A Medical Imaging Revolution at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

By Tomoki Oka, Manager, X-ray Systems Business, Japan, Carestream


The DRX-Revolution has been visiting and capturing images of some new patients in Japan at Ocean Expo Park, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Ocean Expo Park houses the aquarium and is a national government park located on the site of the Okinawa International  Ocean Exposition held in 1975. The aquarium, located within the park, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Okinawa. It is home to approximately 740 different species and 21,000 marine life that inhabit the sea around Okinawa.

Animal Management Team Sub-Leader Keiichi Ueda, is one of two veterinarians at the aquarium, and is responsible for the health and physical status of the animals. In an interview,  Vet Ueda explains the differences of human care in a hospital versus animal care in the aquarium—particularly that they have to take the animals out of the water for an extended period of time, and in the case of x-rays, the exposure dose is different and time must also be considered.

With some animals being quite large, the facility required x-ray equipment that would be able to capture high-quality images of the animals, capture multiple images without using different cassettes, and also provide enough radiation dose so image quality would not be compromised.

In the interview, Fish Team Chief Technician Makio Yanagisawa, says, “Because the Revolution can be used to expose continuous radiographic images of dolphins without having to place and change the cassettes under them each time, it is much easier to use when compared with the previous types of analog film that had to be developed after each exposure.”

Additionally, their work environment is much different than that of a hospital. There are no hallways, several small hills, and rougher terrain that can make pushing and pulling equipment more difficult.  Vet Yanagisawa found the ease of use with the DRX-Revolution to be valuable in helping to move and maneuver around the facility.

The video below shows the DRX-Revolution in action at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, and includes in-depth interviews with the aquarium’s medical staff.



An English version of this post can be read here.





魚類チーム 主任技師の柳澤牧央氏は「Revolutionは、イルカの下に入れたカセッテを一回づつ入れ替えずにそのまま撮り続けることができるのが、今まで現像しないといけなかったものに比べると利点だと思います。」と述べています。



Diagnostic Reading #33: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoIt is time for another issue of Diagnostic Reading. This week we focus on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, quality in radiology, patient and radiologist interactions, new Joint Commission rules, and Medicare’s slow adoption of telemedicine.

1) Supreme Court Upholds Subsidies in 6-3 Vote – Healthcare IT News

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday voted 6-3 against the plaintiffs in the case of King v. Burwell. The ruling means more than 6 million residents in the 34 states with federal insurance exchanges can keep their tax subsidies for health coverage.”

2) What Exactly is Quality in Radiology? – AuntMinnie

According to a talk at the recent International Symposium on Multidetector-Row CT (MDCT) in San Francisco, it is import for radiologists to think about what the word “quality” actually means in the context of radiology, and it is imperative that radiologists work to define it. The talk discussed how one of the key factors to creating a culture of quality and safety is making sure that staff members can speak freely when they’re worried about a protocol or a patient care situation.

3) Do Patients Really Value Interaction with Radiologists? – AuntMinnie

Dr. Sam Friedman provides his personal opinion on how he thinks that ACOs and the other “risk” programs are simply clever ways to separate physicians from their pay. He points to the June 2015 issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, where Cabarrus et al presented the results of a patient survey that found that patients preferred to hear the results of imaging exams from the physician who ordered them.

4) Are Imaging Sites Ready for New Joint Commission Rules? – AuntMinnie

“On July 1, a new era of intense scrutiny and documentation will arrive for CT and other imaging modalities, thanks to new Joint Commission accreditation requirements that become effective on that date. Unfortunately, most radiology departments aren’t remotely ready to fulfill the requirements.”

5) Medicare Slow to Adopt Telemedicine Due to Cost Concerns – Healthcare IT News

“Anthem and a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center health plan in western Pennsylvania are the only two Medicare Advantage insurers offering the virtual visits, and the traditional Medicare program has tightly limited telemedicine payments to certain rural areas. And even there, the beneficiary must already be at a clinic, a rule that often defeats the goal of making care more convenient. Congress has maintained such restrictions out of concern that the service might increase Medicare expenses. The Congressional Budget Office and other analysts have said giving seniors access to doctors online will encourage them to use more services, not replace costly visits to emergency rooms and urgent care centers.”

The Importance of FDA-Approved Medical Image Viewers

Last month, we discussed the importance of having medical image viewers approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at SIIM 2015.

The benefits are numerous. Most importantly, with FDA approval, the users (referring physicians) are assured that the quality of the medical images that they are viewing are of a high quality that is appropriate for clinical decision making.

The FDA is very specific in what they consider to be a diagnostic device. It talks about a specific guideline about how a mobile device, or any device, is used for clinical decision making, and right now, the FDA is saying that a viewer must go through the FDA clearance process if it is going to be used for any sort of clinical decision making.

Radiologists’ customers, referring physicians, are looking at the patient medical images for clinical decision making on viewers, and more often these viewers are on mobile devices. Using a medical image viewer approved by the FDA means that there is compliance throughout the healthcare enterprise.

Carestream’s Vue Motion is FDA approved for clinical viewing on mobile devices, be it tablet, iPad, iPhone, or Android. The demo below shows Vue Motion in action and how it can bring an enterprise together around patient clinical data.

Diagnostic Reading #32: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoAnother week, another issue of Diagnostic Reading to provide with a few articles to read in case you missed them this week. The focus of these articles is on social media to promote research, medical identity theft trends, big data and artificial intelligence, regulatory changes for medical imaging, and optimizing hospital radiology.

1) Social Media Boosts Awareness of New Research – AuntMinnie

The Journal of the American College of Radiology  released a report which found that a blog post promoted on social media generated more than 10 times the page views of research articles published online in two peer-reviewed journals.

2) Medical Identity Theft Hits All-Time High – Healthcare IT News

A majority of medical identity theft victims can expect to pay upwards of $13,500 to resolve the crime. Also, about 50% of consumers say they would find another healthcare provider if they were concerned about the security of their medical records.

3) As Big Data Grows, the Need for AI Comes into Focus – Healthcare IT News

“By 2020, there will be 200 times more data than any physician can absorb,” according to Dr. Anthony Chang, a pediatric cardiologist. “And its doubling every two years.” In a keynote address at the National Healthcare Innovation Summit, he talked about “Intelligence-as-a-Service,” a network that could make it possible for doctors to tap into knowledge from specialists anywhere when they encounter a medical situation that is not responding to treatment.

4) Ready, Set, Go: Regulatory Changes Ahead for Medical Imaging – Radiology Business Journal

“Today, regulatory changes occur all year long, and—in addition to the incredible amount of work required to manage the department, imaging center or practice—it is almost impossible to keep abreast of them. Most administrators are not prepared for all of the changes coming in the next 2 years.”

5) The Mission to Optimize Hospital Radiology – Radiology Business Journal

Radiology Business Journal spoke with radiology leaders at five different health systems to understand how they are optimizing radiology to lower costs and improve care quality. Standardizing care protocols, centralizing operations and creating physician–administrator “dyads” to drive change are key strategies.

Video: Design Benefits of the CARESTREAM Touch Ultrasound System

Doug Wuebben, echocardiographer, Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, discusses what he likes about the design of the CARESTREAM Touch Ultrasound System.

In the video interview, he touches on the ease and customization of set-up, the fast start-up, and the ergonomic design of the system that prevents repetitive motions for sonographers.

Diagnostic Reading #31: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoAnother week and another issue of Diagnostic Reading. This week’s topics are focused on population health, Meaningful Use and the “Digital Divide,” clinical and claims data, radiology decision support, and radiology’s role in enterprise imaging.

1) Population Health: The Path Forward – Healthcare Informatics

Mixed sentiments were on display among the industry leaders participating in the 15th annual Population Health Colloquium, held on March 23 at the Jefferson School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and chaired by David Nash, M.D., dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health.

2) Did Meaningful Use Create a ‘Digital Divide’? – Healthcare IT News

A new study from Weill Cornell Medical College, published this week inHealth Affairs, points to the emergence of “systematic differences” between physicians who participated in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs and those who didn’t. Docs’ participation in the Medicaid incentive program rose from 6.1 percent to 8.5 percent between those two years, researchers say, while participation in the Medicare incentive program rose from 8.1 percent to 23.9 percent.

3) Infographic: Clinical and Claims Data – What Lies Beneath? – Healthcare IT News

“This infographic draws upon the unified clinical and claims data warehouse of Arcadia Healthcare Solutions to show the quantity of data available for 500 patients. Claims records are represented by the “above-ground” green bars – but they’re dwarfed by the vast amount underlying electronic health record data, represented by the brown bars underneath.”

4) Radiologist Decision Support May Cut Unnecessary Studies – AuntMinnie

According to researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center, a decision-support tool that is readily available to radiologists when reading medical images can help them order more-appropriate follow-up exams. After adopting the tool the research team found that radiologists’ adherence to clinical guidelines improved from 50% to 80%.

5) Big Picture: Radiology’s Role in Enterprise Imaging – Radiology Today

“As medical imaging has risen from a radiology-specific concern to an enterprisewide need, hospitals and medical centers have responded to the increasing and broadening demand for images. Making that adjustment is no easy feat, however. Clinicians desire image availability and accessibility wherever they work; making it happen requires scrupulous planning and plenty of hard work.”

Video: Ergonomics Vital to Sonographer Health

Carolyn Coffin, ergonomic consultant, sonographer, Sound Ergonomics, is a strong advocate for the importance of ergonomic design on ultrasound systems and how these designs benefit the sonographers’ well-being.

Coffin took the time to speak with us recently about the importance of these design features, as well as author a white paper about the ergonomics and ultrasound systems.

In the video below, Coffin speaks with Carestream’s Daniel Monaghan, regional business manager, US&C, ultrasound, about specific system designs that help the sonographer, as well as how these designs were built into the new CARESTREAM Touch Ultrasound System.

Video: What the Future Holds for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT)

At SIIM 2015, Carestream’s own Ron Muscosky, worldwide product line magager, Healthcare Information Solutions, participated on a panel about digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT).

We covered the audience questions in more detail in an earlier blog post, but in the video below, Muscosky explains the purpose behind the panel, the challenges DBT presents, how vendors are addressing these challenges, his comments on the audience’s participation, as well as what he believe the future holds for DBT.

Diagnostic Reading #30: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoAnother week means another edition of Diagnostic Reading where we highlight five must-read articles published in the last seven days. This week’s articles focus on Stage 3 Meaningful Use, dense breast tissue, VNAs, breast cancer screening, and mobile app adoption among radiologists.

1) Proposed Rules for Stage 3 Meaningful Use – Imaging Technology News (ITN)

Dave Fornell of ITN goes into details for each of the eight objectives for Stage 3 Meaningful Use set in place by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The eight objectives include: 1. Protect Patient Electronic Health Information; 2. Electronic Prescribing; 3. Clinical Decision Support (CDS); 4. Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE); 5. Patient Electronic Access to Health Information; 6. Coordination of Care Through Patient Engagement; 7. Health Information Exchange (HIE); and, 8. Public Health Reporting.

2) Making Sense of Dense Breasts – Imaging Technology News (ITN)

Jeff Zagoudis of ITN discusses how as states continue to mandate patient notification of dense breast tissue, the technology for analyzing and reporting continues to evolve. A big issue today is how almost all in the medical community know about the impact of breast density, but that knowledge has not been passed down to patients. The article dives into the how many states in the U.S. are working to notify patients about dense breast tissue, and other modalities to get a second read of the exam.

3) NEJM: Breast Cancer Screening Reduces Mortality by 40% – AuntMinnie

“Researchers from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found that women ages 50 to 69 who regularly receive mammography screening reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by 40%, compared with women who are not screened. This translates into about eight deaths prevented per 1,000 women regularly screened, according to the group.”

4) SIIM 2015: VNA Adoption Yields Workflow, Cost Benefits – AuntMinnie

In this session from SIIM 2015, Wake Radiology was able to realize the benefits of a vendor-neutral archive (VNA) such as improved workflow, better management of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) images, and reduced storage costs.

5) Q&A: Radiologists at the Forefront of Mobile App Use – Diagnostic Imaging

The Q&A is with David Hirschorn, MD, director of radiology informatics at Staten Island University Hospital, in which he discusses a panel he participated on at ACR 2015 called, “Reshaping Radiology Through Mobile: Apps, Technologies, and FDA Regulations.”