AI On the Horizon for Radiologists

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been poised to improve the radiological process for some time, yet despite hundreds of conferences, hype, and promises, AI hasn’t made a huge impact yet. 

Part of the issue with AI’s slow integration for radiologists lies within the application. Algorithms can be applied to specific situations and places, but radiologists need to look beyond these narrow views. True workflow integration is the key to fully utilizing AI. 

Though other areas of our lives already rely on AI, radiology has not caught up with the trend. Today’s viewing software cannot suggest relevant prior imaging exams based on the current image being studied. Two strategies already exist which can help facilitate the AI process. 

Activity Pattern Identification
By recording a radiologist’s habits, AI can look for clusters of repeated actions to automate. Specifically, viewing particular images and reading aloud numbers on a corresponding screen could be achieved by AI. Or AI could monitor click patterns from radiologists to offer the most appropriate measurement tool. Personal patterns for handling protocols can also be improved by AI, which can shave valuable time and improve radiologists’ mental load. 

Information Integration
A large number of radiology algorithms accept images and output a diagnosis or prediction; however, after receiving images, the AI could include extra information with the output which would be of use to the radiologist. With this information at their fingertips, radiologists could make better clinical decisions. For example, if a radiologist is examining a specific body part where surgery had been performed, AI could display the most recent pre-operative images to allow the radiologist to compare the two more easily.  

Considered some of the most technologically forward physicians, radiologists should harness the power of AI and tap into the potential capabilities. By using pattern detection and information integration, AI can simplify tasks, clarify figures, and help to boost maximum productivity.  

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerators 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/ 

Radiotherapy Equipment to Last a Lifetime

Medical equipment professionals often debate whether machines are useful past their “expiration” date. Newer radiation therapy equipment is touted to last seven or eight years, noting that it took roughly seven years to design and program before its release, doubling its age instantaneously. Therefore, the technology, software, and knowledge associated with a 14-year-old device is severely outdated. 

However, this thinking is not necessarily true, as there are machines over 20 years old that are operating safely and reliably. In Latin America, a Varian 6X linear accelerator has been treating patients for more than 40 years.

Since 1953, a GE MaximaR 100 X-Ray Device (also known as a Superficial Unit) has been working at a hospital in the United States. For almost 70 years, this unit has helped treat skin cancer patients by producing mild doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue. This machine is still being manufactured for use in dermatology and radiation oncology clinics.

In the Caribbean, a physician at a radiation oncology center said, “Our 2003 Varian 21EX linear accelerator treats over 50 patients per day. It has all the features we want including RapidArc. The 21EX has successfully treated thousands of patients.”

These machines are well-built and are fully capable of lasting longer than seven or eight years. Certain companies purposefully underestimate the life of their linear accelerators to drive sales and increase new model usage. Also, many refurbished linear accelerators use the exact same technology as the current market models. 

Are you looking to purchase a refurbished linear accelerator or have yours repaired? Contact RadParts today.

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/ 

Particle Accelerators Create Potential Cancer Treatment in Lansing

A Lansing company called Niowave has begun producing actinium-225, a silvery metal isotope that barely exists on Earth, with a superconducting linear accelerator. The reason? This isotope is a promising cancer treatment; however, researchers don’t know its full potential due to the absence of clinical trials. 

Niowave has secured a $5 million deal with Fusion Pharmaceuticals to start production in 2024.  Between Russia, the United States, Germany, and Canada, there are only two curies (unit of measurement for radioactive materials) of actinium-225. Niowave plans on making one curie per week. 

In 2019, the federal government gave Niowave $15 million, and another $13 million last year, to produce molybdenum 99, which is used for medical imaging. Since other countries subsidize its production, making a profit from molybdenum 99 is tricky. 

After working with uranium for years, the federal government determined Niowave could function safely with another highly radioactive element, radium, to create actinium-225. 

Cancer therapy isotopes emit beta particles, which can destroy cancer cells but also kill healthy cells around them. Actinium-225 delivers more targeted alpha particles, which can emit more energy at a shorter distance.

Justin Wilson, an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University said, “If you can get those alpha particles to the cancer cells, they have the capability of doing more damage but in a more confined region. Which, in theory, could prevent hitting healthy cells that maybe aren’t part of the small metastatic lesion.” 

Eric Burak, chief technical officer at Fusion Pharmaceuticals, states that they are working on formulating three separate drugs that use actinium-225. He said the isotope is “One of the rarest elements in the entire planet, and, with more companies interested in its therapeutic potential, everyone is scrambling for actinium supply.” 

Fusion Pharmaceuticals are investing $5 million to help Niowave create actinium-225 in exchange for a guaranteed share of the end result. 

Niowave’s superconducting linear accelerator has been moved to a concrete room as radium is extremely radioactive. 

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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/

Novel Cancer Treatment Headed to McLaren Flint

An innovative new technology headed to Flint will be used to treat cancer with proton therapy. The McLaren Proton Therapy Center is the first to receive the new machine that treats patients upright, enabling cancer treatment with more precision. 

Leo Cancer Care developed the proton therapy called “Marie,” which will take up less space yet provide more accurate treatments since there will be less organ movement. 

The Proton Therapy Center in Flint will receive the first two upright units and be used within the next two years, pending FDA approval. The largest proton center in Michigan, the new machine will allow more patients to be treated. 

According to a news release from McLaren, proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses protons to accurately target tumor cells and leave healthy surrounding cells undamaged.

Stephen Towe, CEO of Leo Cancer Care, said, “The goal of Leo Cancer Care and McLaren Proton Therapy Center’s collaboration is to bring proton therapy to more patients, and we know there are clear advantages with proton therapy. The McLaren Proton Therapy Center is well-positioned to become the first to potentially treat patients with the revolutionary Leo Cancer Care technology.”

Construction to add the “Marie” units to the Proton Therapy Center in Flint will start in the spring of 2023 and be fully operational by the fall of 2024.  

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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/ 

Deciphering the Difference Between Critical and Mundane Tasks in Radiology

Successful people who thrive in their careers are typically engaged in their workload and manage responsibilities well, with a keen focus uninterrupted by distractions. Generally, it isn’t too difficult to decipher actual “work” from mundane tasks that are counterproductive or irrelevant, yet many people are guilty of partaking in the latter more often than not. 

Diagnostic radiologists are typically responsible for interpreting images and providing reports outlining the findings. Whether certain clinical questions, managerial roles, or imaging protocols are involved, the overall group functions more efficiently when everyone is equally engaged. 

Once in a while, radiologists might feel like they are partaking in mundane activities; for example, if a reporting template doesn’t match their personal style or search pattern. Another scenario might include defending one’s reporting language against a hypercritical QA reviewer. 

Based on what the radiologist believes their work should encompass, one radiologist’s critical tasks are another’s. 

To bridge the gap between critical and mundane tasks, one must note the subtle perverse incentives that might be happening in the workplace. Government, regulatory, and academic fields all succumb to these inadequacies when someone is rewarded for bad behavior or punished for good.

Common issues in radiology include no reward for productivity or no survey of who is contributing to the overall team effort. Radiologists who produce more RVUs might be extra stressed, which increases malpractice liability, both of which are perverse disincentives. To regain equilibrium, the radiologist can reduce their efforts or take more breaks, for example.

When certain team members become more aware of their performance impediments, better tools, more personnel, etc., are appointed. Once leadership is alerted, staff surveys are performed, which could lead to new hardware, software, coworkers, and more. 

Without any sign of stress in the system, those who rank higher on the totem pole are unable to specifically outline any issues or provide support. However, with help from other team members through surveys and the like, leadership can improve the situation based on feedback. 

Constructive evaluation and prevention is key in reducing perverse incentives and increasing overall morale. 

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/

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.” 

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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.