#413 – The Wire

  • Contralateral Breast MRI Screening: A new Radiology Journal study suggests that performing contralateral breast MRI screening exams after initial breast cancer diagnosis improves overall survival. Analysis of 705 newly-diagnosed women (470 in MRI group), found that MRI screening detected cancers in 5.7% of the women’s other breast (vs. 2.1% in the no-MRI group) and was associated with higher overall survival (hazard ratio: 2.51) during a 10-year median follow up period. Contralateral breast MRI screening had the greatest benefit among patients with larger and grade III primary tumors (HR: 2.58 & 2.94).
  • 3M Evaluating Health IT Exit: New reports suggest that 3M might sell its Health Information Systems business, and is in talks with a small group of interested parties. This report comes come just a few months after sources informed The Imaging Wire that Amazon was in talks to acquire 3M’s M*Modal medical dictation business. Although Amazon’s interest remains unconfirmed, the latest news suggests that 3M is indeed exploring options for its healthcare business.
  • Automating AI Labeling: A team of University of Hong Kong engineers might have helped lower AI’s image labeling barrier, developing an automated system that could reduce human labeling labor by 90%. The team’s “REFERS” system is trained with datasets containing both labeled images and free-text radiology reports, and then applies its learned associations (text, images, labels) to automatically add labels to new images.
  • Fujifilm Standardizing DoD PACS: FUJIFILM Healthcare Americas was awarded a US DoD contract to standardize Naval and Air Force medical facilities’ PACS technology. The deal will make Fujifilm Synapse the standard PACS across 14 facilities responsible for 650k annual radiology studies.
  • The Case for Prior Authorization AI: A new McKinsey report highlighted prior authorization AI solutions’ potential to improve healthcare efficiency, noting healthcare’s significant PA labor burden (including in radiology) and estimating that AI tools could automate 50% to 75% of PA tasks. McKinsey is far from the only observer promoting AI’s potential to improve healthcare’s administrative efficiency, coming just a few weeks after an MIT Sloan Management Review editorial suggested that administrative healthcare AI will find greater short-term acceptance and provide more straightforward ROI than clinical AI.
  • Avicenna.AI & Sectra: Avicenna.AI announced a global distribution agreement with Sectra, making its neurovascular AI tools (CINA-ICH, CINA-LVO, and CINA-ASPECTS) available through the Sectra Amplifier Marketplace. The alliance adds to Avicenna.AI’s impressive list of distribution partners (Blackford, Arterys, TeraRecon, Deepc, Nuance, Viz.ai, and more) and similarly expands Sectra’s neuro AI partner panel (also: Combinostics, Qure.ai, mediaire, Cercare, icometrix, Quantib).
  • Carestream’s New Owners: Carestream Health announced a recapitalization agreement that will eliminate $220M in company debt, and make its top lenders into the X-ray manufacturer’s new primary owners. The transaction will help clean up Carestream’s books and could give it a much-needed fresh start, noting that its previous owner (Onex) seemed more focused on selling Carestream than growing it. Onex was reported unsuccessful in its three previous sales attempts (2021, 2017, and 2013) and sold Carestream’s informatics business to Philips in 2019. 
  • Neuroimaging Growth & Disparities: A new JACR study analyzing 85k Medicare stroke episodes revealed significant increases in CTA, CTP, and MRI utilization between 2012 and 2019 (+250%, +428%, +18%), while MRA volumes declined (−33%). This growth might have widened stroke neuroimaging disparities, as the study found lower overall utilization among rural patients, and modality-specific disparities among older patients (CTA, MRI, MRA), female patients (CTA), and black patients (CTA & CTP).
  • Affidea Acquired and Expanding: European imaging center giant Affidea Group (320 centers, 15 countries, 10M patients/year) has a new primary stakeholder after a €1B equity acquisition by Belgian investment company GBL. Affidea was already an aggressive acquirer (90 acquired centers in the last 3 years) and the company now plans to accelerate its expansion, both within its current markets and into new European geographies. 
  • Oxipit & AstraZeneca’s Quality Partnership: Oxipit announced the results of an AstraZeneca-supported pilot study that used Oxipit’s ChestEye Quality AI software to analyze nearly 50k CXRs from two Lithuanian medical centers, detecting 190 clinically relevant pulmonary nodule findings including 82 that could have been missed. AstraZeneca, which uncoincidentally is a lung cancer treatment leader, has similar lung cancer detection alliances with Qure.ai and Aidence.
  • Underdocumented LCS Discussions: A new UNC-led study published in JACR found that just 42% of lung cancer screening participants (n = 580) had their required shared decision-making conversations documented in the EHR, although 71% of the patients stated that these conversations did occur. EHR documentation was highest among patients with high body mass index, current smokers, and those referred by pulmonary clinicians, underscoring the fact that SDM documentation has plenty of room for improvement.
  • SR’s MI and NC Expansion: Strategic Radiology continued to expand its consortium of independent radiology groups, welcoming Michigan’s Advanced Radiology Services (214 radiologists) and North Carolina’s Catawba Radiology Associates (18 radiologists). The partnerships expand SR’s presence in Michigan and North Carolina (now 2 & 6 practices), while increasing its membership to 32 practices and over 1,500 radiologists.

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-- The Imaging Wire team