Diagnostic Reading #18: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology

Smartphones and soccer headers made headlines this week.

This week’s articles in Diagnostic Reading include: soccer headers affect a player’s cognitive skills; erasable MRI contrast agents could simplify diagnostic imaging; smartphone reader can expedite treatment by detecting viral and bacterial infections in rural communities; new hacker group targets X-ray and MRI equipment; and study shows a quality improvement system that audits radiology reports and provides feedback to residents helped them lower error rates while also improving workflow.

Study shows soccer ‘headers’ affect a player’s cognitive skills – Radiology Business

A new study shows that “heading” the ball was associated with poorer performance on cognitive tasks that emphasized psychomotor speed, attention, and working memory. There was a borderline association between heading and decreased performance of the player’s working memory. There were no significant associations found between unintentional head impacts and any neuropsychological tests.

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‘Erasable’ MRI contrast agents could simplify diagnostic imaging, disease detection – Health Imaging

CalTech researchers are developing “erasable” contrast agents that can “blink off” on command during an MRI to reveal their exact location inside the body. The air in gas vesicle chambers reacts differently to magnetic fields compared to surrounding tissues, allowing them to stand out on MRI scans. Gas vesicles can be genetically modified to target different types of receptors on cells to make diagnostic imaging more efficient. Populations of gas vesicles can also be engineered to target a tumor or stay in the blood stream to outline blood vessels.

Smartphone quickens detection of bacteria, viral infections – Clinical Innovation+Technology

Researchers from Washington State University have developed a smartphone reader capable of expediting treatment by detecting viral and bacterial infections in rural communities. In this study, researchers examined the feasibility of using a low-cost portable laboratory on a phone to detect common viral and bacterial infections. This smartphone reader has the potential to improve access and speed up healthcare delivery. If physicians can detect infections, they can treat patients quickly, which makes a difference especially in low-resource, remote areas.

New hacker group targeting X-ray, MRI equipment – Radiology Business

An aggressive group of hackers is targeting medical devices with a new malware. The malware, called Kwampirs, is a backdoor Trojan that provides remote access to the compromised computer, the cybersecurity firm Symantec reported this week. The malware was found on machines which had software installed for use and control of high-tech imaging devices such as X-ray and MRI machines. Thirty-nine percent of the group’s “victims” are from within the healthcare industry.

ARRS: Feedback system helps improve resident reporting – AuntMinnie

A quality improvement system that audits radiology reports and provides feedback to residents helped them lower error rates while also improving workflow and reducing delayed payments, according to a recent study. The study’s lead author said residents became more accurate, thoughtful and accountable in reporting, which should serve them well when they enter practice.

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