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Disrupting Imaging IT | AI Sanity Test

“. . . the technology provided to us thus far has only slowed us down, increasing opportunity for errors and in turn, decreasing our overall job satisfaction,”

CAIMA president, Jay Kaiser, MD, on why CAIMA is partnering with Sirona to disrupt radiology IT.



Imaging Wire Sponsors

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



The Imaging Wire


Sirona Medical Emerges

Sirona Medical “emerged from stealth” last week, announcing a $22.5m Series A round, some big-name collaborators / advisors, and an even bigger plan to disrupt the radiology IT establishment.

  • About RadOS – Sirona’s in-development RadOS radiology operating system will unify all radiology IT applications within a single cloud-native and AI-ready platform (worklist, viewer, reporter, etc.), allowing radiologists to “focus on the image and patient diagnosis rather than managing disparate technological components.”
  • Rethinking Radiology IT – Sirona Medical has big goals, positioning RadOS as the way radiology IT will overcome its historical inefficiencies (siloed technologies, cumbersome workflows, etc.) and suggesting that the platform could “revolutionize the practice of radiology as we know it.”
  • Big Name Collaborators – “Revolutionizing the practice of radiology” would take some serious workflow expertise, which is likely why Sirona placed so much emphasis on its radiology practice collaborators (CAIMA, Hackensack, Triad, “others”), who will play a central role in RadOS’ development and rollout. Sirona also boasts some influential names on its leadership and advisory teams, including current and former leaders from the ACR, Stanford, CDI, Mission Health, Intelerad, Arterys, and Sectra.
  • Disruption is Hard – The medical imaging history books are filled with would-be disruptors who seemed to have everything they needed (great ideas, excellent teams, lots of funding, strong industry connections, etc.) but weren’t able to make it happen. That’s because the moat around imaging is incredibly wide (entrenched tech/vendors, complex datasets/workflows, demanding users), and the timing is rarely right.
  • Disruption Still Happens – However, healthcare disruptions still happen and the industry definitely still needs disruptors, especially ones that could solve the kind of problems that Sirona is targeting.


Dual Source CT Making a Difference

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University of Colorado’s Case for ClearRead Bone Suppress

This Riverain Technologies case study details how the University of Colorado Hospital enhanced its chest X-ray workflow with ClearRead Bone Suppress.

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The Wire

  • Mobile Stroke Advantages: Mobile Interventional Stroke Teams (MISTs) that drive to stroke patients and perform endovascular thrombectomies produce significantly better outcomes. That’s from a Mount Sinai study (n = 226 treated patients, 106 via MIST) that found patients treated by MISTs within 6 hours of a stroke were far more likely to have “good” 90-day outcomes (54% vs. 28%) and had far lower stroke scores (5 vs. 12 median) than patients transported to stroke centers.
  • Imaging IT Unscathed: Signify Research reports that the global imaging IT market emerged from the pandemic “relatively unscathed,” declining by just 0.2% in 2020, as current account growth offset a slowdown in new business. Signify expects imaging IT to return to growth this year (~2.8%) and achieve peak growth in 2022 and 2023 (~4.5% & ~4.2%) due to “extraordinary funding,” enterprise imaging adoption, and an overall post-COVID business rebound.
  • Lead-Free Carers: When guardians and other caregivers comfort pediatric patients in the X-ray exam room, they often don’t have to wear lead gowns. That’s from a new Australia-based study that found many pediatric X-ray exams expose “carers” to less than 2 usv of radiation, which is low enough to forgo protective gowns. They also suggest that eliminating gowns could improve scan quality by alleviating patients/carers’ gown-related anxiety.
  • EchoNous Integrates Us2.ai: EchoNous announced a partnership with echocardiography AI developer Us2.ai, integrating Us2.ai’s heart structure analysis software into the EchoNous Kosmos POCUS platform (both FDA cleared). The companies suggest that Kosmos’ ability to measure systolic heart function and Us2.ai’s echocardiography automation will make this the most powerful cardiac handheld POCUS available.
  • AI Sanity Test: A Frontiers in Digital Health study proposed a series of AI “sanity tests” to evaluate whether AI models produce their results for the right reasons, before performing time-consuming generalization tests. The sanity tests include: 1) Train / test AI with the target-present and absent (if it works with the target absent, its confounded), 2) Train / test AI with non-target parts of the image or with noisy images (if it works, its confounded, 3) Test AI with cropped images that only show regions of interest (e.g. an organ and tumor) and make sure it can generalize to the original/complete image.
  • Blocking Change: The US DOJ is reportedly considering a lawsuit to block UnitedHealth’s acquisition of Change Healthcare due to concerns that the merger would hinder competition. The Biden administration has made it quite clear that it will fight anticompetitive business consolidation, particularly within healthcare, and this would be an early example that they mean it.
  • Siemens WeScan: Siemens Healthineers publicly introduced its WeScan remote MRI technologist service, supported by a new partnership with remote connectivity/access company TeamViewer. WeScan allows healthcare providers to access a pool of remote technologists who would use Siemens’ syngo Virtual Cockpit software to perform the on-site MRI scans. TeamViewer’s remote connectivity technology would support the service’s data and security requirements.
  • Vessel CAC Scoring: A Siemens Healthineers-led validation study detailed an automated vessel-specific coronary artery calcium scoring system that accurately classified patients’ cardiac risk and assigned coronary artery-specific CAC scores. The deep learning software analyzed 1,171 patients’ CT scans, producing similar total CAC scores as human readers (93% accuracy), while also accurately producing sub-scores for different artery branches (94%).
  • Change’s Stratus Launch: Change Healthcare unveiled its cloud-native and SaaS-based Stratus Imaging PACS, which is currently available to beta users. The company also announced plans to consolidate all of its cloud-native enterprise imaging solutions under its new Change Healthcare Stratus Imaging brand, representing a major step in its cloud-centric strategy just a year after acquiring Nucleus.io.
  • Temple’s Handheld Handout: Temple University announced that it will equip all of its first-year med students with Butterfly iQ+ handheld ultrasounds. Although still unique, the last few years brought similar handheld handouts at UC Irvine (all med students, Butterfly), Indiana University (anesthesia residents, Butterfly), Weill Cornell (radiology residents, Philips), Touro University (med students, Vave Health), Mayo Clinic (anesthesia residents, Butterfly), and even the Texas Tech Veterinary School (Butterfly). As this trend continues, a lot more physicians will exit med school as handheld natives.
  • Ultrasound Gel Infections: The FDA issued a recall for certain lots of Eco-Med Pharmaceuticals’ Eco-Gel 200 ultrasound gel after 15 patients experienced potentially dangerous bacterial infections.

Ramapo Radiology’s Case for Novarad CryptoChart

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The Resource Wire

  • This Medical Image Analysis study detailed an uncertainty-based learning framework, called Uncertainty Vertex-weighted Hyper- graph Learning (UVHL), that identified COVID-19 from CAP with CT images with 90% accuracy.
  • Room for more efficiency in your breast imaging operations? Check out this GE Healthcare post detailing how new technologies are improving patient experiences and making breast imaging teams more efficient.
  • The flow of new AI applications makes it hard for radiology groups to determine which tools would help them and how IT teams can handle increased AI adoption. In this Blackford Analysis white paper, radiology and IT leaders from NYU and Canopy Partners share how a platform approach alongside a curated marketplace can help solve these challenges.
  • This Zebra-Med post details how AI is revolutionizing population health programs through automation, workflow integration, and significantly expanding early disease detection.
  • In this Fujifilm Healthcare post, VidiStar users share how they’ve benefitted from the cardiovascular information system’s flexible SaaS-based pricing model and leveraged its productivity advantages to increase reimbursements.
  • Check out this Imaging Wire Q&A, where Bayer Radiology’s Dennis Durmis and MITA’s Peter Weems discuss the medical device service debate and how ongoing legislation and regulation efforts could impact patients, clinicians, and OEMs.
  • Canon Medical System’s new Aquilion Exceed LB CT radiation therapy planning system has a lot to boast about, combining AiCE reconstruction technology with an industry-leading bore opening (90cm), field of view (90cm), and detector coverage (4cm).


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-- The Imaging Wire team