#372 – The Wire

  • PCCT vs. DECT: UPenn researchers published the first photon-counting CT study we’ve seen so far, finding that Siemens Healthineers’ new NAEOTOM Alpha PCCT outperformed a dual-source dual-energy CT at low radiation dosage levels. Both scanners performed well across the study’s dosage range (CTDIvol 0.4 – 15.0 mGy), but the NAEOTOM Alpha reduced electronic background noise by between 60% and 74% at the lowest radiation exposures while maintaining reliable Hounsfield Units.
  • Nuance Precision Imaging Network: Nuance kicked off RSNA with the launch of the Nuance Precision Imaging Network, an AI-powered cloud platform that delivers patient-specific imaging data and insights into existing clinical and administrative workflows (including PACS, VNA, and EHR systems). The Precision Imaging Network leverages Nuance’s PowerScribe and PowerShare platforms alongside partner AI solutions, providing data/insights to support diagnostic and therapeutic decisions, improve physician efficiency, and reduce overall healthcare costs.
  • Inpatient MRI Second Reviews: After finding that inpatient MRI orders often created discharge delays when requested within 24 hours of patients’ estimated discharge date, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell added a second order review step to ensure that these exams are necessary. During the first 9 months, the automated workflow flagged 618 inpatient MRI orders, 333 of which were reviewed by care teams. These order reviews resulted in 80 MR exams either being cancelled or transferred to outpatient imaging centers, eliminating 267 avoidable hospital days and $200k in hospital costs.
  • Braid Health & Walmart Health: Braid Health announced a new partnership with Walmart, providing Walmart Health patients with real-time access to their diagnostic results through the Braid platform (primary care, dental, optometry, radiology, pathology). Braid will be integrated into Walmart’s Epic platform and launch across Walmart Health locations in early 2022.
  • Subtle & Siemens: Subtle Medical’s SubtleMR DLIR software will be the first AI product integrated into Siemens Healthineers’ forthcoming OpenRecon interface, making SubtleMR available with all newer Siemens MRI scanners once OpenRecon gains FDA approval (targeting Q2/Q3 2022). OpenRecon enables the integration of third-party image reconstruction and post-processing solutions, eliminating additional export steps and making results directly available on the scanner console. This seems like a logical partnership for both sides, giving Siemens an answer to its MR competitors’ DLIR solutions and giving Subtle access to Siemens’ massive MR customer base.
  • McKinsey Hospital Survey: A McKinsey survey of 100 hospitals found that October 2021 patient volumes surpassed 2019 levels, while rising ED visits and procedural volumes continued to strain health systems. Around 70% of respondents indicated that staffing challenges created additional backlogs (25% of delayed elective care still needs to be addressed), with the backlogs expected to grow further in 2022.
  • Aidoc AI OS: After spending much of 2021 building out its AI partner portfolio, Aidoc officially launched its AI Operating System (AI OS), which allows providers to use multiple imaging AI applications within one unified system. Aidoc emphasized the AI OS’ breadth (Aidoc’s 7 AI apps + apps from 5 AI partners), how its unified architecture simplifies AI integration, and how AI OS streamlines usage by matching incoming scans with the most appropriate algorithm.
  • CCTA’s DLIR Reduction: A new study out of Switzerland found that GE’s TrueFidelity deep-learning image reconstruction (DLIR) solution reduced coronary CTA radiation dosage by 43%, while maintaining image quality. The researchers reconstructed 50 normal dose CCTAs using Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction-Veo (ASiR-V) and used DLIR to reconstruct 50 low-dose scans from the same patients, finding that the two techniques had the same image noise (28 vs. 27 HU) and diagnostic performance.
  • Siemens’ Mammography Solution FDAs: Siemens Healthineers announced the FDA 510(k) approval of its new Mammovista B.smart and Teamplay Mammo Dashboard solutions. Mammovista B.smart supports reading across multiple breast imaging modalities, and uses AI to highlight abnormalities and provide cancerous tissue confidence scores. The Teamplay Mammo Dashboard is the latest addition to Siemens’ Digital Health Platform, giving institutions an overview of their breast imaging KPIs (e.g. dose, compression, device utilization) and allowing them to identify workflow bottlenecks.
  • Nigeria’s Radiographer Brain Drain: Nigeria is reportedly experiencing an imaging team brain drain, with at least five radiographers leaving to work in other countries every week. This radiographer exodus exacerbates an already difficult situation, given Nigeria’s massive radiographer shortage (2.5k staffed vs. 50k required) and limited education pipeline (9 Nigerian universities train radiographers).
  • Canon’s Altivity AI Brand: Canon Medical unveiled its new AI innovation brand, Altivity, which encompasses all of Canon’s healthcare AI products and technologies, and underscores the high emphasis Canon Medical is placing on artificial intelligence.
  • Saudi AI Perceptions: A study out of Saudi Arabia revealed that the country’s radiology professionals (n = 224 total, 40 radiologists) are generally open to AI, despite their limited exposure. Although the majority of respondents had never used AI or been formally educated on the technology (82% & 71%), most were very interested in receiving AI education, believe AI is clinically useful, and are willing to incorporate AI into their work (96% & 70% & 93%). Even with this openness, many were still concerned that AI would jeopardize their jobs (32%).
  • QView & GE’s ABUS Integration: QView Medical announced an alliance with GE Healthcare that will make QView’s QVCAD breast cancer screening AI system available on GE’s Invenia ABUS 2.0 (Automated Breast Ultrasound). QVCAD previously connected to Invenia ABUS 2.0 through an external PC and server, and will now be available to clinicians directly through the Invenia ABUS Viewer.
  • Nordson Enters Medical Imaging: Global technology conglomerate Nordson (7,500 employees, >30 industries) is expanding from industrial X-ray to medical X-ray, rolling out a new range of CMOS flat panel detectors that it will offer to medical imaging OEMs. Nordson is targeting the usual combination of low-dosage and high image quality, but it will also develop large format detectors, and is partnering with IBEX Innovations to jointly produce more advanced detectors. 
  • Radiomics’ New Funding: Imaging AI startup Radiomics secured €6m in pre-series B funding that it will use to support ongoing projects, and expand its workforce, R&D pipeline, and geographic reach. Radiomics’ strategy focuses on building imaging AI tools that allow providers to plan and monitor cancer treatment (starting with lung cancer).

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-- The Imaging Wire team