  • CDS, Better With Reps: The more ordering physicians use clinical decision support mechanisms (CDSMs), the more appropriate their imaging orders become. That’s from a new Journal of Digital Imaging study that reviewed 244k providers’ first 200 advanced imaging orders after adopting Change Healthcare’s CareSelect CDSM. The 10k providers who made >200 orders improved their “usually appropriate” and “usually not appropriate” order rates (+2.6%, -3%) when comparing their first 10 orders versus orders 190-200. The providers with >190 requests also had 8.5% more “usually appropriate” orders than providers with ≤10 requests.
  • Introducing Zepp Health: Chinese smartwatch giant, Huami Corporation, announced its official expansion into “industrial healthcare,” changing its name to Zepp Health and revealing a new vision that combines its wearable products and tech portfolio (precision sensors, biometrics, AI chips) with traditional medical technology. This strategy specifically involves medical imaging, explaining why Huami/Zepp just invested in portable MRI startups Hyperfine and Promaxo and partnered with X-ray manufacturer Aspen Imaging last summer.
  • Saving AI: The one and only PACSman (aka Michael J. Cannavo) shared some tough love for imaging AI on Auntminnie.com last week. PACSman set up his argument by detailing AI’s slow clinical adoption, pushback from radiologists, limited/difficult reimbursements, and AI developers’ challenging financial situations (high funding, fast burn rates, slow adoption). PACSman’s solutions to these challenges include defining what AI is and isn’t, slashing AI integration fees, clarifying AI’s role as a radiologist complement (not replacement), and getting radiologists to drive AI adoption.
  • Ultrasound-Ready Cranial Implant: Longeviti Neuro Solutions announced that its ClearFit neuro reconstructive implant has FDA approval for ultrasound imaging. The company is bullish about the prosthetic implant’s added ultrasound support, suggesting that it will improve imaging access (immediately after surgery, ongoing in-office visits), allow for more scans, and reduce reliance on CT and MRI (and their costs, time, and radiation).
  • CV MRI & CT, Growing and Still Niche: A new Radiology: Cardiovascular Imaging study analyzing 2012-2017 Medicare data revealed significant increases in the number of U.S. physicians providing cardiovascular MRI (+84.8% to 582) and cardiovascular CT (+77.3% to 1,645) services. Despite this growth, only a small portion of radiologists and cardiologists were providing cardiovascular MRI (1% & 0.2%) and cardiovascular CT (3.2% & 0.5%) services by 2017.
  • Radiographer Supply Solutions: An editorial out of the UK proposed a number of education changes that could solve the NHS’ radiographer shortage. The proposal called for significantly increasing clinical placement levels through a combination of expanding radiographer matching (from 1:1 to 1:4 like nurse training), shortening clinical placement terms (50 to 30 weeks), and adding night/weekend training shifts (vs. daytime / weekdays). The editorial also proposed “minimizing” radiography undergrad curriculums to focus on general skills, while restructuring postgrad radiography programs to focus on more specialized exams and modalities (e.g. head CT).
  • Frost & Sullivan on the CVIS Evolution: Frost & Sullivan detailed the major cardiology and cardiac imaging evolution taking place (digitization, value-based shift, consolidation, volume growth, expanding data sources) and called for practices to evolve their informatics strategy and cardiovascular information systems (CVIS). The firm outlined the CVIS features and capabilities to look for (e.g. auto-populating measurements, access to previous reports, customizable templates, IT integration), while encouraging practices who are looking to update their CVIS to embrace cloud-based platforms, make structured reporting and modality support a requirement, and ensure it meets the needs of all stakeholders (physicians, execs, technologists, IT).
  • Cigna’s Pediatric Imaging Revision: Amid industry pressure, Cigna revised its site of care policy to allow children aged 19 or younger to receive in-hospital advanced imaging (MRI/MRA/CT/CTA), updating an August 2020 policy change that only covered on-site imaging for children ≤10yrs and other “medically necessary” situations (e.g. transplantation services, patients w/ contrast allergies, preoperative imaging).
  • Inadequate Requests: A new study out of the Netherlands (n = 673 exams) found that over 76% of imaging study requests do not meet ‘Reason for exam Imaging Reporting and Data System’ (RI-RADS) standards. Sub-standard requests were most prevalent with preoperative and transplantation imaging, while ordering physicians were most likely to provide insufficient details about indications, requesting specialties, and body regions.
  • Turkey’s New Imaging OEM: Turkish defense giant, Aselsan (known for tanks, missiles, etc.), announced its entrance into the medical imaging market, starting with a newly CE-marked mobile X-ray device before launching more advanced modalities in the future (specifically naming MRI and mammography). One of Aselsan’s goals is to decrease Turkey’s reliance on foreign healthcare companies, but it still plans to partner with local and global medtech companies to build out its imaging portfolio.
  • Breast MRI Textural Analysis: A new Clinical Imaging study found that MRI textural analysis can help differentiate benign and malignant breast masses. The researchers analyzed contrast-enhanced breast MRI exams from 69 women (38 benign masses, 39 malignant) using commercially available TexRAD software, finding significant differences between benign and malignant tumors across all eight spatial scaling factors that they evaluated. One model combining entropy and sigma analysis differentiated masses with a 0.91 AUC, achieving 92% sensitivity and 79% specificity.
  • More NHS Backlogs: The NHS’ “shocking” imaging backlog is back in the news, as the waiting list for eight key diagnostic tests (many imaging) increased from 23,254 to 31,395 people at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde since the start of the pandemic. To address this backlog, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde plans to add mobile MRI and CT units and is considering expanding operating times, while continuing to prioritize the most urgent patients.
  • Auditory Imaging: A Sweden-based research team used synchrotron X-ray imaging (a tomographic imaging method) to produce the first 3D frequency map of a human’s inner ear, allowing clinicians to see where different sound frequencies are located on the cochlear nerve and how sound waves are distributed. This new technique could lead to improvements in cochlea implant procedures for hearing impaired patients.
  • Spesana & Imbio Partner: Spesana will add Imbio’s quantitative imaging AI solutions to its molecular diagnostics decision support platform, suggesting that this combination of imaging biomarkers and molecular data could deliver more personalized healthcare. The partners will initially focus on chronic lung diseases (e.g. COPD and emphysema), creating a solution that allows early detection, quantification, and patient management.

The Resource Wire

– This is sponsored content.

  • Every decision United Imaging makes, every innovation they choose to pursue, comes down to their mission: Equal Healthcare For All. Hear more about their mission.
  • In this GE Healthcare post, University of Wisconsin’s Tim Szczykutowicz, PhD, DABR outlines how hospitals are making their CT workflows more efficient by using technology to automate and simplify tasks.
  • This Bayer case study details how radiation benchmarking programs can help push CT dose reduction initiatives from achieving compliance to driving quality.
  • This Hitachi post details how human centered design led to the Scenaria View CT’s innovative Lateral Shift Table, which increases spatial resolution, allows accurate centering, and reduces dosage.
  • Meet up with Zebra-Med at this week’s ECR meeting where they’re demoing a range of population health and diagnostic solutions.
  • Easy access to patient records, reduced inefficiencies and costs, improved collaboration and compliance, and enhanced security. These are just a few of the benefits of Novarad’s enterprise imaging solution detailed right here.

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