AI to workflow, breast imaging makes advances

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AI to workflow, breast imaging makes advances

par Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | July 09, 2018
Women's Health
From the July 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

GE Healthcare
After the March 2017 debut of its Senographe Pristina 3D Mammography System, GE Healthcare launched the Pristina Dueta, a patient-assisted compression device that the company says can help make the exam less painful.

GE Pristina Dueta
After the technologist positions the patient, they then give the device to the patient, who can do a final adjustment.

It reduces the patient’s perceived pain levels,” explained Agnes Berzsenyi, president and CEO of GE Healthcare women’s health. They feel empowered and they can be active during the exam. If you pinch yourself, versus someone else pinching you, it’s a big difference.”

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In patient studies of the device in Italy and France, four in five of the 160 patients who used the Pristina Dueta said they felt more comfortable during the exam.

In a clinical evaluation of the Dueta used with 30 patients at the Christine E. Lynn Women's Health & Wellness Institute at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital, as part of the FDA submission, medical director Dr. Kathy Schilling, found that patient-assisted compression, compared to compression solely applied by the technologist, produced images of similar quality and didn’t significantly increase the time of the exam.

The technologist sets the compression to the minimum required threshold. The patient can increase compression or they can decrease only once.

Schilling also found that women who were in control of their own compression actually compressed the breast 45 percent more than the technologist did.

In November 2017, GE released the SenoBright HD clinical application. The Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) exam, available on the Senographe Pristina, can be used as an alternative to breast MR for patients at high risk for breast cancer or who have inconclusive mammogram or ultrasound results.

The IV iodine injection is performed in same room as the mammogram. The exam takes less than seven minutes and the images are available immediately for a radiologist to review.

“It’s a great fit for a facility without access to MR onsite,” Berzsenyi said.

On the software side, GE released Mammo Insights in November 2017. The multivendor software analyzes data using algorithms to gain insight into different types of exams. It looks at dose by breast thickness and composition so facilities can adjust imaging techniques and can compare dose among multiple sites.

“There is a need for understanding of dose,” Berzsenyi said. “We’re starting to see trends where patients are demanding it and they want to know.”

Hologic has released several products in the breast imaging space in recent months, with a focus on image quality, improved patient experience and workflow.

Hologic 3Dimensions Mammography System
The company's 3Dimensions Mammography System, which was FDA cleared in June 2017, has a proprietary feature called the SmartCurve breast stabilization system, which was FDA cleared separately this past March.

The paddle, which mimics the shape of the breast, is designed to deliver a more comfortable experience for the patient, said Tracy Accardi, Hologic's global vice president of research and development, breast and skeletal health solutions.

"The SmartCurve breast stabilization system delivers a more comfortable mammogram without sacrificing image quality," Accardi said.

SmartCurve is also available for previous generations of Hologic mammography systems.

The 3Dimensions system also features Clarity HD high-resolution 3D imaging, which Accardi said provides the highest resolution 3D images in the industry, and can detect subtle lesions, regardless of breast size and density, to pinpoint cancer earlier. Additionally, the Genius 3D Mammography exam, which is available on the 3Dimensions system, reduces callbacks by up to 40 percent compared to 2D imaging.

"The 3Dimensions system is the next generation of 3D imaging," said Accardi of the technology.

In August, Hologic released its Brevera breast biopsy system, with CorLumina imaging technology, in the U.S. It provides real-time imaging and automated post-biopsy specimen handling, negating the need to take samples out to another room for further review.

"The system makes sure you are getting the cancerous tissue you intended to get," Accardi said. "Every eight seconds you can obtain a biopsy sample and view its X-ray. The result is a much quicker workflow for the radiologist, and a faster procedure for the patient."

In May of this year, Hologic released a new portable breast ultrasound system called the Viera portable breast ultrasound system.

The transducer and processing are all handheld and images are transmitted wirelessly to a mobile device or a PACS system.

"The system is the perfect tool for a breast surgeon about to do a biopsy, and makes sure they're looking at the right place in the woman's breast," Accardi said. "They don't have to find and cart in a larger ultrasound system from another room."

The device can also negate the need for wire localization, which would be a win for both a workflow and patient experience perspective, Accardi said.

"Traditionally, portable ultrasound systems have a reputation for compromising on image quality," Accardi said. "However, we've optimized this system to have the best possible image quality and physician workflow. When you're done with the Viera system, you drop it right in your pocket."

In March, Philips announced a partnership with Hologic to combine Hologic's mammography technologies and Philips' portfolio of ultrasound, MR, CT, and X-ray systems, advanced informatics and range of services, including maintenance, upgrades, training and operational performance management services.

In a statement announcing the partnership, Philips said it will allow hospitals easier access to integrated suites of diagnostic imaging modalities, advanced informatics and services for comprehensive breast screening and diagnosis.

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