Factors Causing Radiologist Shortages

A radiologist shortage is facing the global market due to factors such as increasing demand for imaging studies as well as Covid-19-related reasons. Additionally, an aging population, higher Medicare enrollment, and fewer radiology trainees make the situation even more dire. 

Harprit S. Bedi, MD, vice chairman of radiology education at Boston University School of Medicine, said, “The older population requires more imaging.” 

The World Health Organization predicts that the percentage of the world’s population over 60 years old will increase to 22 percent by 2050, almost double what it was in 2015. The United States Medicare population has greatly overshadowed the number of radiologists entering the field in recent years. 

Aditya Khurana, MD, an incoming radiology resident at the Mayo Clinic, said, “The significant increase in Medicare beneficiaries and relative stagnation in DR providers serving the Medicare population could strain the supply and demand balance in the delivery of imaging services.” 

The global Covid-19 pandemic has hugely impacted both trainees and long-serving radiologists, forcing some into early retirement. Around two out of every five physicians are expected to reach retirement age in the next decade, which will worsen the situation even more. 

The United States House of Representatives introduced the Resident Physician Shortage Act of 2021 to address physician shortfalls and fortify the number of Medicare-supported residency positions available. The bill could add more than 2,000 positions yearly between 2023 and 2029, totaling 14,000 new jobs.

Anna Rozenshtein, MD, president of the Association of the Program Directors in Radiology, said, “From a training perspective, the way to address a shortage of radiologists would be to increase the number of radiology resident positions. We must fight to expand the pipeline. This legislation, if enacted, would be a big step forward, with a couple of caveats: radiology residencies would need to be prioritized, particularly in the areas of the country experiencing the greatest shortage of radiologists.”

Maria Helena S. Mendonça, MD, assistant professor at Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Sāo Paulo in Brazil, said, “Before 2020, we didn’t know if clinicians would be open to remote work or if radiologists would be as productive from home. But Covid-19 exposed what was possible. I believe more trainees will be interested in the wonderful career that is radiology if we demonstrate how rewarding the specialty is. We can motivate ourselves to teach radiology residents and set an example of leadership while continuing to learn from our colleagues, enjoy a life dedicated to study and science, and show compassion and outstanding care to our patients.” 

__________________

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Video Radiology Helps Patients Better Understand Test Results

Video radiology reports are made for specific patients using simplified language and clearly annotated images to help them better understand test results, according to a novel study published by the American Journal of Roentgenology

Radiologists at NYU Grossman School of Medicine lead the study in collaboration with Visage Imaging GmbH and Siemens Healthineers. The study outlines how radiologists can create these patient-focused videos in under four minutes, delivering the results directly to patients and referring partners through an integrated patient portal. 

Lead author of the study, Michael P. Recht, MD, the Louis Marx Professor of Radiology and chair of the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone Health, said, “For decades radiologists have provided traditional radiology reports that are full of medical jargon and extremely difficult for patients to understand and decipher. Our findings demonstrate that when radiologists take a more active role in patient-centered care and provide helpful information about a particular diagnosis in an easy-to-comprehend manner, both the patient and clinician benefit.”

More than 100 radiologists at NYU Langone Health generated more than 3,500 video radiology reports during a four-month span between September 2021 and January 2022. All imaging modalities were used in the reports, such as MRIs, mammograms, X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc. 

The average length of each video report was 55 seconds. In a survey, 91 percent of patients reported they preferred both a written and video radiology report, suggesting it was helpful at showcasing the most imperative aspects of the overall report.

Researchers created the video radiology reports with Visage Imaging GmbH to integrate and build a tool inside the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), which is used by radiologists to read imaging studies. 

After a series of images were identified, they were brought into the diagnostic viewer screen and recorded with audio while a mouse was used to identify notable anatomical anomalies. 

The NYU Langone Health MyChart housed the video radiology reports on the patient portal, with personalized clinical notes and a complete written report. 

Dr. Recht said, “Our study disrupts the old adage that radiologists ‘sit in a dark reading room all day’ and are invisible to patients. Through projects and research like this, our radiologists take a more active approach to patient-centered care that allows our department to provide exceptional, world-class care.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com


Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Viable Alternative for Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease on the Horizon

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT) can potentially provide a safer alternative to coronary angiography for assessing patients who suffer from stable chest pain or have undiagnosed Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

Researchers used a randomized trial to conclude that more than 3,500 patients with stable chest pain in a randomized trial had a lower risk of major procedure-related complications with the use of CT. In contrast, initial cardiac CT and coronary angiography had similar cardiovascular risks.

Marc Dewey, MD, head of the Department of Radiology on Campus Charite Mitte, said, “The trial confirmed that the CT-based examination is safe in patients with stable chest pain and suspected coronary artery disease. Among the patients referred for cardiac catheterization and included in this trial, the risk of major cardiovascular events was found to be similar in both the CT and catheterization groups, occurring in 2.1% and 3.0% of patients, respectively. The incidence of major, procedure-related complications was found to be lower in patients managed with an initial CT strategy.”

The study was conducted between October 3, 2015, to April 12, 2019, by 26 European medical centers and involved 3,667 patients who were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to undergo CT or invasive coronary angiography.

Patients eligible for the study were required to be over 30 years old and referred due to stable chest pain with a high probability of obstructive CAD.

The study’s primary outcome focus was on major adverse cardiovascular events, some of which include cardiovascular death, nonfatal MI, or nonfatal stroke. Secondary procedure-related complications that took place either during or within the first 48 hours after CT invasive coronary angiography were also of interest.

A total of 90 major adverse cardiovascular events occurred among the study participants during the follow-up period.

Henryk Dreger, Deputy Head of Charite’s Department of Cardiology and Angiology said, “Now that it has been standardized and quality tested as part of the trial, this method could be made more widely available as part of the routine clinical care of people with intermediate CAD risk.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Safely Using Linear Accelerators in Cancer Treatment

Linear accelerators are now widely used in treating a variety of cancers. A linear accelerator delivers directed X-rays or electrons to a tumor, destroying cancer cells while ensuring that surrounding tissue is protected. However, this type of radiation still poses risks, so how do manufacturers and operators ensure the safety of patients and operators?

All companies that manufacture linear accelerators have a strict quality control process. Systems are built to confirm that the machine will not deliver a higher dose than that prescribed by the radiation oncologist. Additionally, safety measures are designed into the linear accelerator that ensures it is impossible to turn the machine on without all the treatment conditions being met.

When a linear accelerator is installed, strict requirements must be met for the area it is situated in. For the operational staff’s safety, it is installed in a room lined with lead and concrete, and the controls for turning it on/off are situated outside of this room. Since the machine only emits radiation when turned on, this almost entirely eliminates the risk of accidental exposure.

At the start of each day and before any patient is treated, the radiation therapist makes sure that the linear accelerator is working correctly and performs checks for uniformity of the radiation intensity across the beam. In addition, a medical physicist conducts more detailed monthly and annual checks.

Another essential part of maintaining safety is keeping good records of patient exposure to the linear accelerator. All medical facilities using linear accelerators to treat cancer will ensure their staff are adequately trained and kept updated on the latest guidance on their use and safe limits for patient exposure. Reference: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/linac#bf774c98e5ab4192886da7fd06714070

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Novel ‘Cure’ For Cancer Treatment

A new report published in Nature titled “Decade-long leukemia remissions with persistence of CD4+ CAR T cells” highlights a novel treatment called CAR T, which is being hailed as a “cure” for cancer by Dr. Carl June, the principal investigator for the trial at the University of Pennsylvania.

June said, “Now we can finally say the word ‘cure’ with CAR T cells.” In 2010, when the trial began, the idea for this sort of therapy “was way out there,” he added.

June and his colleagues reported that the CAR T therapy wiped out cancer in two out of the three initial early-trial patients, all of whom had chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Though the cancer disappeared, the CAR T cells stayed circulating through patients’ bloodstreams, almost guarding the body against future attacks.

In CAR T therapy, T cells (white blood cells that fight viruses) are removed from a patient’s blood and re-introduced after being genetically engineered to fight cancer. Patients’ T cells are taught to recognize and destroy B cells, a key player in cancer formation throughout the body. Without B cells – or cancer – patients require regularly-scheduled infusions of immunoglobulin infusions, which replenish antibodies.

Many people with blood cancer have benefitted from CAR T therapy, which has proved especially effective against acute leukemia. Roughly a third of patients who underwent the CAR T therapy have gone into remission, but many patients later relapse.

Dr. John F. DiPersio, chief of the division of oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, said, “The question is not only why some patients relapse or are resistant to therapy but why are some patients cured?”

He continued, “Oncologists don’t use words like ‘cure’ lightly or easily or, frankly, very often,” he said. “I guarantee that it’s not being used lightly. The patients we treated had far advanced disease,” he noted, adding, “the biggest disappointment is that it doesn’t work all the time.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Henry Ford Health System Implants Novel Therapy for Brain Tumors

Surgeons at Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System successfully treated a patient who suffers from a recurrent brain tumor by delivering a dose of radiation therapy directly on the tumor. This new approach could revolutionize treatment by delaying or preventing future tumor cells from regrowing. Called GammaTile Therapy, the surgically targeted radiation therapy was the first of its kind performed in Michigan; the patient was a 41-year-old male.

Adam Robin, M.D., a neurosurgeon at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford, said, “The current standard of care for brain tumors is tumor resection, often followed by radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of both. Approximately half of patients treated for brain tumors experience tumor recurrence within a year. In his most recent surgery, the patient was treated with a form of surgically targeted radiation therapy, which targets residual tumor cells with radiation before they can significantly replicate. Our hope is this therapy will delay or prevent the tumor cells from replicating and forming a recurrent tumor.”

GammaTile Therapy is cleared by the FDA and designed to delay tumor regrowth while protecting healthy brain tissue in patients who suffer from recurring tumors.

Mira M. Shah, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Henry Ford, external beam radiation therapy is usually delivered no sooner than two- to three weeks after surgery to let the incision heal. With GammaTile, the radiation is focused on specific areas of the brain using a type of brachytherapy (internal radiation) which delivers a therapeutic dose to the tumor during surgery.

Leaving the healthy tissue unharmed, GammaTile maximizes the amount of radiation aimed at the tumor and is critical for those patients who have received external beam radiation therapy, which exposes healthy tissue to radiation.

A bioresorbable, conformable 3D-collaten tile uses uniformly spaced radiation sources to target the tumor cavity after the tumor is removed. In just 33 days, 90 percent of the radiation dose is delivered, and after 100 days, the GammaTiles are considered free from radiation. The placement of GammaTile takes approximately five minutes.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Using AI for Lung Disease Diagnosis

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally. Five-year survival rates are at roughly 20 percent, according to Cancer.net. Those who smoke cigarettes have the highest risk for disease, along with nonsmokers who are exposed to toxins like arsenic, radon, asbestos, radiation, air pollution, and more.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been introduced to help diagnose the presence of lung cancer. Imaging is critical to lung cancer care; with help from AI, lung cancer can potentially be spotted sooner.

A new study combines CT information with clinical data to precisely forecast lung cancer. The AI considers factors such as nodule size, age, years smoked, cancer history, occupational exposure, and more.

More than four million people worldwide die prematurely due to a severe respiratory illness each year. Long-term exposure to dangerous toxins, particles, gases, or harsh temperatures can significantly affect the lungs. Certain occupations are more at risk than others, such as those who work as steelworkers, miners, or with textiles and automobiles.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a life-threatening illness causing emphysema. In clinical settings, emphysema is assessed by patient history, lung function, radiographs, and more. However, these tools are not able to make a diagnosis of mild emphysema. AI radiography is the most effective tool to detect issues that might normally slip under the radar.

A study released in October outlines how AI could match professional radiologists to predict emphysema in patients.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Owners Can Now Repair Imaging Devices

A final rule was recently granted by the federal government that allows medical imaging equipment owners to repair their machines without intervention from the maker. This new rule shatters a copyright barrier that was previously in place.

An exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allows servicers to work around medical device security controls for the purpose of accessing software required to maintain or restore the system. The Copyright Office Registrar recommended the Library of Congress move forward with the change.

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance represents the original imaging equipment manufacturers and released a statement saying the recommendation to move forward will lead to “unnecessary safety and security risks” for patients.

In a statement, President and CEO of Avante Health Solutions said, “This is significant to healthcare systems looking for affordable options to maintain and repair expensive medical equipment and associated devices. Avante is thrilled, as this ruling builds on the FDA’s recognition of the merits and safety of the services provided by independent service organizations.”

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) outlined that manufacturers are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and independent technicians are not held to the same standards as they have a lower amount of scrutiny associated with their position.

Moreover, the alliance also voiced concern over whether manufacturers’ intellectual property would be exposed to the public, which would be detrimental to the industry.

“MITA Executive Director Patrick Hope said, “If this recommendation is ultimately accepted and implemented, it would amount to a license for unregulated third-party servicers to hack sensitive technology, creating grievous cybersecurity and patient safety risks. We intend to continue to advocate against this misguided approach.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

GE Announces New CT System

Revolution Ascend, GE Healthcare’s newest workflow, has officially been released. The technology extends clinicians a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) meant to automate and simplify otherwise time-consuming tasks. The goal is to deliver more individualized care to patients by freeing up physicians’ time.

The new, wider system can accommodate higher Body Mass Index (BMI) or trauma patients who would otherwise be too challenging to manipulate in a small gantry. 

Timothy P. Szczykutowicz, Ph. D., director of clinical operations and the CT Protocol Project at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said, “The most time-consuming part of the CT experience isn’t the scan itself, but the steps that fall outside the scan. Within a typical 10 – 30 minute CT exam, the scan itself only takes a few minutes, and the remainder of the time is dedicated to patient prep – including positioning the patient and identifying the correct protocols and settings, plus image reconstruction and report time. Historically, these have been manual processes, putting them at risk of human error; however, AI offers new opportunities to automate workflows and expedite exams with the same or better results.”

The first step in the Revolution Ascend workflow is for the technologist to use an attached bar code reader to scan the patient’s chart. Once scanned, the patient’s information is automatically displayed on-screen, with applicable protocols recommended. Then, the CT technician initiates Auto Positioning, which creates a 3D model of the patient’s body using real-time depth-sensing technology. Auto Positioning also establishes the proper table elevation and cradle movements to ensure the center is in range with the bore’s isocenter. The new Clarity Operator Environment then suggests optimal scan range settings, dosage, and image quality personalized to each person.

Gladys Farias, Imaging Services Manager at Baptist Health in Miami, Florida, said, “Having Revolution Ascend is like having an extra set of hands – which are much needed in today’s healthcare environment. Not only do the system’s intelligent solutions help us expedite exams, but they also enable us to deliver a more comfortable and personalized experience for each patient. Technologists love it for its simplicity. Clinicians love it for its results. And patients love it for its fast exams and comfort.”

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Ultrasound Gel Recalled by FDA

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled eight lots of Eco-Med Pharmaceuticals ultrasound gel, with contamination being the culprit. Confirmed bacterial infections affected 15 patients who were in contact with the Eco-Gel 200 ultrasound gel. Unconfirmed cases are also suspected.

Eco-Gel instructed customers to immediately halt the use of the gel and return it to the manufacturer if possible.

FDA officials said, “Eco-Med has initiated this recall and quarantine due to bacterial contamination in the affected loss of ultrasound gel with Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bxx). The source(s) of the bacterial contamination is currently unknown. Eco-med is conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine the root cause of this contamination and take all necessary corrective action.”

Patients who encountered the gel can be asymptomatic or develop severe toxicity, such as bloodstream infection, which can result in sepsis or death.

Eco-Med lot numbers included in the recall:

  • Lot number B029 – distribution: March 26, 2021
  • Lot number B030 – distribution: March 30, 2021
  • Lot number B031 – distribution: April 5, 2021
  • Lot number B032 – distribution: April 7, 2021
  • Lot number B040 – distribution: April 26, 2021
  • Lot number B041 – distribution April 26, 2021
  • Lot number B048 – distribution: May 7, 2021
  • Lot number B055 – distribution: May 26, 2021

These brand names were also tainted and are recalled:

  • Chattanooga Conductor USA – DJO Global
  • DJO Conductor – DJO Global
  • Liquasonic – Athena Medical Products
  • MediChoice Ultrasound Gel – Owens & Minor
  • MediChoice Ultrasound Gel – Mac Medical Supply Co.
  • Medline – Medline Industries
  • NDC Eco-Gel 200 Ultrasound Gel – NDC
  • Omni – Accelerated Care Plus Leasing

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.