Invenia Automated Breast Ultrasound
(ABUS) 2.0.

GE launches Invenia ABUS 2.0 in US

October 16, 2018
by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter
U.S. Breast cancer patients with dense tissue now have another option for detecting the presence of tumors in the form of GE Healthcare’s Invenia Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) 2.0.

The healthcare technology giant launched the ultrasound supplemental breast screening technology in the U.S. this month, offering providers access to a solution that when used with mammography, is proven to be 55 percent more efficient in detecting breast cancer than mammography alone.

“An estimated 40% of any breast imaging center's patients could qualify and benefit from an ABUS exam,” Luke Delaney, general manager of Automated Breast Ultrasound at GE Healthcare, told HCB News. “High volume breast centers benefit most from an automated approach so that they can provide their large patient population supplemental screening in an efficient and reproducible manner. All users benefit from 3D volumetric ABUS images which separate acquisition from interpretation, providing the radiologist with a global view of the breast to determine exam results. 3D volumes also enable year over year ultrasound exam comparisons leading to more clinical confidence.”

More than 40 percent of women in the U.S. have dense breast tissue, placing them at greater risk of developing cancer. Dense breast tissue also “masks” the presence of tumors due to both cancer and dense tissue appearing white on mammograms, putting patients at risk of remaining undiagnosed and subsequently, allowing their cancer to spread and worsen.

Launched in 2014, Invenia ABUS has been installed at hundreds of locations worldwide as a solution specifically designed to detect cancer in dense tissue. The launch of version 2.0 builds on the original by offering new features that enhance the exam experience for operators and patients, and further customizes exams based on an individual patient’s body.

One new aspect is the cSound Imageformer, a software-based graphics processor that offers a reproducible and operator-independent acquisition method to produce consistent, high quality results, while enabling greater data collection for image creation. Conventional handheld ultrasound parameters such as focal zones and gain are automatically optimized, and no image manipulation is necessary, maintaining high image quality among different operators with the push of a button.

Clinicians can customize exams based on an individual patient’s body using programmable scan protocols, as well as with adjustable scan depths and compression levels. Operators can also shorten exam time once breast tissue acquisition is complete with just the push of a button.

In addition to shorter scans, patients can experience greater comfort due to the shape of ABUS 2.0’s Reverse Curver transducer, which is designed to line up with the natural contour of the breast, as well as thorough contact and comprehensive coverage. Positioning of the 15 cm large field-of-view transducer is easy and can maintain even compression while scanning.

Such features are easily accessible, with the device delivering consistent and quality reimbursement among users, according to Delaney.

"GE Healthcare funded a study with Magellan and found that among 20 commercial payers and half a million claims, bilateral complete breast ultrasound was positively reimbursed subject to patient copay and deductible," he said. "Average reimbursement for the complete procedure billed with CPT 76641 was $177, and the out-of-pocket fee was $52. It is also recommended that providers work closely with their payors, and help patients understand their insurance coverage prior to receiving the exam. GE Healthcare offers a third-party reimbursement hotline for providers to address reimbursement inquiries associated with the ABUS exam.”

The solution is FDA cleared.