Hemodynamic Evaluation and Measurement: Overcoming Limitations for Flow

Study: University Clinic in Regensburg evaluates Carestream Touch Prime Ultrasound System for hemodynamic evaluation and measurement

For hemodynamic evaluation and measurement, conventional Doppler ultrasound can only provide a partial picture. A persistent limitation has been the angle of insonation for Doppler examinations.

Calculating the velocity of a flow relies on knowing the precise angle of the ultrasound beam relative to the direction of flow. In conventional ultrasound systems, the practical insonation angle is limited to around 60°. For greater angles, even small errors in the angle can cause unacceptably large distortions in the results.Image from Touch Prime Ultrasound system

Overcoming this restriction for evaluating flow in vessels requires repositioning the transducer which can be uncomfortable for the sonographer. Additionally, the limitation is not as easy to work around when assessing regions of turbulent blood flow. An example is trying to understand the effects of stenoses in vessels or valves, or when evaluating fistulae.

Overcoming angular restrictions

Smart Flow imaging technology in the CARESTREAM Touch Prime Ultrasound Systems overcomes the angular restrictions. It generates a part of the ultrasound vibration that is effectively at a right angle to the beam. The system then interprets the resulting 2D interference patterns in the received ultrasound signal to present a more complete picture of the flow, representing it with shaded color-coding and arrows. Continue reading

How Can You Measure Innovation in Diagnostic Imaging?

Patents and industry recognition are two ways to quantify it

Innovation in diagnostic imaging and healthIT is continually evolving, improving their potential to help provide better patient care and at less cost.

But how can you measure innovation? Patents and industry recognition are two ways. Please indulge us while we share some of our accomplishments from 2016. And if you’d like a preview of our plans to advance imaging capture this year, read the recent blog by our president of Digital Medical Solutions, Jianqing Bennett.

Let’s start with patents. In 2016, we were awarded 43 new patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for innovation in radiographycone beam CT imaginghealthcare IT, and other areas. We also received 52 additional patents in European and Asian countries.

The patents earned by Carestream’s smart scientists and engineers include:

  • New medical image capture technologies related to the development of cone beam computed tomography (CT) systems designed for orthopaedic extremity imaging
  • Enhancements to our portfolio of healthcare IT systems that manage, store, and share patient data and medical imaging exams
  • Continued technology advances in our growing portfolio of radiology systems that can enhance diagnostic image quality for a wide range of healthcare providers
  • Continued advancements in laser imagers that provide affordable output of digital X-ray exams onto medical film and paper Continue reading

Radiology Trends 2017: What’s in Store for Diagnostic Imaging?

Radiology trends for 2017 include AI, wearable technology, the internet of things, and 3D printinglooking-for-radiology-trends

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What can radiologists and others in the health imaging profession expect for 2017?

Hot radiology trends and topics in 2017 will reflect many of the discussions we overheard in the hallways at RSNA 2016. Technology will continue its race forward in artificial intelligence, wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing. Some of these technologies are impacting radiology now. Others have gained a foothold in the medical profession and might trickle into diagnostic imaging.

“This is the most interesting time in the history of healthcare and medicine,” Zen Chu said in an interview with Medical Marketing and Media. Chu is Medical Director of Accelerated Medical Ventures and senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. “We’ve got so many new technologies and redesigned experiences impacting both the value we deliver as well as the value patients are getting from healthcare.” Continue reading

Healthcare Providers Can Create 3D Anatomical Models from Radiology Images

Carestream Health integrates Materialise service that produces 3D anatomical models for medical applications

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is an actual physical anatomical model worth?

For some healthcare providers, the ability to see and touch a 3D visualization of pathology or a model of an organ prior to surgery could be priceless. That’s why Carestream is collaborating with Materialise NV to provide healthcare providers with a Web-based printing service to create 3D anatomical models.

AnatomyPrint ge3d anatomical modelnerates 3D anatomical models from STL files that originate with data in Carestream’s Clinical Collaboration Platform. Materialise can use the files to generate detailed 3D printed models for healthcare providers.

“Our printing service enables healthcare providers to quickly and effortlessly send imaging data to our company, which is a premier supplier of 3D models used in medical applications,” said Brigitte de Vet, Vice President of Materialise Medical Unit. “This technology can help a clinician visualize the anatomy in 3D, which can assist in providing improved patient outcomes.” Continue reading

Orthopaedic Practice: 4 Ways to Increase Revenue

In-house imaging provides orthopaedic practices with ancillary revenue stream

“Where you win or lose the game in a medical practice is on the revenue side of the balance sheet.”

Orthopaedic practices, like all medical practices, are feeling the pinch of increased costs, reimbursement pressure, and time-consuming administrative procedures. But on the positive side, there are many opportunities to increase revenue to make your orthopedic practice not only more Chart shows revenue increasingprofitable, but more efficient, for and more satisfying for your patients.

The AAOS created a useful 45-page guide, Enhancing Your Practices Revenue: Pearls and Pitfalls (A Primer for Orthopaedic Surgeons (1). It gives excellent recommendations for adding services, staff, and equipment that are likely to generate incremental revenue in an orthopedic practice.

These suggestions include Non-Physician Extenders (NPEs) such as Physician Assistants (PAs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and Athletic Trainers (AT/ATCs), who can “increase physician productivity, patient satisfaction, quality of care, and physician revenue.” Another idea for ancillary revenue generation for orthopedic practices is to add non-surgical physicians who can provide coverage when the surgeon is in the OR. Urgent care centers are another opportunity to make use of your physical set-up and location to build revenue after hours or on weekends.

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Cloud hosted PACS Solutions Help Address Medical Staffing Shortages

Access to radiology reports can help eliminate barriers and enable collaboration

Close-up of surgeons hands holding surgical scissors

The number of new innovations in health IT can be overwhelming. Hospital CIOs and administrators must help evaluate new software for referral management, applications for improved transparency, and analytics software. How can HIT directors and hospital administrators decide which technologies are worth investing in? Answer: start with the ones – like cloud hosted PACS solutions – that solve a real problem – like radiology staffing shortages.

Nicola Strickland, head of the Royal College of Radiologists, made a convincing case to The Observer in 2016 for “how the crisis in radiology recruitment will break the entire NHS system in Britain”. And in January 2017, AuntMinnie Europe painted a dire picture of how a hard Brexit would further strain the lack of radiology resources.

Other parts of Europe, especially rural areas, face a similar problem. The shortage of radiologists and other health professionals is driving medical providers with no formal or previous affiliations to find ways to pool their resources and collaborate among their sites.

Fortunately, cloud based services and teleradiology are toppling the geographic barriers. An increasing number of medical health providers in Europe are installing PACS – Picture Archiving and Communication Systems – and hosting them in the cloud. For example, Spire Healthcare, one of the largest private healthcare groups in the UK, enabled cross site reporting using the Carestream cloud. Using different cloud services from Carestream, Spire Healthcare can store and archive data to enable cross site reporting and then distribution of the reports and associated images. Continue reading

Medical Device Decision Priorities—a Worldwide Look

Throughout the U.S. and worldwide, equipment decision criteria are not so different

There are clear advantages to having new, up-to-date medical devices; including gains in productivity and efficiency. Medical equipment can support the movement to reduce healthcare costs and increase its efficiency and effectiveness. This movement is worldwide, and nothing new, as a graphic on medical device prioritiesMcKinsey report[1] stated a few years ago. “Today, medical device companies operate in a different world. In developed countries, healthcare systems are under acute financial pressure…. Developing economies are transforming the environment, too…. Success in emerging markets requires a deep understanding of stakeholders’ needs.”

New stakeholders influence purchase decisions

And new stakeholders are changing the way organizations look at the purchase of medical equipment. “In the developed world, decisions that used to be the sole preserve of doctors are now also made by regulators, hospital administrators, and other non-clinicians…. The result of this phenomenon is a shift from individual outcomes to a focus on population-level effectiveness.” Also, big data is beginning to offer a new level of evidence-based data that helps us evaluate the true advantages of technology.

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Diagnostic Reading #33: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology

The role of imaging in stress tests and MTBI; and the cost of health IT are in the news

Articles include: zero-gravity treadmills beneficial for stress tests; plans that don’t require pre-authorization for radiology imaging are a worst-case scenario; a type of MRI might be effective in assessing mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI); healthcare IT systems and technology cost physicians anRunning on treadmill average of $32,000 a year; and seniors are not embracing digital technology for healthcare management.

Study uses NASA technology for heart health tests – Health Imaging

A new study could give physicians a better understanding of patients’ cardiac health. To combat the burden that traditional treadmill exercise places on patients, physicians are using zero-gravity treadmills in stress tests. The treadmills can reduce patients’ weight by 25 to 50 percent, making it much more comfortable for them to walk for the amount of time necessary to reach a stress test-level heart rate. Then doctors can use normal imaging techniques to take pictures of the heart and its blood supply to determine the patient’s condition.

How to improve patient care and get paid for it too – Health Imaging

It’s a paradox. Procedures listed by payers as “no pre-authorization required” are among the most commonly denied for payment after they’ve been completed. Part of the problem is the general unwillingness of payers to authorize procedures they’ve listed this way. The radiology stakeholders on the short end of this stick include referring physicians along with patients and radiology services providers.

Imaging Predicts Long-Term Effects in Veterans With Brain Injury – Radiology Today

A type of MRI – diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) – might be able to predict post-deployment outcomes for veterans who sustained mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or a concussion during combat, according to a study. Current assessment of MTBI remains challenging due to the difficulties in separating the effects of MTBI from other conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. DTI uses measurements of water movement in the brain to detect abnormalities, particularly in white matter. Previous studies have linked DTI metrics to neurocognitive function and short-term functional outcomes in groups of patients

Health IT now costs $32,000 per doctor, annually – DotMed Healthcare Business News

A new survey reveals that the move to digitization costs more than $32,000 per doctor per year. Physician-owned multispecialty practices spent more than $32,500 per full-time physician on information technology equipment, staff, maintenance and other related expenses in 2015. That’s a whopping 40 percent bump up for IT costs for doctors since 2009 – the last year before new regulations ushered healthcare into the digital era.

Digital health technology not popular among seniors – Health Data Management

Seniors might be the sickest, most expensive and fastest growing segment of the U.S. healthcare population, but they are not embracing digital technology for healthcare management. A new study of Medicare beneficiaries over age 65 is underway to gather data about how seniors are using digital health.

#HIT #Radres

Columbus Regional Health Gets Creative When 3 RAD Rooms are Eliminated

Reliability, redundancy and mobility help provider keep pace with imaging needs

Many radiology departments are feeling the pressure of “doing more with less”. For Columbus Regional Health in Indiana, the pressure was literal: the medical provider had to eliminate three RAD rooms yet maintain the same Bill-Algee-Columbus-Regional-Healththroughput. The hospital is meeting the challenge by transitioning to DR and adding mobility to the modality mix.

The provider started by converting its CR mobile X-ray equipment to DR with Carestream’s mobile retrofit kit. That retrofit was followed by the purchase of a Carestream mobile DRX-Revolution.

“Mobility is essential to bringing imaging to where we need it,” said Bill Algee, Radiology Manager at Columbus Regional Health. “Our staff drove it around for a little bit and fell in love with the product.”

Next, the hospital outfitted its imaging room in the emergency department with a DRX-Evolution Plus. The product’s high level of reliability is critical to meeting the needs of the busy ED, which was relocated a considerable distance away from the imaging department.

“It absolutely has to be reliable because it’s the only imaging solution in that area of the hospital,” said Algee. “The reliability factor was really important to us.”

Also, the product’s extended tube column and wall stand provide make it flexible enough to meet the varying imaging needs of patients coming in to the ED.

The hospital has an added level of support from Carestream’s DR Detectors. The wireless DR detector can be used with imaging systems throughout the facility.

“Having uniform detectors gives us an added layer of redundancy. If a cassette goes down in emergency, we can replace it with one from diagnostics,” explained Algee. “And the software is always the same no matter what room we go in to. The technologist doesn’t have to take the time to figure out what to do in different rooms.”

The combination of retrofitting existing equipment and purchasing new products helped Columbus Regional Health transition from CR to DR to meet the U.S. Consolidated Appropriations Act at their own pace.

“We kind of took it in baby steps and that worked well for us. Our staff didn’t feel overwhelmed,” said Algee. “Carestream was the right partner to help us through it; they had the right methodology.”

Watch the video interview with Bill Algee to learn more about Columbus Regional Health’s transition to DR. #radiology #AHRA2016

Erica Carnevale

 

Erica Carnevale is a marketing manager at Carestream Health in the United States and Canada Region.

Three Must-Dos for Health Imaging Providers to Remain Vital

Advisory Board Company’s Imaging Performance Partnership research offers insights for imaging leaders

Recent years have seen transformational change occur in the American health care market. Keegrowth-strategies-for-imagingping up with each development is daunting, but equally challenging is identifying the implications of these changes on the future of health care delivery and payment. Below are three major takeaways for imaging leaders, courtesy of the Advisory
Board Company’s Imaging Performance Partnership research team. This outlook can serve as a guide for forging a successful radiology strategy in 2016 and beyond.

  1. Explore screening and interventional radiology programs as growth opportunities

Recent years have seen low-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening and CT colonography (CTC) receive approval from the United States Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF) as essential health benefits. These decisions open the door for radiology providers to provide these potentially life-saving services to patients in an affordable way, while also demonstrating radiology’s value proposition as a gateway to the health system. Many providers also are exploring mobile mammography and partnerships with employers as a way of growing their programs. In order to ensure the success of these new initiatives, it is vital to deploy marketing strategies to referring physicians about the benefits and potential harms of these services.

Similarly, interventional radiology (IR) has had new life breathed into the specialty as pioneers advance the list of procedures outside of vascular services. Additionally, IR is attractive to both patients and health systems due to its noninvasive nature, its low cost compared to surgical approaches and the great outcomes results. Institutions with existing IR programs should align their growth with non-procedural specialties like oncology, pediatrics and primary care. Several programs have also seen success marketing IR directly to patients who are seeking an alternative to invasive surgeries.

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