Min Read Time 4

For our last healthcare market update of 2021, we’re going to revisit articles that highlight four key trends to watch within the field of medical imaging. These trends signal new strategic approaches to care, identify early adopters and industry influencers, and perhaps most notably, exhibit how the pandemic continues to shape access to care. The four trends include mobility, portability, precision and patient experience. Going into 2022, patients are now able to receive x-rays in their living rooms, MRI brain scans at their hospital bedside, targeted proton therapy for tumors, and even review 3D-printed models beforehand to help make critical treatment decisions. To learn more, please visit the links below for the original content.

  • Mobility: Provider offering workplace and at-home diagnostic imaging expands into 22nd state 
  • Portability: Ohio State among first in nation to scan patients’ brains at bedside with portable MRI 
  • Precision: Mayo Clinic invests $200 million in proton therapy expansion 
  • Patient Experience: 3D-printed models help support patient decision making 

Provider offering workplace and at-home diagnostic imaging expands into 22nd state – radiologybusiness.com 

  • Rochester, New York-based firm EZaccessMD calls itself the “first and only” provider to offer both teleconsults with board-certified physicians and in-person diagnostics. 
  • The group recently inked a partnership with Accurate Imaging in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, allowing for expansion across the Badger State. 
  • EZaccessMD partners with health plan carriers to help blunt healthcare costs, offering more than 80% of urgent care services and dispatching technologists and imaging equipment within two hours. 
  • EZaccessMD offers its services as either an enhancement for existing health insurance plans or standalone perk at small companies where traditional care options are limited. 
  • Employers typically pay only for what employees and their families use, starting at $4 per individual each month. 
  • Consumers can access their phone or video consults 24/7, while mobile diagnostics are offered between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
  • Earlier this year, EZaccessMD also announced its expansion into Indiana and Michigan. 

Ohio State among first in nation to scan patients’ brains at bedside with portable MRI – news.osu.edu 

  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is one of the first in the nation – and the only hospital in Ohio – to use new portable, real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to evaluate and treat stroke patients’ brains at their bedside. 
  • This week, two FDA-cleared Hyperfine Swoop portable MRI devices will be used in the emergency department and hybrid operating room. 
  • The device assesses brain tissue in real-time, which provides physicians the ability to make quick and informed clinical decisions for patients. MRI results are displayed on an iPad and deliver images of the brain tissue within 15 minutes. 
  • “Portable MRI uses a fraction of the magnetic power that larger conventional MRIs typically use in hospitals,” said Dr. Shahid Nimjee, a neurosurgeon and surgical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center. 
  • Because the portable MRI system has a lower field strength than standard MRI systems, this shortens the screening protocol and eliminates the need for comprehensive metal detection, allowing clinicians to rapidly scan, diagnose and treat patients. 

Mayo Clinic invests $200 million in proton therapy expansion – newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org 

  • With a planned opening in 2025, the extension is expected to free up space for 900 more patients annually and create 117 new jobs. It will include two new treatment rooms with in-room imaging and pencil beam scanning. 
  • “We have experienced increasing demand for proton therapy despite incorporating efficiencies in treatment and delivery, scheduling and fractionation. We anticipate that the need and indications for proton therapy will continue to increase, especially for the complex patient cohorts we see at Mayo Clinic,” said Dr. Nadia Laack, chair of the department of radiation oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. 
  • Pencil beam scanning makes targeting and delivering proton therapy to tumors more precise and with lower doses, which reduces toxicity and negative side effects. 
  • The expansion will also include state-of-the-art in-room X-ray and CT-imaging, as well as additional imaging resources for precise radiation planning, including MR and other advanced imaging systems for tumor localization. 
  • The design will include two floors below ground, a lobby level and a first level. It will be constructed in a way that allows for future expansion. 
  • In addition to expanding accessibility to proton therapy, Mayo Clinic has its sights set on the carbon ion therapy market. Providing the same advantages as proton therapy, carbon ion therapy inflicts more biological damage, allowing for more effective treatment of tumors. 

3D-printed models help support patient decision making – rsna.org 

  • A proven tool for helping surgeons plan medical procedures, 3D-printed models have quickly become a ubiquitous feature in the intraoperative setting. But new research shows how these models can also be used to support patient decision-making. 
  • Specifically, the study found a greater incidence of regret in patients who expressed difficulties communicating with their physician or who felt they had insufficient information about their treatment options. 
  • At MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), direct patient participation is facilitated using 3D-printed models of breast MRIs. 
  • Outside of breast imaging, 3D-printed models are proving to be a valuable education tool in the prenatal and pediatrics settings. 
  • In one example, the Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Florida recently used a 3D-printed model to plan an in-utero surgery for spina bifida. 
  • Not only did the model give the surgeons a clearer picture of what to expect during a fetal surgery, it also allowed them to better explain the baby’s condition and the planned procedure to the parents.