Device Security | RP’s Drug Status | NTT Data’s AI Investment

“When everybody is in charge, nobody is in charge.”

An anonymous Chief Information Security Officer on what happens when the ownership of medical device security isn’t clear.



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The 96/18 Rule

Eighteen percent of healthcare IT executives say their organization’s medical devices have been the target of a malware or ransomware attack… in the last 18 months! This is from a report by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and Klas Research (n=148), which also revealed that only 39% of the IT execs were “confident” or “very confident” that their cybersecurity strategy protects patient safety and prevents disruptions in care. An overwhelming 96% suggested that “manufacturer-related factors” were the root cause of their device vulnerability (dated operating systems, unavailable patches, etc.) compared to 68% blaming internal “organizational causes.” This isn’t surprising given the ongoing debate over responsibility for legacy devices. However, the need to protect against malware or ransomware attacks is far less debatable (it’s important).


Google DeepMind Looks Internationally to Fight Density Bias
Google DeepMind is collecting breast images from different countries to train a new breast cancer screening algorithm that is less prone to regional breast density biases. DeepMind just gained access to 30,000 mammograms from Jikei University Hospital in Tokyo and was promised future access to 30,000 breast ultrasounds and 3,000 breast MRIs from the hospital, helping to train its dataset with images from a country known for dense breasts. These images will be combined with DeepMind’s 7,500 existing mammograms from Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre at Imperial College London and other future image databases from other regions.


Radiopharmaceuticals’ Fight for Drug Status
To the applause of MITA, congress introduced the Medicare Diagnostic Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act of 2018, seeking to change the CMS status of radiopharmaceuticals to a drug (vs. a supply) that will therefore be paid separately in Medicare outpatient settings (vs. bundled with the cost of the scan). With the current bundling method, the “cost of the diagnostic radiopharmaceutical (sometimes) exceeds the entire packaged amount of reimbursement, creating the potential for hospitals to lose money every time they perform the procedure.” This of course makes providers hesitate before performing certain imaging procedures and drags down overall radiopharmaceutical and imaging demand.


AI Still An Aid
Boston area researchers tested Qure.ai’s deep learning (DL) algorithm on chest x-rays, finding that it can effectively help radiologists, but is “unlikely to replace radiologists.” The researchers tested 874 de-identified chest radiographs (for pulmonary opacities, pleural effusions, hilar prominence and enlarged cardiac silhouette), pitting the Qure.ai solution against two trained radiologists to establish a standard of reference (SOR) and again against four test radiologists. The results showed no statistical difference between DL and SOR for the above abnormalities, but the DL algorithm performed worse than the test radiologists when assessing changes in pulmonary opacities and when chest wall implanted devices were present in tests for pulmonary and hilar abnormalities.


NTT Data’s AI Investment
Japanese IT service provider NTT Data made an unspecified investment for about a 10% stake in US/Indian medical imaging AI startup DeepTek, with plans to add DeepTek’s AI solutions to NTT’s United Clinical Archive platform and expand the solution globally in 2019. DeepTek’s AI-based radiology decision support system reportedly cuts MRI and CT diagnosis time in half and in a recent proof of concept test, the solution detected emphysema with over three-times greater accuracy than a non-AI method. NTT Data’s United Clinical Archive has a strong presence and the company is certainly capable of expanding the DeepTek solution across its global territories.




The Wire


  • IMRIS, Deerfield Imaging Inc. and Siemens Healthineers are making their relationship exclusive. IMRIS agreed to only use Siemens MRI, CT, and angiography systems in its IMRIS Surgical Theater neurosurgery suite (it will still work with other companies for other devices) and Siemens will distribute IMRIS’ solutions through its direct sales force and to its customer base.
  • Siemens Healthineers announced the FDA clearance of the MAGNETOM Sola 1.5T MRI Scanner, releasing the new system to the US healthcare system seven months after it was first announced and about six weeks after it was cleared by Health Canada. The 70-cm MAGNETOM Sola 1.5T is highlighted by its role as the first 1.5T MRI with Siemens’ BioMatrix tech (reduces setup time, monitors and corrects patient motion, improves head/neck imaging via distortion-mitigation tech), its new Multi-Slice TSE software that reduce MSK scan times by as much as 46%, and its Compressed Sensing for faster cardiac and liver exams.



The Resource Wire

– This is sponsored content.

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