Ultrasound Patch | AI Growth | Portable PET

“Just stick it on the skin, then read the signals,”

UC San Diego’s Sai Zhou describing how to operate their new ultrasound patch.

Imaging Wire Sponsors

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

The Imaging Wire

An Ultrasound Patch Advancement

UCSD researchers unveiled a wearable ultrasonic phased array patch that can monitor haemodynamic signals 14 cm beneath the skin (5.5 inches), and could eventually help catch heart attacks or strokes before they happen.

  • The Patch – The patch features a 12×12 grid of tiny ultrasound transducers, embedded in a flexible polymer sheet that attaches to patients’ neck or chest. It transmits ultrasound waves in multiple directions (vs. only below the patch), providing real-time blood flow information from different areas of the body.
  • The Study – The patch measured human volunteers’ cardiac tissues, central blood flow, and cerebral blood supply as accurately as traditional ultrasound exams without requiring complicated setup or trained operators.
  • Patch Progress – This UCSD team has made solid progress since 2018 when its patch was able to measure just 4cm under the skin. We’ve also seen recent wearable cardiovascular ultrasound advancements from Pulsify, Berkeley Lab, and Flosonics.
  • Patch Potential – Although UCSD’s wearable patch currently has to be tethered to a power source and computer to operate, a future wireless patch that continuously monitors cardiovascular conditions (at the point of care, or at home) could have a solid healthcare role.

OLGH’s PowerScribe One Improvements

See how the Ochsner Lafayette General health system improved its radiology report quality and efficiency when it migrated to PowerScribe One.

– Sponsored.

Zebra’s Population Health Codes

We’ve heard a lot about the AMA’s new Category III CPT codes for artificial intelligence. Check out this post from Zebra-Med CEO, Zohar Elhanani, about how these codes bring the next step in Zebra-Med’s population health mission.

– Sponsored.

The Wire

  • AI Growth Forecast: Signify Research forecasts the global imaging AI market to reach $1.2b by 2025 (up from ~$375m in 2020), boosted by AI’s recent regulatory and reimbursement progress. However, the firm warned that AI needs to prove its clinical and economic benefits in order to reach its full potential, perhaps explaining why Signify has now reduced its AI growth forecast (last September it was $1.5b by 2024).
  • Portable PET: Prescient Imaging’s BBX-PET portable PET scanner just gained FDA approval, potentially allowing brain PET imaging to expand into new settings (e.g. neurologist offices, nursing homes). The BBX-PET’s healthcare setting flexibility could become particularly relevant as PET gains a larger role in approving patients for Alzheimer’s treatments. It also adds to advanced imaging’s portability trend, following new portable MRIs from Hyperfine and Promaxo.
  • Aidence & AstraZeneca: Aidence and AstraZeneca will provide Aidence’s Veye Lung Nodules solution to hospitals across Europe (25-30 hospitals by 2022, funded by AstraZeneca), with the goal of improving detection and follow-up of incidental pulmonary nodules. AstraZeneca, which uncoincidentally is a lung cancer treatment leader, funds a similar lung cancer detection initiative with Qure.ai focused on developing countries.
  • Alarming CT Dosage: An “alarming” number of patients are exposed to enough CT dosage to place them in annual cumulative effective dose ranges (CEDs) that major scientific groups believe can effect patients. That’s from a study of a Canadian hospital network’s CT scans in 2020 (43k patients,75k scans) that found 11.9% of patients had a CED of >25 mSv, 3.5% had CED of >50 mSv, and 0.67% of patients had a >100 mSv CED. The authors proposed using more MRI and ultrasound, especially with younger patients.
  • Synthetic Brain MRIs: NVIDIA and King’s College London unveiled the first synthetic brain images, which they created with an AI model powered by KCL’s Cambridge-1 supercomputer and trained with tens of thousands of brain MRIs. The model can create synthetic brain images based on custom patient criteria (age, genders, diseases, etc.), helping scientists understand the appearance of different brain diseases and potentially allowing earlier and more accurate diagnoses (without patient privacy concerns).
  • Iron-Targeted PET Tracer: UCSF researchers developed the novel 18F-TRX PET radiotracer that can measure iron in cancer cells (aka the ‘labile’ iron pool, or LIP), and could predict how patients will respond to iron-targeted cancer therapies. Because biopsies can’t effectively quantify iron (it “rapidly oxidizes once its cellular environment is disrupted”), a PET tracer like the 18F-TRX could allow physicians to identify tumors that might be especially vulnerable to LIP-targeted therapies.
  • A Georgia Breach: Georgia imaging center, Express MRI, notified patients of a data breach that may have exposed some of their personal information. Unlike many recent breaches that exploited web-connected PACS systems, this breach hit Express MRI’s email system, potentially exposing patient data included in some emails (e.g. names, home/email addresses, DOBs, scans details, referring physicians, whether scans were for workers’ comp or car accidents).
  • Olympus on Nuance Marketplace: Olympus’ SeleCT QCT is now available on the Nuance AI Marketplace, expanding the AI-based COPD screening service to thousands of Nuance clients. SeleCT QCT serves a different role than most AI apps we cover. It leverages Imbio’s AI tech to analyze CT scans for severe COPD/emphysema, automating evaluations for physicians, while creating a COPD patient pipeline for Olympus’ Spiration Valve therapy system.
  • MRI CCL Scores for SRM Growth: A new AJR study revealed that MRI-based clear cell likelihood scores (ccLS) can be used to predict the growth of small renal masses (SRM), and could become the first biomarker to manage SRM treatment decisions. The researchers analyzed the growth rates of 386 SRMs from 339 patients, finding that higher ccLS correlated with higher SRM growth rates by size (ccLS1-2: 5%/year; ccLS4-5: 9%/year) and volume (ccLS1-2: 16%/year; ccLS4-5: 29%/year).
  • HAP & RSL Partner: Radiology Specialists of Louisville selected Healthcare Administrative Partners to be its full-service radiology revenue cycle management (RCM) provider, including billing, coding, carrier credentialing, and MIPS Measure Assurance Services. The Kentucky-based radiology practice (15 radiologists, 4 hospital / imaging center partnerships) highlighted HAP’s cultural/organizational fit, industry knowledge, and service-oriented approach in the announcement.
  • TBI Blood Test Investigation: New Zealand’s Wellington Hospital is investigating a TBI blood test that could eliminate 30% of brain CTs for TBI, while speeding patient treatment / release decisions. The researchers already performed the blood tests on 300 patients with suspected TBI to determine the correlation between blood biomarkers and injuries on CT scans (they’re targeting 1k patients).
  • neuro42’s Series A: neuro42 completed a $6.5m Series A round (total now $7.8m) that it will use to develop its MRI/robotics platform for brain injury diagnostics and image-guided neurological disease treatments. The round was led by major Chinese wellness company Zepp Health, which has also invested in two other portable MRI manufacturers (Hyperfine & Promaxo), and has partnerships with a pair of portable X-ray companies (Aspen Imaging & Rouumtech).
  • Maintaining Under-50 Coverage: The US Senate and House just welcomed legislation that would continue coverage for routine annual breast cancer screening for women in their 40s through 2028 (including “all modalities”). The legislation would extend a congressional moratorium that was introduced in 2015 in response to the USPSTF’s recommendation that women begin biennial screenings at 50 years old.

The Case for Amyloid Diagnosis

Biogen’s new FDA-approved Alzheimer’s disease treatment, Aduhelm, targets and reduces amyloid-beta plaque build-ups in the brain. However, access to the amyloid PET scans needed to diagnose Alzheimer’s and monitor treatment remains insufficient. This GE Healthcare story details the current Alzheimer’s treatment barriers and how PET and Aduhelm could help Alzheimer’s patients avoid deterioration.

– Sponsored.

The Resource Wire

  • Not sure how to navigate the upcoming surprise billing laws? This Healthcare Administrative Partners post details how the No Surprises Act might affect your practice and what processes will be required to handle these changes.
  • It says a lot when a solution works so well for a radiology department that they decide to perform a study to quantify its benefits. In this Imaging Wire Q&A, University Hospital of Zurich’s Thomas Frauenfelder discusses his experience and study on Riverain Technologies ClearRead CT.
  • Check out this talk from Eliot Siegel, MD on the “Hype, Myth, Reality and Next Steps” of imaging AI, including a profile on Canon’s AiCE Deep Learning Reconstruction solution at around the 4-minute mark.
  • This recent peer-reviewed manuscript published in European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging details an 18-year-old male patient with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) who suffered from intractable epilepsy for years. For those who suffer from refractory epilepsy, simultaneous PET/MR of neuro system plays an important role in evaluation of TSC, not only in initial diagnosis but also in the indication, timing, of surgery and treatment planning.
  • Learn how Windsong Radiology Group used Bayer’s MEDRAD Stellant FLEX CT injection system to drive efficiencies and standardization across its imaging centers.
  • Novarad’s COVID-19 AI Diagnostic Assistant was named the 2021 MedTech Breakthrough Awards’ ‘Best New Radiology Solution,’ for its ability to quickly and accurately diagnose COVID-19 patients.
  • See why Children’s National Medical Center calls Arterys’ Cardio AI 4D flow “an important diagnostic tool that enhances diagnostic sensitivity and has the potential to improve surgical planning and patient outcomes” in this JACC study.

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