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.
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
Sonographers, patients, and equipment all play a role in ultrasound image capture
Like a three-legged stool, quality ultrasound image capture requires a balanced foundation. Sonographers, patients, and equipment all play an equal supporting role. Here’s an imaging guide that explains the fundamentals. (See the infographic on the next page).
More than any other imaging modality, quality ultrasound image capture relies heavily on the operator. Thus, a well-trained sonographer is a critical piece of the foundation. For example, with conventional Doppler imaging of blood flow, the wrong angle can lead to discrepancies in results. Also, attaining the proper angle correction takes time, slowing down workflow.
A well-trained sonographer also is familiar with the many functions available on the equipment and uses them to their advantage for quality ultrasound image capture. Additionally, an experienced sonographer has confidence. Their poise gives patients added assurance and makes them more comfortable. Continue reading
Innovation is easier when you start with a clean slate
Sometimes great ideas, like Carestream’s customizable ultrasound touch panel, need to wait for a confluence of factors to impel their implementation. German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer described this path to product design—a great idea is at first ridiculed, then violently opposed and finally, accepted as obvious1. Certainly many innovations followed this path. Mary Anderson, an American rancher and real estate developer, was turned away for her 1902 invention, the windshield wiper, though Cadillac adopted it after the patent expired.
Carestream was able to design our Touch Prime Ultrasound from a clean slate—no pre-existing technology kept us from producing it. Its all-touch panel lets each sonographer enjoy a customized ultrasound machine.
In the news: work-related injuries plague sonographers; radiologists want to help fight elder abuse
Articles include: sonographers are vulnerable to musculoskeletal pain; proactive outreach to patients improves outcomes; radiologists want to do more to help identify and eliminate elder abuse; a brain-computer interface helps paralyzed man feel again; and a new report says enterprise data protection strategies might not be fully aligned with IT modernization initiatives driven by cloud computing.
Sonographers remain vulnerable to musculoskeletal pain – AuntMinnie
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders still remain a problem for sonographers according to a recent survey. However much can be done to improve sonographer working conditions and decrease the prevalence of pain. Researchers recommend optimal visual conditions, adjustable components of the ultrasonic machine and the computer workstation, and education concerning ergonomic guidelines.
Direct outreach to patients by HIM professionals improves outcomes, patient satisfaction – Health Management Technology
Proactive outreach to patients by HIM specialists increased the use of a personal health record, improved outcomes and satisfaction, and enhanced communication between health IT specialists and providers. A unique patient outreach program deployed a personal health record coordinator to meet with patients to explain the benefits of a personal health record. The program includes a hands-on approach for removing barriers and engaging families. Continue reading
Six years yield five significant changes in the field of sonography
Over the last six years, healthcare in the U.S. has undergone a rapid series of changes and reforms. From the way Americans pay for care to how care is provided, the post Affordable Care Act era of healthcare is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Diagnostic medical sonographers, also known as ultrasound technologists or ultrasound technicians, have begun to feel the effects of the Affordable Care Act on almost every aspect of their daily job duties.
More healthcare consumers
More Americans are consuming healthcare services than ever before. It is estimated that more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans gained access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act from federal and state exchange programs, employer mandates, and/ or Medicaid expansion. Hospital and healthcare facilities are seeing more patients than ever before, which means more diagnostic tests, like ultrasounds, are being ordered. However, this sharp increase in healthcare consumption was not matched with an equal increase in human or capital healthcare resources.
Healthcare news includes videos that improve radiologists’ ultrasound skills; and concerns about Obamacare
Articles include: MR-guided ultrasound helped rouse a recovering coma patient to a more alert state of consciousness; incidental and secondary findings are on the rise; use of telemedicine requires “webside” training; 10-minute videos improve pediatric radiologists’ ultrasound skills; and double-digit premium increases and exits by big-name insurers cause some to wonder if “Obamacare” will go down as a failed experiment.
MR-guided brain ultrasound helps rouse coma patient back to consciousness – Health Imaging
Neuroscience researchers and clinicians at UCLA have used MR-guided ultrasound to help rouse a recovering coma patient to a more alert state of consciousness. They’re not certain about the extent to which the novel therapy contributed to the good outcome, but they’re sufficiently hopeful to have begun recruiting participants for a larger trial.
Patient preferences should guide decisions around incidental findings – Health Imaging
Incidental and secondary findings are on the rise, thanks largely to advances in diagnostic technologies and adoptions of value-based practice incentives. As such findings increasingly confound patients as well as clinicians—not to mention medical ethicists and malpractice courts — radiology would do well to follow discussions going on in the field of genetic testing.
At the ‘webside’ – Modern Healthcare
As telemedicine takes root, there’s a growing need to train physicians on how to handle virtual visits with patients and develop a good ‘webside manner.’ Physicians must offer an empathetic and compassionate presence to calm fears and provide hope for patients who may be suffering from anything from serious to common illnesses. Medical schools have always included training in bedside manner in their curricula—now webside training might also be essential. Continue reading
In the news: reducing inappropriate imaging and archiving POC ultrasound studies
Articles include: a study that finds radiologists can work with referring physicians to significantly reduce inappropriate imaging; the topic of deconstructed PACS is creating controversy; telehealth initiatives are beginning to gain ground; a study reports it’s relatively easy to increase the number of ED point-of-care ultrasound studies being archived on PACS; and functional MRI might help settle an open question over “second impact syndrome” in child and teen football players.
Radiologists’ expertise cuts inappropriate imaging
Radiologists who participate in a radiology benefits management program (RBM) by consulting with referring physicians can help reduce inappropriate imaging by at least 20%, according to a new study published in the July edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology. This finding is good news for a specialty long considered to be behind the scenes in patient care.
Deconstructed PACS: 12 Tidbits on Hype, Reality, Caveats, Prospects
There are few topics that create more controversy in the imaging informatics marketplace than the topic of deconstructed PACS, which could alter revenue flow in imaging IT while yielding a profound impact on vendors’ go-to market strategy.
What topics in healthcare imaging interest you the most?
August is a bit of a milestone for me. I will be six months into my new position as social media manager at Carestream and I’m going to my first radiology trade show – AHRA. I’ve been to numerous trade shows in other industries, and I always enjoy the energy of the events.
At AHRA, I’m eager to hear firsthand about the trials and tribulations of healthcare imaging from our customers and industry thought leaders. I’ll also be on the prowl for great content for Carestream’s blog, Everything Rad. Being a social media manager, I plan to take and post lots of photos and quotable quotes. I also hope to capture and share attendees’ insights on their biggest pain points and upcoming changes that excite them.
Here are the sessions I plan to attend. I’d love to hear the feedback of veteran attendees: are there other must-see speakers I should squeeze into my schedule Sunday, Monday or Tuesday? Any advice for navigating the labyrinth of the Opryland Resort and Convention Center? Suggestions for great places to eat in Nashville are also welcome!
My first session is on Sunday: Planning for a Technology Driven Department. Enrico Perez, BS, RT, CRA, FAHRA, of Winthrop University Hospital will talk about the daunting task of future planning for departments and areas where imaging plays a key role. He states that, “this requires an understanding of what exists, the expectation of your customer and the visions for the future since we know our designs that are expandable, the systems upgradeable, and how we integrate with other systems in use are key to our success.” Continue reading
Sonographers, practice managers and manufacturers can help reduce musculoskeletal disorders
Ultrasound’s expanding clinical capabilities and its relatively low cost make it a popular imaging choice. And its growing popularity is impacting sonographers’ workload. An imaging department that performed 10 to 20 exams daily in the past might be completing 50 or more today. Often, this growth is managed with the same number of staff, requiring individuals to perform 12 to 15 exams a day. This increased volume is placing added strain on sonographers who are already at risk of injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motions. Up to 90% of ultrasound professionals report work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) injuries at some point in their careers.
It takes a surprising number of movements to capture a good diagnostic image. Numerous movements are required to place a patient in the proper position. This is followed by a series of actions – back and forth and up and down – to place the equipment properly; and many ultrasound models have significant weight to them.
Directors of radiology work closely with their sonographers to help reduce their risk of injury not only because they care about their welfare, but also because of the potential economic impact on
the practice. A sonographer with a serious musculoskeletal disorder can be out on disability for an extended period of time. Continue reading
Insights from a new graduate
In the world of ultrasound, there are incredible amounts of changes in technology that cause equipment to get outdated quickly. The differences in devices are especially evident to students and graduates as they transition from the classroom to clinical practice.
Kayla Sickles, a Technical Director, Echocardiographer and Vascular Sonographer at a private outpatient office, says when older technology is used in the classroom, students don’t gain experience or have the opportunity to practice on the equipment that they will actually use in the field.
“Ultrasound is very user dependent,” explains Sickles. “If you don’t take a picture, the radiologist doesn’t see it and therefore could give a wrong diagnosis.”
To help provide a better real world experience for students like Sickles, Carestream is donating $1 million in new ultrasound systems to the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program to be installed in RIT’s new Clinical Health Sciences Center. The donation will help RIT faculty provide a richer academic experience for students through involvement with a broader variety of ultrasound systems. Continue reading