Breast imaging advances with new AI, MR and ultrasound solutions

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | July 01, 2019
Women's Health
From the July 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

GE is also partnering with iCad and adding the company’s ProFound AI for digital breast tomosynthesis to its Senographe Pristina Mammography System, which Eschauzier called a “sophisticated algorithm trained on thousands of images.”

“We’re just starting the rollout and the feedback from customers has been excellent,” Eschauzier said.

The company continues to promote its 3D ABUS system called Sofia.

Sofia is unique in that it allows patients to lie prone on the memory foam mattress while being radially, instead of axially, scanned, said David Wilson, director of corporate communications for Hitachi. In 30 seconds, each breast can be scanned, generating 900 DICOM images that are then reconstructed into a 3D image of the breast. Radiologists can then review these images on a workstation, either over the web, in a standalone workstation or integrated with their existing PACS system.

As patients are covered up, the scan is less invasive, Wilson said.

It requires only 30 seconds per view to scan a breast and an AP/lateral of each breast means appointments can be 15 minutes in duration, Wilson said.

"Other companies require 15 minutes per breast and three views per breast compared to 30 seconds per scan and two views per breast," Wilson said. "Appointment times for Sofia are 15 minutes whereas competitive products require much more like 45 minutes. ... With the recent announcement of dense breast notification being required nationally, the need for patients to seek adjunct imaging to traditional full field digital mammography will increase demand for either tomosynthesis or ultrasound. Large volumes of patients can be seen with Sofia to help reduce the burden of those patients that require additional imaging."

The company received FDA 510(k) clearance in 2008 for the bed portion and the ultrasound has been continuously updated since 2014.

Earlier this year, Hologic released a platform called Unifi Analytics, which tracks a facility’s mammography systems and performs statistical analysis of the systems’ efficiency and technologist accuracy to prevent downtime due to challenges, such as unexpected tube failure.

The platform also tracks technologist performance and allows facilities to benchmark its performance against similar facilities.

“Downtime is costly and unproductive in a breast imaging center,” said Dr. Susan Harvey, vice president of global medical affairs in the breast and skeletal health division of Hologic.

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