RSNA: New imaging, informatics products from Change Healthcare, Google, IBM, others

A look at some of the new AI, analytics and cloud IT innovations being showcased at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago.
By Mike Miliard
03:26 PM

RSNA's 105th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, the biggest radiology conference in the world, takes place this week at McCormick Place in Chicago. Among the many exhibits of massive MRI machines and CT scanners, plenty of new IT products and vendor initiatives have been announced so far. This past week, we reported on GE Healthcare's new Edison Developer Program.  Here's a few other highlights so far from the show.

Decision support help for compliance with new CMS rule

Change Healthcare unveiled its new CareSelect Imaging Open Access project, which offers no-fee access to qualified clinical decision support to help healthcare providers comply with the forthcoming Protecting Access to Medicare Act.

Under PAMA, effective January 1, 2020, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will require that physicians check with CMS-approved decision support mechanism before ordering advanced imaging exams for fee-for-service Medicare patients.

Change Healthcare says CareSelect Imaging Open Access offers such a CDS mechanism.

"Referring providers without decision support integrated into their EHR lack the tools needed to ensure compliance with the new layer of PAMA requirements that go into effect in January,” explained Michael Mardini, CEO of Change Healthcare's National Decision Support Company.

"By providing no-fee access to our interactive, web-based, clinical decision support technology, we’re making it easy for providers to reference and consult against the largest collection of evidence-based, physician-authored imaging criteria currently available to achieve compliance.”

Cloud-based enterprise imaging

Change Healthcare also announced continued growth and momentum for another of its initiatives, its cloud-native Enterprise Imaging Network, which offers imaging archive and viewer and AI-powered analytics.

Four health systems have signed on as development partners for the project, hosted by Change on the Google Cloud Platform: Bronson Healthcare, Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, Montefiore Nyack Hospital and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health, Madison Wisconsin are among the partners who will work with Change on the network – which aims to enhance and optimize medical imaging data and help providers boost clinical, financial and operational outcomes.

Most cloud-based enterprise imaging technologies weren't developed specifically for the cloud but were instead drawn from legacy tech and re-platformed, Change Healthcare points out.

"This means providers aren’t realizing the full benefits in improved care coordination, cost realization, and reduced infrastructure complexity that true cloud-native solutions can provide," explained Tomer Levy, general manager, cloud solutions at Change Healthcare.

"From the time we first partnered with Google Cloud, we’ve focused on building a solution that doesn’t simply replicate traditional on-premise systems, but delivers everything providers expect in an enterprise imaging service––plus clinical and operational capabilities that are only available through a true cloud-native SaaS platform."

New offerings from IBM, including AI Marketplace

IBM Watson Health announced several new innovations for its imaging AI platform. As Anne Le Grand, general manager, imaging, life sciences and oncology at IBM Watson Health noted, these range from "helping clinicians to identify potential missed findings to seeing a summary view of patient records quickly, our innovative technologies are at the forefront of Watson Health’s mission to help enable clinicians to more effectively respond to the world’s most pressing health challenges.”

In addition, the IBM Imaging AI Marketplace was showcased at RSNA: a single-source solution designed to help simplify the complex process of finding, purchasing and deploying various AI imaging applications. The marketplace, which contains only FDA-cleared tools alongside Watson Health's own AI apps, is meant to offer a single location for procurement, accessed through IBM's iConnect Enterprise Archive.

IBM Watson also announced some new firsts. Hardin Memorial Health, for one, is the first provider to use its Imaging Patient Synopsis, which provides a summary view of patients through analytics and extracts insights from patient records to uncover underlying issues. The company has also launched Clinical Review 3.0 launched in the UK, a tool designed to analyze imaging studies and their associated reports to identify potential missed findings and facilitate more comprehensive reports.

New imaging IT from Konica Minolta  

Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, meanwhile, is showcasing several new technologies at RSNA: analytics, data management and more. These include the KDR AU Advanced U-Arm, with Dynamic Digital Radiography. Billed as an "X-ray that Moves," the tool offers a loop of rapidly acquired, diagnostic-quality images depicting full views of articulatory mobility, helping clinicians better assess changes in relationship of bones, ligaments and other anatomical structures through full range of motion. The tech is first deployed at Emory Healthcare.

Konica Minolta is also touting its new picture archiving and communication system for specialty practices, Rede PACS. Aimed at orthopedics, urgent care and family practice, and built on the Exa Platform, Rede PACS is a web-based, zero-footprint solution that provides the features and tools needed to optimize and streamline imaging workflow.

The company is showcasing new analytics and productivity dashboards for the digital radiography, and new cybersecurity tools, such as a radio-frequency ID-based tool for secure user authentication with a unique identification that aids in HIPAA compliance.

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