Canon Medical’s Advancements with AI-based Image Reconstruction Technology

Canon Medical’s Advancements with AI-based Image Reconstruction Technology

New advancements have been made in technology: Canon Medical further utilized Artificial Intelligence to improve image quality that can cater to more patients.

The company announced the further expansion of its Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE) Deep Learning Reconstruction (DLR). They used various amounts of high-quality image data to train AiCE, and it can now reduce noise and quickly deliver sharp, clear, and distinct images by boosting its signal. The company’s advancement in this technology features more modalities, clinical indications, and systems.

According to Imaging Technology News Online, this DLR imaging technology has the widest availability, providing advancements in multiple imaging exam types.

AiCE DLR will be showcased for the Cartesion Prime PET/CT system (pending 510(k) clearance) by Canon Medical at the RSNA annual meeting to bring advancements of Artificial Intelligence to molecular imaging. Possible benefits of this include faster scan times, lower dose, and improved image quality.

Canon Medical’s Vantage Orian 1.5T MRI system is now equipped with AiCE DLR for virtually all types of clinical exams that has expanded the capacity to scan clinical indications combined with technologies like Compressed SPEEDER that provides a boost of image quality for clinicians using MR.

Scanning has been expanded to cover a vastly larger number of clinical indications from the prostate to shoulder scans, including all joints, cardiac, pelvis, abdomen, and spine with better image quality. According to Mass Device, Vantage Orian can differentiate true signals from noise using an algorithm, and it can suppress the noise during image reconstruction.

Canon aims to cover the maximum amount of patients that can benefit from AI-based Image Reconstruction Technology. The Senior Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Canon Medical Systems USA, Satrajit Misra, has emphasized the importance of enhanced images for better and easier readability. Therefore, Canon’s efforts to bring accessible AI for technological advancements aim to help clinicians cater to patients better and create a big impact in terms of patient care. Misra also emphasized that the expanded availability of AiCE also aims to expand clinical capabilities as well as seamless integration.

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COVID-19 Findings as Collected by Johns Hopkins Experts

COVID-19 Findings as Collected by Johns Hopkins Experts | Catalina Imaging

Cleaning and disinfecting procedures have become more important in several industries since the COVID-19 pandemic happened, particularly in the healthcare sector. Standard procedures and protocols have been revised to better adapt to the coronavirus situation, and scientists are continually looking into new ways to improve these procedures.

Medical experts at John Hopkins have been exploring the use of ultraviolet (UV) light in disinfecting medical equipment, particularly CT scan machines. The inner bore of CT scan machines is more exposed to exhaled particles from the different patients that use them, making them highly susceptible to contracting the virus. While the most common UV rays that hit the earth are classified ultraviolet-A, this light can cause skin cancer and other problems upon exposure, so Siewerdsen and Mahesh opted to test ultraviolet-C (UVC) rays instead since they’ve been known to eliminate a high proportion of SARS-CoV-2 virus from hard surfaces.

Biomedical engineer Jeff Siewerdsen and radiologist Mahadevappa MaheshIt utilized a lamp that emits UVC light to the bed inside the CT scanner to determine if it can successfully reduce virus particles. The experiment proved to be successful, as early results revealed that the UVC light coming from the $105 lamp project was able to eliminate 99.9999% of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles inside the bore in just three to five minutes. They published a summary of their study, accompanied by a video abstract, on November 18 in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics.

On a different note, researchers have been repeatedly testing for SARS-CoV-2 during the ongoing pandemic in order to isolate the COVID-19 patients and to lower the number of infected individuals. The tests are usually performed on people that are manifesting symptoms or to the ones that were exposed to COVID-19 positive individuals, even without any symptoms.

However, recent research has revealed that even though the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 can be detected through molecular testing after a few weeks of symptoms, it does not mean that infectious virus particles are present. A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has provided more understanding about the detection of the virus while also showing its contagiousness.

In their study, the researchers evaluated almost 30,000 nasopharyngeal swab results of repeated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic tests. The number of times a PCR takes to get a positive signal is called the cycle threshold (Ct). A low Ct score indicates a large amount of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and a high one means a fewer amount of the genetic material.

The experiments’ results revealed that the average Ct value associated with cell culture growth of SARS-CoV-2 was 18.8. The researchers also detected viral growth from specimens collected up to 20 days after the first positive result. Sequencing of the entire genome from RNAs collected in the first and subsequent tests provided evidence that the same virus was seen throughout. Positive tests following negative ones had Ct values higher than 29.5, and were not associated with observed virus growth in culture.

According to Dr. Andrew Pekosz, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-senior author of the study, additional studies need to be conducted to confirm if Ct values and cell cultures are accurate enough to make clinical decisions for diagnosis. “Defining the window of time in which a COVID-19 patient can transmit the virus can help drive more effective isolation practices,” Dr. Pekosz explains.

(Source: Science Codex)

CT in a Box Greatly Increases Imaging Capability of COVID Hotspot Hospitals

CT in a Box Greatly Increases Imaging Capability of COVID Hotspot Hospitals

Hospitals are currently experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients. Because of this, hospitals are looking to expand their radiology imaging capabilities quickly. Various computed tomography systems vendors are now offering semi-permanent configurations to meet the demands. Some of these systems come packaged in shipping containers to allow mobility.

When COVID-19 increased the demand for imaging capability in Paris, France during the spring earlier this year, GE Healthcare designed a prefabricated structure that can house a CT system just outside of the Henri-Mondor Hospital in Créteil. This temporary structure contained what GE Healthcare engineers call “CT in a Box.”

The additional facility improved the hospital’s assessment of disease progression and complications in COVID-19 patients and enhanced patient flow in the hospital. The “CT in a box” was dedicated to COVID-19 patients, which allowed a specific flow for them.

GE Healthcare initially deployed the technology in China and the UAE at the beginning of the outbreak. Clinicians in China’s pop-up and remote hospitals needed CT scans to help them spot complications earlier. The situation gave rise to the idea of “CT in a Box,” an easy-to-install modular machine that can provide the same functions as traditional, building-installed CT scanners. They used their experiences to develop the idea further and adapted it to the specific needs of clinicians dealing with COVID-19 patients.

The challenging part of building the “CT in a Box” was not fitting the CT machine inside but replicating the safe and controlled environment of a hospital CT room. Traditional CT rooms in hospitals lead-shielded walls and thick windows so technicians and clinicians can safely observe the patient and operate the machine. While the small doses of radiation patients receive during the process of imaging, the prolonged exposure of clinicians and technicians puts them at risk.

Another real challenge is maintaining a constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the room. Hospital CT rooms have sophisticated HVAC systems that ensure the optimal temperature is achieved.

“CT in a Box” has proven to be an excellent addition to the hospital’s ability to treat its patients. There’s a clinical consensus that CT scans are vital for assessing disease progression and detect complications in COVID-19 patients.

The module is capable of accommodating one patient per hour, even though the actual scanning can be completed in a matter of seconds. Technicians need a lot of time to fully sanitize the exam room and prep the patients. But the additional number of patients examined is not the only benefit of these modular CT scanners. The improved patient flow across the hospital, as well as relieving the pressure on existing CT scanners, have a tremendous impact.

(Source: ITN Online.)

Companies Strive to Meet Increase in CT Scanner Demand Due to COVID-19

Companies Strive to Meet Increase in CT Scanner Demand Due to COVID-19 | Catalina Imaging

There has been a steady increase in demand for computerized tomography (CT) scan machines ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The machines have proven to be potent equipment in differentiating pneumonia that is caused by COVID-19 from other possible triggers. Additionally, CT scan machines can also be utilized to check how far the disease has progressed in the human body.

The ability of CT scans to differentiate COVID-induced cases of pneumonia from other types can considerably help the progress of treating patients (e.g. immediate isolation) even before their RT-PCR tests confirm that they are COVID-positive. However, this does not mean that CT scan results can be a complete substitute when it comes to identifying COVID-positive patients.

The pneumonia scores provided by CT scans can also help determine which patients need immediate help. This becomes more important during the pandemic, as more hospitals and medical facilities are experiencing shortages in ventilators and other equipment. Being able to determine which patients need to be prioritized can help medical professionals to make better clinical decisions, especially when there is a surge of incoming patients.

CT scan machines are more exposed to virus particles because of how the machine is used, which means that a couple of spare machines may be needed by some facilities in order to lower their backlog due to repetitive disinfection of each machine every time a patient uses it. For larger hospitals, buying more units makes sense because it would certainly be more efficient now that more patients need them.

Large manufacturing companies like Siemens Healthineers are used to selling over 200 CT scan machines annually. The coronavirus outbreak has prompted a significant rise in demand for CT scan equipment, as Siemens reported sales of 80-100 units in just 45 days. Vivek Kanade, executive vice-president of Siemens Healthineers-India, believes that this surge is caused by the fact that the machines can also calculate the medical score of patients with pneumonia, which could help in determining the type of treatment that the patient would need.

Wipro GE Healthcare has also seen a similar increase in demand for their CT scan machines. To make up for the surge, they have increased their production of mobile X-ray machines at their Bengaluru site, with 60-70 percent of the products targeted at sites where CT services did not exist before.

Shravan Subramanyam, managing director of Wipro GE Healthcare-South Asia, speculates that the increase in demand for CT scan machines may be related to a higher demand for treatment of other diseases, as many people have become more aware of the importance of their health during the pandemic. Additionally, a lot of people deferred on going to the hospital for treatment due to fear of the pandemic. As such, the increase in demand for CT scan machines may continue even after the pandemic, not just for patients who have been infected by the coronavirus, but also for individuals who wish to improve their general health.

(Source: Business Standard)

Nanox Medical Imaging Company Value Hits $1.2 B

Nanox Medical Imaging Company Value Hits $1.2 B | Catalina Imaging

Amidst the current pandemic, the Israeli company’s stock prices soar. That is, despite having no revenue and FDA approval for its mobile CT scanners.

Nanox Imaging Ltd. (Nasdaq: NNOX) was able to mark up initial public offering by as much as 28%. The company was able to raise its IPO by $165.2 million, with a company valuation of $800 million. It happened even though Nanox has yet to report any revenue, and while their lightweight and mobile CT scanners do not have FDA approval yet.

In just two days, the company has reached a market cap of $1.185 billion. On just the first day of trading, the company’s share price rose up to 20.56%. The following day, the share price went up from 23.04% to 26.70%. This trend does not seem to stop anytime soon, though, as after-hours trading prices also had a 29% increase.

Nanox Imaging Ltd. was founded in 2012 by its current CEO Ran Poliakine. It is based in Neve Ilan, Israel, near Jerusalem. The company was able to raise $137 million even before the IPO from several foreign investors like Fuji, Jin Ji Full, SK Telecom, Industrial Alliance, Foxconn, and Yozma Korea.

The company developed a lightweight CT scanner that weighs only 200 kilograms. In comparison, most CT scanners in the market today weigh up to 2000 kilograms, giving it an edge in portability. Nanox developed a system that combines a digital X-ray device and an AI cloud-based software, named Nanox.ARC and Nanox.CLOUD, respectively. The new CT scanner can be produced for only $10,000, which is a tiny fraction of the cost of a regular CT scanner that can reach up to millions. The company’s pay-per-scan model of medical screening (MSaaS) allows greater coverage and accessibility to customers.

(Source: Globes.co)

CT Scanner Market Expected to Grow Drastically from 2020-2030

CT Scanner Market Expected to Grow Drastically from 2020-2030 | Catalina Imaging

In 2019, the CT scanner market was expected to have a value of more than US$ 5.23 billion. Experts predict the market to grow significantly in the next ten years, with an estimated CAGR of 5.1% from 2020 to 2030.

The expected growth of the CT scanner market stems from the increasing demand for less invasive diagnostic strategies worldwide. With various chronic diseases steadily increasing in number and the geriatric population only rising in number, there is a growing need for CT scanners to help treat these patients more comfortably while also improving diagnostic accuracy.

Major businesses and academic institutions have been researching and developing new products as they continue to contribute to the growing CT scanner market. However, certain factors such as increased maintenance and installation costs and the lack of properly trained professionals to use advanced CT scanner technology are restraining market growth to a significant extent.

The key players of the CT Scanner Market include Koninklijke Philips N.V., Hitachi, Ltd, Medtronic, VATECH, Siemens Healthcare Private Limited, GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, TOSHIBA IT & CONTROL SYSTEMS CORPORATION, Neusoft Corporation, SAMSUNG HEALTHCARE, and Accuray Incorporated, among others.

The growing number of cases concerning chronic and infectious illnesses around the world play a crucial part in the expected market growth of CT scanners. The World Health Organization (WHO) claims cancer is the second leading cause of death annually, with around 9.6 million deaths recorded from 2018 alone. Innovations in the CT scanner industry can help curb that number significantly by offering earlier detection and a minimally invasive alternative for treatment.

The fact that the older population is more prone to chronic diseases is another reason why experts are predicting a drastic increase in the CT scanner market. The rising geriatric population means there will be more of the elderly that will be at risk for infectious conditions, and CT scanners will be necessary to ensure they get properly and quickly diagnosed to ease the burden on the country’s healthcare systems while improving the overall health of the older populace.

The CT Scanner Market is segmented according to Product Technology, Application, and region. Among the major technologies covered in the CT Scanner Market are the following:

Low-Slice CT
Mid-Slice CT
High-Slice CT
Cone Beam CT (CBCT)

On the other hand, the major applications of CT Scanner Market covers:
Human Applications
Research Applications
Veterinary Applications

Key figures in the CT scanner market continue to come up with new products using technological innovations to improve image quality and lessen radiation exposure both to the patients and the medical professionals using the devices. For example, Koninklijke Philips N.V., presented the Incisive CT at the 2019 European Congress of Radiology to show the world how a CT scanner integrated with advanced imaging, workflow, and lifecycle management can positively affect the overall healthcare experience that patients receive while also improving the medical professionals’ decision-making skills by generating accurate and necessary patient data.

Research objectives:

  • To study and analyze the global CT scanner consumption (value & volume) by key regions/countries, product type and application, history data.
  • To understand the structure of the CT Scanner Market by identifying its various sub-segments.
  • Focuses on the key global CT scanner manufacturers, to define, describe and analyze the sales volume, value, market share, market competitive landscape, SWOT analysis, and development plans in the next few years.
  • To analyze the CT Scanner with respect to individual growth trends, future prospects, and their contribution to the total market.
  • To share detailed information about the key factors influencing the growth of the market (growth potential, opportunities, drivers, industry-specific challenges, and risks).

(Source: Medgadget)

Radiology Exposes Increase in IPV-Related Injuries During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Radiology Exposes Increase in IPV-Related Injuries During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly affected the world by changing the ways by which people can interact with each other. To lessen the threat that the coronavirus posed on people’s health, countries have adapted strict social distancing guidelines while enacting lockdown and quarantine strategies.

While these actions were supposed to keep people safer by having them stay at home, it appears that there have been cases where the quarantined person faced more danger due to intimate partner violence (IPV).

A Significant Increase in IPV Cases

Radiologists have been trying to help identify IPV-related injuries in recent years. A team led by radiology experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital studied the patterns and severity of their patients’ injuries during the spring of 2020, and after comparing their assessments with results from the last three years, they found that the incidents showing IPV-related injuries have significantly increased this year.

Dr. Bharti Khurana, the director of Trauma Imaging Research and Innovation Center at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, used patient data collected between March 11 and May 3, 2020, to identify IPV-related cases. Their team went through radiology reports and images and identified potential IPV cases based on objective signs of physical abuse. By developing a grading system based on the severity and location of the patients’ physical injuries, the team was able to systemize the results and compare it with data records from the previous three years.

The team’s research led them to 26 cases in which victims suffered physical IPV-caused injuries in the spring of 2020, which is a drastic increase from the previous years’ numbers: only 20 were reported in the spring of 2019, 2018 only had seven cases, while 2017 had 15 incidents. Overall statistics showed the same trend, as 2020 had a total of 62 IPV victims of all types (physical and non-physical abuse); 2019 had 104 cases; 106 were reported in 2018; 146 was recorded for 2017. The injuries varied from superficial bruises, strangulation injuries, burns, and stab injuries, to more life-threatening cases such as weapon-induced injuries like knife cuts, gun wounds, and other objects resulting in deep internal organ damages.

The Pandemic’s Contribution to IPV Situations

The lockdown situation meant fewer people were going out, and as such, hospitals expected fewer imaging procedures to be done. However, even with the small number of imaging tests performed, the Emergency Department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Despite still encountered patients nursing severe physical injuries caused by their intimate partners.

Dr. Khurana believes that the pandemic is contributing to the rise of IPV cases not just due to the lockdown by also presenting what victims might identify as a bigger threat. “Overall, we saw a lower number of IPV victims with a greater number of deep injuries and signs of physical abuse, and this suggests to us that victims may be so fearful of COVID-19 that they aren’t reaching us until the abuse is severe,” explains Dr. Khurana. “We know that high-risk physical abuse and severe physical injuries are highly associated with homicide. Even in the middle of a pandemic, we need to recognize the signs of IPV and find opportunities to help patients in need.”

It’s time for health care professionals, including radiologists, to reach out to vulnerable communities in an attempt to lessen and possibly prevent IPV-related injuries, especially in this time of quarantine when victims have no other choice but to stay at home with their abusers.

(Source: News Medical)

A Glimpse into the Future: How AI Technology Will Affect Radiology

A Glimpse into the Future: How AI Technology Will Affect Radiology | Catalina Imaging

Continuous advancements in technology are starting to fuel discussions about how machines will eventually replace humans. This line of thinking has reached even the medical field, as innovations in radiology continue to prop up the belief that radiologists will one day lose their jobs to AI-driven technology.

The concept of machines causing radiologists to become obsolete is fallacious, if not laughable. Radiology is among the fastest-growing fields in the last decade, and the number of radiologists has been steadily increasing over that time. Despite this increase in numbers, some countries are still short on radiologists, giving you an idea of how much demand there is for the profession.

AI Will Reinforce, Not Replace Radiologists

Artificial intelligence will undoubtedly reshape how radiologists do their job, but it can never replace them. Dr. Curtis P. Langlotz, a professor at Stanford University’s radiology department, says that this mentality is a result of how people have oversimplified what radiologists do. One of the most common misconceptions about radiologists is that their work only involves analyzing images.

“A comprehensive catalog of radiology diagnoses lists nearly 20,000 terms for disorders and imaging observations and over 50,000 causal relations. Algorithms that can help diagnose common conditions are a major step forward, but an experienced radiologist is looking for numerous conditions all at once. Only some of these assessments can be performed with AI,” Langlotz explains.

Immediate Changes Ahead

Efficiency is one of the most important aspects of radiology. Fast and effective processing means people will have to wait for less to receive scans and the necessary treatment, which can save thousands of lives through early detection and medication. With the help of new AI technology, radiologists can be alerted to acute conditions in a timely manner, accelerating the time it takes to solve a particular case.

The impact of AI on radiology can best be compared to how autopilot technology affected commercial flights. The innovations on flight systems allowed repetitive and easy tasks such as safety checks and collision-avoidance systems to be fully automated, but the pilots were still there to take over manually when there’s an unforeseen glitch or malfunction in the system.

The same applies to AI technology in radiology. While the new systems will definitely make several detection tasks easier, the radiologist will still be the one to offer a qualified oversight over the diagnostic processes. As AI develops and learns more about the functions of various radiology duties, the radiologist can delegate more tasks to better focus on the patient’s needs.

AI should not be seen as a threat to radiologists. Instead, AI should be embraced and adapted so that patients can receive better quality care while strengthening the industry further.

(Source: WeForum.org)

 

Israeli Startup Uses AI and Deep Learning to Create Life-Saving Stroke Detection Platform

Israeli Startup Uses AI and Deep Learning to Create Life-Saving Stroke Detection Platform

Suffering a stroke is a serious medical emergency, and it’s important to receive immediate medical attention to avoid any permanent damages. A stroke detection platform developed by a Tel Aviv-based medical imaging business can significantly improve the chances of a successful recovery from a stroke by quickly detecting what caused it.

A stroke is defined as a sudden interruption in the brain’s blood supply, typically caused by an abrupt blockage of the arteries that lead to the brain. Another common cause of a stroke is when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into the brain tissue.

Suffering a stroke can significantly affect how the body functions. Depending on which area and side of your brain are affected, a stroke patient might experience difficulty with his (or her) movement and sensation, eating and swallowing, vision, perception and awareness, cognitive abilities such as reasoning and memory, and sexual ability.

When a person suffers a stroke, the response time is crucial in preventing further damages to the body. Being able to detect and locate a blocked artery or rupture that hinders blood flow to the brain as fast as possible can save the patient from possible disabilities.

Israeli medical imaging startup Viz.ai has launched a stroke detection platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to detect the source of a stroke in just a few seconds. This breakthrough allows patients to receive immediate medical care and avoid severe health consequences.

Viz.ai’s stroke detection platform uses deep learning technology to find suspected large vessel occlusions in the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to the head and brain. These occlusions are usually found in the carotid arteries, which accounts for 20% of stroke patients. Andrew Colbert, senior marketing manager at Viz.ai, notes that by using their technology to effectively diagnose the cause of the stroke, the patients can receive quicker treatment for better chances of recovery.

Colbert says that Viz.ai’s technology “provides easy to use synchronized and secure technologies to healthcare providers while helping to give patients access to the right doctor at the right time.” Once the platform has identified the cause of the stroke, the computer-aided triage software connects patients directly to a medical specialist to receive the necessary medical management.

As of November 2019, Viz.ai’s stroke detection platform has been utilized in more than 300 US hospitals.

(Source: NoCamels.com)

Restarting Radiology Services Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Restarting Radiology Services Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

After a sharp decline in radiology services, the University of Cincinnati Health followed a data-driven and team-based method to help increase the numbers back up again. The ‘Recover Wisely’ program was launched last May 4 and since then, UHC has been gaining momentum and was able to hit an overall 102% recovery rate.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries have been affected. Back when most services were halted and delayed, UC Health started trying to find ways to reschedule missed appointments and adjusting to the new normal. At first, there was a shocking decline of 53%-55% in nonurgent radiology services. Around 30,000 imaging appointments were rescheduled. The team at the University of Cincinnati Health then decided to have a more data-driven approach, thus, the ‘Recover Wisely’ program was set in motion.

To be able to assure the best care in the safest way possible, simulations were done along with ‘meticulous monitoring and control.’ There was a big amount of backlog, but updates were given to the clients as the program was being slowly rolled out. By week 10, UHC saw a 102% recovery rate compared to pre-COVID numbers, obtaining 172 cases per week.

According to Achala Vagal, MD, together with the UC Health Department of Radiology and 15 other co-authors, “Longer term recovery planning needs to include the possibility of a second or seasonal surge of COVID-19. However, the principles of Recover Wisely should apply to any rescheduling and recovery strategy.” The team also added, “In the dire situation, if a large-scale shutdown occurs again, other departments will find our experience and resumption strategies helpful.”

With this program in place, several modalities had a significantly higher rate compared to others: with MRI at 101%, interventional radiology at 106%, CT at 113%, and nuclear medicine at a soaringly high percentage at 138%.

UC Health believes that a strategy of tailored communication, cross-disciplinary teamwork, and innovative solutions will help them with any bumps in the road that may come next as the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic still isn’t over.

(Source: Radiology Business)