#427 – The Wire

  • Synthesizing CTs: Authors of a new Academic Radiology study developed a deep learning model that uses two-view chest X-rays to create synthetic CT-like digitally reconstructed tomograms (DRTs). The authors had two radiologists review 15 patients’ DRTs and CXRs for pulmonary nodules (with DRT+CXRs or with only CXRs), finding that they were far more accurate when using DRTs and CXRs together compared to only using CXRs (AUC: 0.95-0.98 vs. 0.80-0.85). However, interobserver agreement was higher when they only used the CXRs (0.82 for DRT + X-ray; 0.89 for X-ray alone).
  • Expanding Radiologists’ Role: The European Society of Radiology urged radiologists to expand their role, and not to settle for becoming any more isolated or commoditized. To move the field forward, the authors encourage radiologists to: (1) recognize the central role they play in patient care, (2) devote more time and attention to patient interaction, (3) increase cross-specialty contributions and knowledge (4) embrace their role as innovators and scientists, and (5) teach future generations of radiologists.
  • Transparency Fines: Nearly 18 months after federal price transparency rules took effect, CMS has issued its first pair of major fines for non-compliance, penalizing two Georgia hospitals a combined $1.1M. A recent PatientRightsAdvocate.org study found that only 14% of hospitals are adequately complying with the rules, but with the maximum annual penalty for non-compliance increasing from $109k to $2M per hospital earlier this year, we could start to see some improvements.
  • Christie in the USA: Major Canadian imaging distributor Christie Innomed expanded into the US with its acquisition of Arizona-based multi-vendor imaging sales and service company Comp-Ray. This might prove to be a milestone move for Christie, noting its dominant role in Canada and its goal to become the largest independent imaging distributor (well beyond Canada).
  • Ultrasound-Embedded AI: A team of UK-based researchers detailed an AI algorithm that can distinguish normal and clogged carotid arteries using grayscale static duplex ultrasound images (DUS), potentially allowing less-experienced clinicians to perform these exams. Tested on 156 images, the algorithm detected normal scans with 91% sensitivity, 86% specificity, and 92% accuracy, and detected stenotic arteries with 87% sensitivity, 82% specificity, and 90% accuracy. 
  • Pediatric Whole-Body CT Patterns: A team of France-based researchers revealed new insights into whole-body CT’s diagnostic patterns when used on children with multiple trauma injuries. Analysis of 1,114 first-line WBCT evaluations across 63 emergency departments revealed injuries in 59.4% of patients (1,982 total injuries), most commonly for pulmonary contusions and costal fractures (8.3% & 6.2%). Second reads identified 151 additional injuries in 92 patients (8.3%), with the missed injuries most common among children under 4 years of age, with two or more injured body parts, or with more than three injuries. 
  • Technologists’ Rising Pay: A new American Society of Radiologic Technologists survey (n=10,775) shows that radiologic technologists have seen solid salary gains over the past three years, and now earn an average of $77,027 (up 11.2% from 2019). X-ray technologists saw the largest boost during this time period (+12.8% to $65,246), followed by CT techs (+11.8% to $78,159), and mammographers (+10.6% to $79,323).
  • RefleXion & Telix’s PCa Alliance: RefleXion Medical and Telix Pharmaceuticals announced an exclusive co-development and commercialization agreement involving Telix’s Illuccix prostate cancer PET tracer and RefleXion’s BgRT PET-guided radiotherapy system. Under the agreement, Telix and RefleXion will conduct and co-fund a BgRT clinical program using Illuccix as a biological guide for treatment delivery, seek regulatory approval, and jointly pursue commercialization.
  • EEG Before CT: When urgent care providers use EEG-based injury biomarkers to assess head injuries, they refer fewer patients to the emergency department for CT scans. That’s from a new JUCM study that analyzed data from 24 urgent care centers using BrainScope’s FDA-cleared wearable EEG device, finding that only 23.7% of 963 head trauma patients were referred for CTs. Referrals based on EEG results combined with clinical judgment achieved 100% sensitivity, 77.3% specificity, and 100% NPV compared to CT findings.
  • Candelis Virtualizes ImageGrid: Candelis announced the launch of its ImageGrid VM solution, making its ImageGrid DICOM router available for use in virtualized environments, while potentially enhancing ImageGrid’s support for larger, high-volume facilities.

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-- The Imaging Wire team