#391 – The Wire

  • Trans-Atlantic Tele-Ultrasound: New Jersey’s RWJ University Hospital just deployed the US’ first FDA-approved tele-cardiac ultrasound, using AdEcho Tech’s MELODY robotic ultrasound system (combines robotic arm, ultrasound, and video conferencing) to perform and transmit several hours of scans to France. RWJU is optimistic about tele-ultrasound’s potential, suggesting that it could help overcome current in-hospital challenges (e.g. sonographer shortages & injuries, COVID exposure) and expand diagnostic access (rural clinics, pharmacies, senior facilities). 
  • NYU’s Breast MRI AI Breakthrough: A NYU team released what they believe is “the best and most extensively evaluated” breast MRI AI system, backing those claims up with some impressive results. The team trained and evaluated the model using over 20k contrast-enhanced breast MRIs, and first tested it against an internal dataset, finding that it rivaled radiologists’ breast cancer detection (AUCs: 0.92 AI vs. 0.88 Rads) and even improved radiologist accuracy (+0.07 AUC with AI support). NYU’s breast MRI AI tool also generalized across demographics (age, race, MRI brand) and cancer subtypes when tested against international datasets, and showed potential to reduce breast biopsies by 20%.
  • UTSWMC’s Rural Outreach: A new JACR paper detailed how a University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center initiative significantly increased lung cancer screening among rural patients. UTSWMC worked with community partners to create a rural screening recruitment program (awareness, telephone eligibility reviews, expanded coverage) that resulted in 570 referrals during the first year. Of the 488 patients who were eligible for LDCT, 381 were scheduled for LDCT screening, and 334 completed their exams, amounting to a $430 cost per patient.
  • Arterys Added to Wellbeing Marketplace: Wellbeing Software announced a partnership with AMG Medtech (Arterys’ UK distributor) to make Arterys’ full range of clinical applications (Cardiac, Lung, Chest MSK, Neuro and Breast) available on Wellbeing’s AI Connect Marketplace. Wellbeing Software has actively expanded its Marketplace over the last few years (also includes Qure.ai, Contextflow, Annalise.ai, others), although Arterys’ broad portfolio might make this Wellbeing’s most significant addition so far. This is also a testament to the Arterys platform’s versatility, considering that a number of these solutions are developed by Arterys partners.
  • NHS Bias Assessments: The NHS announced plans to pilot a new AI bias assessment method as part of its initiative to improve ethical healthcare AI adoption. The NHS will perform Algorithmic Impact Assessments on all algorithms before developers can access NHS data, with the goal of eliminating bias much earlier in the AI commercialization process.
  • SyntheticMR & Hyland: SyntheticMR and Hyland Healthcare launched a new partnership that will leverage Hyland’s PACSgear Modlink solution to make SyMRI NEURO’s brain tissue quantitative data directly available on radiologist reporting systems (eliminating manual steps). SyntheticMR will actually carry Hyland products as part of this alliance, which is unique compared to SyntheticMR’s other PACS partnerships, and should allow it to better support its clients’ quantitative workflows.
  • Staff Shortage Concerns: The American College of Healthcare Executives’ annual survey of 300+ hospital CEOs found that personnel shortages are now their top concern, taking the place of financial challenges, which have consistently held the top spot since 2004. Within personnel shortages, 94% of CEOs ranked a deficit of registered nurses as the most pressing, followed by technicians (85%), therapists (67%), and PCPs (45%).
  • Philips Lumify Adds Hemodynamics: Philips announced the addition of Pulse Wave Doppler for hemodynamics to its Lumify handheld ultrasound system, allowing hemodynamic assessment and measurements at the point-of-care. The Lumify’s new blood flow quantification capabilities expand the handheld’s diagnostic applications across a range of specialties (cardiology, vascular, urology, obstetrics, gynecology).
  • Vertebral Fracture Radiomics: A new EJR study detailed a CT radiomics-based approach for differentiating acute and chronic osteoporotic vertebral fractures. The researchers trained the model to produce 14 radiomic signatures (trained w/ 103 spinal CTs, validated w/ 44), achieving 0.90 and 0.82 respective AUCs with the training and validation sets. When used as part of a quantitative nomogram combining CT fracture line and radiomic features, the researchers achieved 0.93 and 0.86 AUCs.
  • Midstate Continues CT Expansion: Connecticut’s Midstate Radiology Associates (MRA, 24 locations, ~45 rads) continued its regional expansion, acquiring New Haven Radiology Associates’ two imaging centers. The acquisition also creates an alliance between MRA and imaging giant, Rayus Radiology, which maintains its minority stake in both locations. Midstate has grown considerably in recent years (in 2015 it had just 2 locations, 11 rads), following a number of acquisitions executed without PE support.
  • Brainomix’s IPF Biomarker: Brainomix announced the validation of a new version of its e-ILD software, which automates the quantification of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) biomarkers in CT scans, and could improve IPF assessments and outcomes (vs. traditional clinico-physiological markers). In its clinical trial, Brainomix showed that combining e-ILD’s imaging biomarkers with respiratory physiology would improve detection of high-risk IPF patients (2x improvement estimating transplant-free survival), while ongoing measurements would improve treatment response tracking.

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-- The Imaging Wire team