Profit Transparency | Aramark Acquired | Synthetic Images

“We expected to see a 50% reduction that still would have been a major achievement, but an 80% reduction was unbelievable.”

University of Munich Clinic medicine professor, Dr. Jörg Hausleiter, on a recent study revealing that radiation exposure from coronary CT angiography (CCTA) fell by an “unbelievable” 78% from 2007 to 2017, essentially eliminating the threat of radiation-induced cancer from CCTA treatments.



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Profit Transparency

Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that both patients and radiology departments benefit from improved imaging price transparency. The patient part is obvious (lower/understandable/predictable costs are better), and despite sounding counterintuitive at first, the radiology department angle makes sense, too. By improving price transparency and proactively reducing a range of imaging costs, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia radiology department was able to reduce its costs associated patient complaints (e.g. waving fees for “unexpected” charges) by 63% in the first year, allowing it to operate more efficiently and keep more of the revenue it earned — and improve patient satisfaction.


TRIMEDX Lands Aramark Healthcare Technologies
TRIMEDX took a big step to strengthen its presence in the US healthcare technology management services market, acquiring Aramark’s Healthcare Technologies (HCT) business for $300 million. The acquisition gives TRIMEDX contracts with over 500 new US healthcare providers (it previously had 1,800 clients) and nearly doubles its health tech workforce with the addition of about 1,400 former Aramark-ers (previously had 1,600 employees). Meanwhile, the sale will allow Aramark to focus on its core businesses (food, facilities and uniforms), pay down its debt, and repurchase $50 million in shares (shareholders should like each of these). The acquisition also continues the recent consolidation trend among multi-vendor service providers, coming roughly a year after the US 3rd party service divisions of Bayer, Wetsco and MD Medtech merged into Innovatus Imaging (with some private equity help) and follows a number of other consolidating MVS acquisitions across the US and Europe.


Synthetic Images
A team of scientists from NVIDIA, MGH, BWH, and the Mayo Clinic developed a method to create synthetic brain MR images of abnormal conditions as a way to train AI algorithms to identify rare abnormalities and overcome patient privacy concerns related to sharing images. The researchers used generative adversarial networks (GANs) to create the synthetic images, which do not contain information that could be tied to a patient (because they are synthetic), and can be used to train neural networks to diagnose disease. This new development is very similar to a recent breakthrough from University of Toronto researchers that used machine learning to create computer generated X-rays to augment AI training sets, suggesting that this novel approach to address two of imaging AI’s biggest obstacles (image supply and patient privacy) is catching on.


The First Breast Spiral CT
German university spinoff, Advanced Breast-CT, announced that its nu:view breast CT scanner gained CE Mark certification, positioning it as a breakthrough breast imaging system. Nu:view is the world’s first breast CT scanner to be based on spiral CT technology, giving it the unique ability to capture a true 3D image of all parts of the breast with just one image. This achievement is attributed in part to the system’s use of photon counting cadmium telluride (CdTe)-based detectors (versus conventional scintillation tech) allowing its high image resolution, low radiation dosage, and short scan times, without breast compression.


PACS as Service
Mercy Technology Services (MTS) announced the launch the Mercy Health System’s PACS imaging solution and revealed plans to become the first health care provider to offer “PACS as Service” to hospitals across the country. The Mercy Health implementation (and likely its cloud-based “PACS as Service” offering) combines the Visage enterprise imaging platform, a workflow orchestrator from Siemens Healthineers company Medicalis, and Nuance’s Powerscribe 360 speech recognition and reporting software – structured in a monthly “as a Service” package.



The Wire


  • The European Union-funded OpenMind organization announced the completion of the OpenMind Project, dedicated to transforming MRI systems into therapeutic tools by encouraging the development of metal-free operation tools. The three-year project involved nine companies from six different European countries, all of which were focused on developing minimally invasive, MRI compatible, medical devices based on fiber-reinforced plastics (such as catheters, puncture needles, guidewires, and aneurysm clips).
  • Philips announced the launch of its Lumify tele-ultrasound system in East Africa, positioning the unique app-based handheld system as ideal for both rural settings and better-equipped clinics. The Lumify system is clearly highlighted by its tele-ultrasound capability, leveraging a connected mobile device to support two-way audio-visual calls with live ultrasound streaming, while also listing its small size, application flexibility, overall simplicity, and low price (including a subscription option) as key benefits.



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