Siemens Taking its Time | Korea’s AI Answer | BMI’s Shot at Channel Analytics

“What we see here is an unintended consequence of sharing costs, . . . (patients) are of a mind-set to avoid visits, expensive treatments, . . . They have a fear.”

Dr. Ethan Basch of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussing how breast cancer patients with high-deductible insurance delay diagnostic procedures following initial symptoms and even delay treatment once diagnosed with cancer.

The Imaging Wire

Siemens Just Browsing, for Now
Even though Siemens Healthineer’s IPO was previously viewed as an acquisition-enabling move, CEO Bernd Montag was sure to point out in the company’s first earnings call that it will not rush into M&A (begin video at 1-hour point). The executive assured that Siemens is very happy with its current portfolio, suggesting that the smaller bolt-on acquisitions made earlier this year are good examples of the company’s M&A philosophy in action (neither of those involved imaging).


Glassbeam and Brown’s Make Service Analytics a Channel Solution
Machine data analytics company, Glassbeam, signed major US dealer Brown’s Medical Imaging (BMI) as a reseller for its medical imaging machine data analytics solutions. The partnership will expand BMI’s CT/MRI services portfolio to include more advanced proactive and predictive service analytics. The companies positioned the deal as proof of an emerging opportunity for Independent Service Organizations (ISOs) to compete against OEMs direct divisions’ analytics offerings and better support clients looking for lower cost ways to support their installed equipment.


GE and A*STAR Tout Co-Development Results
GE Healthcare and Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) announced results of their ongoing 5-year co-development partnership that launched in late 2014. The R&D alliance leverages GE Healthcare’s technology expertise and A*STAR’s data analytics and high-performance computing capabilities, resulting in a range of new technologies built into GE’s current and future products. Initial co-developed solutions include: an improvement to PET image reconstruction that reduces results waiting times to 15 minutes (vs. 40 minutes), a new CT scan image reconstruction algorithm that could reduce image distortion, a platform that supports decision-making for stroke treatments, and a diagnostic imaging system for Parkinson’s Disease.


Korea’s AI Answer
The government of South Korea will invest 35.7 billion won ($33.4 million) over the next three years to develop a homegrown medical AI system, dubbed “Dr. Answer.” The planned system will analyze patients’ medical data to provide personalized diagnostics and treatment plans (initially for eight health issues), integrating with Korea’s cloud-based Precision Medical Hospital Information System. The Dr. Answer project is led by the Asan Medical Center in Seoul, while also involving 25 local hospitals and 19 AI software developers, including Vuno, JLK Inspection, and Kakao Brain. Dr. Answer’s public sector-led and private sector-involved structure is an interesting approach to healthcare AI and should offer lessons for those looking to develop more comprehensive AI programs.


The Wire

  • PartsSource launched its new PartsSource Depot Repair service, intended to streamline medical depot repairs for a variety of technologies (including ultrasound and MRI coils) using an online/mobile procurement platform, emphasizing 60 second repair order time (vs. 95-minute industry average) and a flat-rate pricing model.
  • Exact Imaging’s FusionVu application, used in its ExactVu Micro-Ultrasound Platform for targeted prostate biopsies, received FDA 510(k) clearance (FusionVu already had CE Mark clearance)
  • Philips submitted plans to lay off another 79 employees at its Cleveland area manufacturing facility and revealed that it will eventually eliminate 382 total positions as part of a previously-announced move to end manufacturing in Cleveland and transition the site’s focus to R&D and training.
  • EOS Imaging installed its EOS digital radiography system at a private radiology practice at the Gold Coast Private Hospital in Southport, Australia, marking the company’s 15th installation in Australia, 13 of which were at private facilities.
  • Despite slow historical adoption of PACS-EMR integration due to workflow concerns, a study posted by the Journal of Digital Imaging found that EMR integration saved radiologist time, streamlined data access, and improved patient care.
  • Healthcare startup Qure.ai announced study results showing that its new AI technology can identify serious abnormalities in head CT scans in under 10 seconds with more than 95% percent accuracy.
  • MIT researchers designed MRI sensors that form clusters in the presence of calcium ions (rather than measuring blood flow), allowing the sensors to monitor neuron activity in the living brain and potentially allowing researchers to link brain functions to their neuron activity pattern.
  • According to a recent study published in Academic Radiology, trained radiographer technologists can interpret chest x-rays with the same diagnostic accuracy as radiologists. Radiologists may have more to be concerned about than AI stealing their jobs.

The Resource Wire


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