DI vendors show off array of new systems at RSNA
December 11, 2019
CHICAGO – Vendors at the 2019 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) introduced many new systems, both hardware and software. Here’s a round-up of some of the high-profile announcements from the show floor:
For its part, Konica Minolta Healthcare announced a major push into Canada with new technologies, including data analytics, digital radiography, enterprise image and data management, ultrasound solutions and precision medicine. While Konica Minolta has traditionally been thought of as a provider of DR panels, it has rapidly expanded its range of offerings for diagnostic imaging professionals.
Konica Minolta Healthcare unveiled the compact KDR AU Advanced U-Arm with Dynamic Digital Radiography (DDR), which it calls the next evolution in X-ray imaging. DDR, or X-ray that Moves, provides a cine loop of rapidly acquired, diagnostic-quality images depicting full views of articulatory mobility. When applied in musculoskeletal (MSK) applications, clinicians can assess changes in relationship of bones, ligaments and other anatomical structures through full range of motion to evaluate shoulders, knees, wrists and spine. In addition to producing dynamic sequences, the KDR AU also provides standard medical images for all anatomies. Today, clinicians rely on observing external motion and static X-rays to assess spine and joint stability; DDR has the potential to revolutionize how patients are diagnosed and transform the care pathway.
Konica Minolta showed new ultrasound systems, too, for diagnostic and interventional applications. Further advancing musculoskeletal imaging, the Konica Minolta UGPro Solution unites the latest ultrasound technology and minimally invasive procedural innovations and biologics, with hands-on education, to improve clinical workflow and patient satisfaction at the bedside. The SONIMAGE HS1 Compact Ultrasound System and the SONIMAGE MX1 Portable Ultrasound System are designed with superior image quality and enhanced functionality for diagnostic and interventional precision. Optimized for musculoskeletal imaging, the HS1 System and the MX1 System feature Simple Needle Visualization (SNV(tm)), an advanced algorithm that improves needle visibility especially in steep angle approaches to aid the clinician in guiding needle placement for interventional procedures.
The company also announced a new PACS for specialty practices. Rede PACS2 is a new PACS from Konica Minolta Healthcare designed for specialty practices, including orthopedic, urgent care and family practice. Built on the proven Exa Platform, Rede PACS is a web-based, zero-footprint solution that provides the features and tools needed to optimize and streamline imaging workflow with simplified tiered pricing based on annual study volume. The Rede PACS zero footprint viewer offers full diagnostic toolsets and viewing capabilities from any computer.
For more information on Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc., please visit www.konicaminolta.com/medicalusa
GE Healthcare continues to innovate in the area of women’s health. At RSNA 2019, the company announced Serena Bright – said to be the industry’s first contrast-enhanced mammography solution for biopsy.
Interventional and biopsy procedures are a necessary step in most breast cancer diagnoses. Previously, a contrast-enhanced biopsy was typically performed with breast MR, which can be more time-consuming, uncomfortable and costly for patients. With Serena Bright, breast biopsy exams can now be done with the same mammography equipment, in the same room and with the same staff as the screening mammogram. This can help save time, lessen costs and ultimately help improve the patient experience.
Key to this revolutionary change in breast care is GE Healthcare’s SenoBright™ HD Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM). By highlighting areas of unusual blood flow to help localize lesions that need to be biopsied, CESM biopsy – Serena Bright – helps improve radiologists’ diagnostic confidence while maintaining low radiation dose during exams.
GE Healthcare also demonstrated an advance in the area of interventional radiology, where it is using its AI-powered Edison platform to improve the embolization process in prostate and brain cases. The company unveiled AutoRight, which it calls the first intelligent interventional image chain and Embo ASSIST with Virtual Injection.
Embolization procedures can be incredibly complicated in the brain and prostate, which have a highly complex vasculature and are surrounded by critical organs. Embo ASSIST is designed to allow clinicians to analyze the vasculature and simulate injections dynamically to help determine the embolization strategy to avoid embolizing healthy tissues with just one click.
Calibrating the right X-ray does is also an issue. Too often, technologists, nurses, and interventional radiologists spend valuable time during procedures manually optimizing dose to balance the demand for image quality with the risks of radiation exposure. This tedious, time-consuming task takes important time and attention away from the patient.
At RSNA 2019, GE Healthcare showcased AutoRight, a completely redesigned image chain, embedding the first-in-industry neural networks, designed to automatically optimize image quality and dose in real-time. AutoRight delivers repeatable and fast choices, dynamically throughout the entire procedure, regardless of patient size, anatomy or C-arm angulations.
AutoRight, powered by Edison, is an intelligent image chain that automatically updates system parameters, from image acquisition to processing and display, during interventional procedures.
Over at the Siemens Healthineers booth, the company debuted the SOMATOM On.site, a mobile head computed tomography (CT) scanner that changes the standard practice of transporting a critically ill patient from the intensive care unit (ICU) to the radiology department for a scan. With the SOMATOM On.site, the radiologic technologist can perform a CT head examination directly at the patient’s bedside, potentially eliminating costly patient transports with high staffing requirements and potential risk to the patient. In this way, the SOMATOM On.site transforms care delivery and improves the patient and staff experience.
The SOMATOM On.site reimagines head imaging for ICU patients. In the patient’s room, the technologist removes the headboard from the bed while the patient remains in bed, connected to monitors and devices. An integrated shoulder board and head holder offer patient support and consistent positioning in the scanner at isocenter, providing optimal image quality.
The system’s new intelligent user interface, myExam Companion, helps the technologist navigate through the examination for consistent results, regardless of experience level. Following image acquisition, the technologist slides the patient down in the bed from the headboard, and the CT scan is sent automatically to the picture archiving and communication system (PACS).
This streamlined process typically takes minutes, requires minimal staffing, and reduces potential risk for the patient. The integrated drive camera in the front of the scanner offers real-time viewing on the built-in touch display, enabling easy maneuvering of the scanner. The smart driving concept with the motorized trolley and ergonomic handle helps enable precise, intuitive positioning even in small spaces.
Thanks to the SOMATOM On.site’s unique telescopic gantry design, the radiation source and gantry move away from the patient during scanning to reduce scatter radiation, while the base of the mobile scanner remains stationary. Since only the gantry moves during scan acquisition, the potential exists for improved workflow and reduced incidents of motion-induced image artifacts. Additionally, protective curtains can be attached to cover the front and back of the gantry openings, further reducing scatter radiation for staff and neighboring patients.
Carestream has further developed its DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray System with an improved ergonomic design and user workflow. The CARESTREAM DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray System provides fast, convenient digital radiography imaging for patients at the bedside, in the operating room, the intensive care unit or the emergency room.
The enhanced system has a lighter, balanced tube head and collimator with responsive display screens located at both the tube head and main display. Technologists now have another point of visibility of the system’s status with new functional LED lighting. In-bin detector charging indicates that the system is always at the ready to be used continuously, from room to room.
“We are continuously redefining the mobile X-ray market by listening to healthcare providers and observing user workflow,” said Sarah Verna, worldwide marketing manager for Global X-ray Solutions at Carestream. “Carestream’s mobile imaging system is the leading revolutionary mobile device in the market: we were the first to develop a device with a collapsible column, allowing the technologist to have complete visibility when transporting the device up and down hallways.”
With the first release of the DRX-Revolution system, Carestream eliminated blind navigation in hallways, elevators and patient rooms. Keeping patients in mind, the system’s brakes and drive motors now are quieter to enable almost noiseless navigation as well. The DRX-Revolution offers unparalleled maneuverability in tight and cluttered spaces in a variety of medical care facilities.
“With the enhanced system, we designed what the customer needs today. For example, we worked on quiet mobility of the system and quiet movement of the tube head,” Ms. Verna said. “The quieter hospitals can keep things around the patient, the better healing for the patient. Also, as more people are coming into the hospital with critical diseases and the device needs to be wiped down for each exam, we wanted to make sure that no fluid gets into the system.
Additionally, the device contains higher security features, including the ability to lock detectors and protect against theft. Powered by a wireless DRX Plus Detector that works across other X-ray imaging equipment, the system can be used effortlessly in other mobile units or rooms.
Meanwhile, Royal Philips announced the launch of IntelliSpace AI Workflow Suite to enable healthcare providers to seamlessly integrate AI applications into the imaging workflow. Part of Philips’ new enterprise imaging informatics solution, the AI workflow platform provides a full suite of applications for integration and centralized workflow management of AI algorithms, delivering structured results wherever they’re needed across the healthcare enterprise. Partners at launch included Aidoc, MaxQ AI, Quibim, Riverain Technologies and Zebra Medical.
Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) in the Netherlands recently signed an agreement to be the first healthcare provider to install the platform.
Integrating into existing department and hospital infrastructure, the suite automatically orchestrates the routing of clinical data to the appropriate AI application within the healthcare provider’s ecosystem to allow data analysis without user interaction, and displays the results. The suite is designed to support Philips’ commitment to providing open, comprehensive solutions to healthcare providers’ AI imaging needs. Natively integrating with Philips’ diagnostic imaging and informatics solutions, IntelliSpace AI Workflow Suite can also be used alongside imaging solutions from other vendors. In addition, the suite is designed to support the training of site-specific AI applications based on local data.
Change Healthcare announced the latest milestone in its strategic initiative to build and implement its cloud-native Enterprise Imaging Network: the addition of four leading health systems as development partners. Hosted by Change Healthcare on the Google Cloud Platform, the network is the centerpiece of Change Healthcare’s enterprise imaging strategy.
The four new provider partners are: Bronson Healthcare, Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation (CHSPSC, LLC), Montefiore Nyack Hospital, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and UW Health, Madison Wisconsin.
Each partner will work with Change Healthcare to help accelerate development of the solution by implementing the platform as it is built and providing ongoing, real-world feedback. Collectively, these partners manage 124 hospitals with an annual imaging volume of over 5.6 million studies.
They will migrate more than 66 million studies to the Change Healthcare Enterprise Imaging Network cloud, with over 2.8 petabytes being handled by the network. Customer implementations are expected to go live in the first half of 2020 as a fully-managed software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution from Change Healthcare.
“The problem today with enterprise imaging on the cloud is that most solutions are not developed specifically for the cloud, but instead are lifted from legacy technologies and re-platformed,” said Tomer Levy, general manager, Cloud Solutions at Change Healthcare.
“This means providers aren’t realizing the full benefits in improved care coordination, cost realization, and reduced infrastructure complexity that true cloud-native solutions can provide. From the time we first partnered with Google Cloud, we’ve focused on building a solution that doesn’t simply replicate traditional on-premise systems, but delivers everything providers expect in an enterprise imaging service – plus clinical and operational capabilities that are only available through a true cloud-native SaaS platform.”