#355 – GE Adds BK | BUS AI | Gangs vs. CT Teams

  • NYU’s BUS AI: An NYU team developed a breast ultrasound AI system (w/ 288k exams) that identified breast cancer with radiologist-level accuracy, and could address breast ultrasound’s challenges with false positives. The ultrasound AI system first identified breast cancer in a 44k-exam test set with a high 0.976 AUC and then outperformed 10 radiologists in a 633-exam reader test (0.962 vs. 0.924 avg.). More importantly, when the radiologists used the AI tool for triage, it improved their accuracy (0.924 to 0.961) and reduced their false positive rates (-37%) and requested biopsies (-28%) without affecting sensitivity (90.1%).
  • Gangs vs. CT Team: The UK tabloids recently detailed a new type of CT team heroics. An unidentified CT team was reportedly scanning a victim of a gang-related stabbing when his attackers rushed the hospital to finish the job. A nurse and radiographer blocked the victim from his attackers and were knocked to the ground just as hospital security arrived.
  • Ultrasound Rebound: Signify Research forecast a quick post-COVID rebound for the global ultrasound market, returning to 2019 revenue levels this year, and continuing to grow in future years as point-of-care and primary care adoption increases. North America will lead ultrasound’s 2021 rebound (double-digit growth, driven by premium segment), while other regions will depend on how well they are managing the COVID pandemic and whether they had a 2020 decline to rebound from (growers = Japan, China, Russia; decliners = W. EU, Latin America, SE Asia).
  • Angio AI: University at Buffalo spinoff, QAS.AI, is developing an AI solution that uses angiographic data to help guide intracranial aneurysm surgeries. QAS.AI’s initial tool analyzes live angiography data during surgeries to detect complications (e.g. inadequate blood flow to the brain) and predict a treatment’s outcome, while future tools might support other vascular disease procedures.
  • Expanded Disparities: The USPSTF’s significantly expanded lung cancer screening eligibility criteria might not improve the racial/ethnic LCS disparities that it was intended to address. A team of researchers analyzed data from 20 states, finding that the new guidelines did increase eligibility overall (11% old vs. 14% new) and across most racial groups (Whites: 14% to 15%; African Americans: 7% to 9%; Hispanics: 4% to 5%). However, African Americans and Hispanics remained significantly less likely to be eligible for screening than Whites (old odds ratios: 0.36 African Americans & 0.15 Hispanics; New ORs: 0.39 & 0.15).
  • Sonographers in Pain: The majority of sonographers experience pain while performing scans. That’s from a survey of 8k sonographers in the United States, revealing that 66% experience on-the-job pain, with an average pain level of 4 out of 10. Pain levels were greatest within certain specialties (cardiac, vascular, and OB-GYN) and among sonographers with higher workloads (>18 scans per day, scans > 30 minutes).
  • BMI and BC: A new Cancer journal study found that women with a high body mass index (BMI) are at greater risk of developing advanced breast cancer between their scheduled mammograms. The researchers analyzed 293k negative mammograms (75k women, 2006-2015) that preceded 1,345 breast cancers detected within two years (357 advanced cancers). Obese women had a 90% higher risk of advanced cancer diagnosis during the first year, while both overweight and obese women had a 40% higher risk of advanced cancer diagnosis during the second year.
  • Specialty Telehealth: An AMA survey found that 70.3% of physicians worked in practices using telehealth services as of September 2020, with usage varying widely across specialties. Telehealth visits were most common among dermatologists (87.3%), psychiatrists (85.8%), and pediatricians (82.9%), while 37.2% of radiology practices utilized telehealth (3.6 video tele-visits per week, 2.7% of total visits). 
  • Flywheel Acquires Radiologics: Flywheel expanded its imaging research informatics capabilities and market reach, acquiring Radiologics with the help of a new $21.5m funding round (total now $45.5m). The combined companies are immediately operating under the Flywheel brand and offering Radiologics product/service portfolio as part of the Flywheel biomedical imaging research data platform. They’re also connecting their respective research networks.
  • Accelerated HR-LGE: An EJR study detailed a new cardiac MRI technique that could help diagnose myocardial injuries in COVID patients. The researchers developed an accelerated high-resolution free-breathing late gadolinium enhancement (HR-LGE) method, that maintains HR-LGE’s advantages with COVID patients (effective with myocardial injuries, no repeated breath holds), while allowing 10-minute faster exams than traditional HR-LGE CMRIs (a challenge with COVID patients). 
  • Quebec Techs on Strike: Quebec’s 60k medical technicians (including imaging techs) might be heading back on strike after a recent bonus was only extended to nurses. The province’s medical techs already held a two-day strike in June to protest stalled contract negotiations and were about to vote on a new labor agreement when news of the bonuses changed “everything.”

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-- The Imaging Wire team