Samsung Rumors | Shimadzu & Change Partner | The Aussie MRI Fight

“In Australia we restrict access to (MRI diagnosis) and, at every election, we see the major parties exchange MRI licenses for votes. So, if you can’t afford access to services like X-rays and ultrasounds, announcements around more MRI licenses (are) going to do nothing to reduce your hip-pocket pain.”

Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association president, Siavash Es’haghi, denouncing an apparent MRI buying “arms race” taking place between the country’s main political parties as a way to “buy votes.” This was one of the big political stories of the week in Australia…



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Samsung to Sell IVF Biz, (maybe) Focus on Imaging
Reports from Korea reveal that Samsung is in negotiations to sell its in-vitro diagnostic unit to Japanese medical firm, Nipro, as part of a plan to sharpen its focus on medical imaging and take advantage of synergies across divisions (IVF doesn’t have synergies with most Samsung tech). That’s one side of the story – the other more interesting side is that this is rumored to be the first step in Samsung’s effort to sell-off its entire medical division by mid-2019 (reports: ultrasound going to Philips, X-ray to an unnamed Chinese firm) and the IVF division is just the first to sell. Samsung of course denied this rumor, but the Korean giant has certainly proven in the past that it is willing to sell once-prioritized divisions (e.g. printers/copiers, hard drives) and although it’s possible that this IVF sale is part of an increased focus on medical imaging, there’s also a chance that Samsung’s main medical “focus” is on getting out of this business.


Shimadzu and Change Healthcare Launch Cardiac Partnership
Shimadzu Medical Systems USA and Change Healthcare Cardiology launched a partnership that will allow Shimadzu and its resellers to offer Change’s Cardiology Hemo hemodynamic monitoring system (formerly known as McKesson Cardiology Hemo) combined with its Trinias angiography systems as a cath lab package. In the announcement, Shimadzu highlighted the growing demand for cardiac care and positioned the combined Trinias/Cardiology Hemo solution as a way for providers to add a complete interventional lab “while maintaining financial responsibility.” Angiography/hemodynamic partnerships such as this are relatively common among manufacturers without their own branded hemodynamic solutions, as Shimadzu previously worked with Mennen Medical and McKesson/Change previously partnered with Toshiba (Canon/Toshiba is now with Merge).


The Australia MRI Arms Race
Australian government funding for new MRI machines took an interesting political twist recently, as the country’s Prime Minister pledged to invest $175 million AUD ($127m USD) for 30 new MRIs just days after the competing Labor party made a similar MRI-funding promise. Maybe this is what politicians focus on when their country doesn’t have guns, any boarders, private healthcare, or a debt problem. Either way, this $175 million pledge was quickly criticized by the Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association as “political window dressing” in a healthcare funding “arms race” that is intended to buy votes but will do little to reduce the cost of MRI scans for the public. The association called for increased Medicare rebates for scans as an alternative to these new machines, which seems reasonable, although it’s still fascinating that this is one of the top political stories of the week in Australia.



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  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will expand Medicare to cover cardiac PET later this year, following pressure from Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. Cardiac PET will be approved for: planning epilepsy surgery, imaging adult abdominal lymph node lesions if a previous biopsy was negative or inconclusive, imaging a pediatric mediastinal mass prior to a biopsy if lymphoma is suspected or there is evidence of tracheal compression.
  • Agfa will unveil an updated version of its MUSICA Workstation at RSNA that appears to offer a revamped user interface and streamlined workflows, and may bring other generational improvements. Positioned by Agfa as the “nerve center” of the imaging environment (vs. MUSICA software’s role as the “brain”), the MUSICA Workstation supports DR/CR general radiography, fluoroscopy, mammography, and full leg/full spine (FLFS) imaging through a single interface and supports RIS and PACS connectivity for workflow automation.



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