The top 25 health care stories of 2015 countdown
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The top 25 health care stories of 2015 countdown

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | December 30, 2015
Alzheimers/Neurology Business Affairs Cardiology CT Emergency Medicine European News Infection Control Medical Devices Molecular Imaging MRI Rad Oncology Pediatrics Population Health Primary Care Proton Therapy Radiation Therapy Risk Management Stroke Ultrasound Women's Health X-Ray

4: Breast cancer screening guidelines 4/29/2015
In April, the USPSTF came forward recommending routine biennial breast cancer screening for women ages 50 to 74. Those recommendations added kindling to a long-standing debate about when, and how often, women should be screened for a cancer that one in eight will be diagnosed with in their lifetime. Dr. Daniel Kopans told HCB News these recommendations will result in thousands of unnecessary breast cancer deaths per year, and that he believes screening should start at age 40.

3: A future with handheld linear accelerators? 8/17/2015

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In August, we reported that European scientists had created a miniature linear accelerator designed to be used in hospitals for cancer treatment and to produce radioisotopes for imaging. Made up of four modules that are each roughly 20 inches long, the mini-linac came out to little more than 6.5 feet in size.

Then, in October, we reported that Hamburg's Center for Free-Electron Laser Science had built a prototype for a miniature particle accelerator with a single module that is 1.5 centimeters long and 1 millimeter thick, which could enable even smaller diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy techniques. What does it mean when researchers are reducing the footprint of these extremely powerful devices by a factor greater than 100? Only time will tell.

2: Watson gets its doctorate 4/13/2015
IBM announced it was setting up a Watson Health Cloud to provide a secure and open platform for physicians, researchers, insurers and companies focused on health and wellness solutions. The tech giant teamed up with Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic on the project. A few months later IBM purchased Merge, a move that allowed Watson to try its hand at interpreting images while solidifying IBM's commitment to an industry where disruptive ideas are becoming more expected from HIMSS than RSNA.

1: Ultrasound? There's an app for that 6/24/2015
With Lumify, Philips added ultrasound to the list of things you can do directly from your phone. The only hardware required is a commercial tablet or smartphone – Android only, for now – and a transducer that plugs into the device's port. You can bet more OEMs are planning their entrance into this new market segment and, as they do, better health care will be making its way to populations that previously have not had access to it. For the majority of humans on Earth — meaning those in developing countries or rural regions — the standard of care is shifting upward.

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