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Improved CT Foot and Ankle Analysis with True 3D

This video takes a look at EchoPixel’s latest technology, True 3D. A few studies are used as examples of what this powerful visualization platform can allow specialists to see. Using a simple stylus tool, analysts can take full advantage of the program’s 3D rendering capabilities. The program provides intuitive displays for complex tasks, such as making measurements in a 3D space to determine the depth of an implant.

Please enjoy this video as it shows the power of True 3D on a non-weight bearing CT dataset, and imagine the possibilities of pairing EchoPixel technology with bilateral, true weight bearing pedCAT datasets.  Visit echopixeltech.com to learn more.

 

The Opportunity for Private Office Imaging

Changes in healthcare insurance, regulations, and other factors have shifted the bulk of imaging services to hospitals, but the opportunity for private radiologists is still very promising.

“Hospital outpatient imaging has been migrating from private offices since about 2010,” says Dr. David C. Levin of Thomas Jefferson University, as reported by Aunt Minnie. “But that doesn’t mean that radiologists still can’t make private office ventures work.”

Dr. Levin goes further than just his diagnosis of the medical imaging service industry by prescribing a solution to private radiology offices interested in increase their imaging business.  His business model suggestions include a mix of customer service, marketing, and cost competitive advice that can turn around a struggling radiology office and build a successful and sustainable private practice.

Implement a Cost-Effective Payment Schedule for Patients with High Deductibles

The increasing number of high deductible healthcare plans has created a patient incentive to shop around for low price imaging services. Understanding these plans will help your office develop a fee schedule that is attractive from a cost perspective.

“Patients are going to have higher and higher deductibles, and that’s going to make them shop around for healthcare,” says Dr. Levin. “If you can offer, say, an MRI of the knee for $600, while the local hospital has it at $4,000, you can be sure patients will come to you.”

Marketing – It Really Works

Make prospective patients aware of your services by advertising an elevated quality of care and customer service.

“Hospitals generally don’t market their radiology services, but private practices certainly can,” says Dr. Levin. A well-designed advertising campaign can make your practice stand out and drive new customers to your location.

Don’t Neglect Customer Service

There is so much more that goes into the patient experience besides the treatment itself. Examine the way patients are treated, from the initial contact all the way through follow up, to identify opportunities to improve the experience. Patient frustration can arise at any step in the process. Time saving processes as well as friendly and helpful engagement go a long way to improving the overall patient experience.

Efficiency.  Efficiency.  Efficiency.

Dr. Levin stresses the importance of efficiency throughout the business.

“The more efficient your practice, the lower your costs will be,” he says. Fully utilizing assets and people in a streamlined operation brings down overhead and operating costs, and makes for a lean, cost competitive business with higher margins.

At the end of the day, Dr. Levin emphasizes private radiology practices have an amazing opportunity to improve their imaging services and overall business. Taking the time to evaluate the situation, develop an action plan, and implement constructive changes will certainly pay dividends now and for years to come.

New, Reliable Technology for Measuring Tibiofemoral Joint Space

Recent work by Dr. Neil H. Segal examined the potential of a low-dose standing CT scan for evaluating changes in tibiofemoral joint space of patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.

The results of Dr. Segal’s study were recently published in the medical journal Skeletal Radiology and reveal that when taken two weeks apart, standing CT images are even more reliable than plain radiographs. The insightful, 3-D, information-packed images suggest that the modified foot/ankle scanner by CurveBeam used to capture the data may soon become a valuable tool for doctors to evaluate and track the disease’s progression, as well as for researchers wanting to study it.

Measurements of the tibiofemoral joint space were obtained from two bilateral fixed-flexed standing CT images taken two weeks apart, utilizing a modified version of a CurveBeam scanner more commonly used to capture images of the foot and ankle. Participants were exposed to an extremely low dose of effective radiation, O.2 mSv – no more than the average person is typically exposed to from the natural environment itself in any two-week period.

The main purpose of the study was to determine whether or not standing CT scans might be a viable alternative to plain radiographs for studying patients’ knee osteoarthritis – and how reliable such scans might be. Thirty people with a range of osteoarthritis features took part, and the Institutional Review Board approved all aspects of the study.

The results suggest the data obtained is extremely reliable. Moreover, the 3D imaging of both the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints the standing CT scanner produces offers a wealth of enhanced information for doctors and researchers to draw upon.

All this, the study shows, without a clinically significant increase in either acquisition time or radiation dose.

Dr. Segal’s work comes as a response, in part, to the difficulties and challenges in acquiring meaningful, reliable tibiofemoral joint space measurements using traditional radiographs.

Past studies have shown that the replication of measurements has been poor, with limited information obtained. More aggravating still is the fact that months if not years are usually required between radiographs before any change in the patient’s condition can be detected. An efficient, accurate, time-saving alternative has long been needed.

The modified CurveBeam scanner, by contrast, has the potential to address these challenges. As evidence from the study showed, the standing scanner provided exceptionally reliable images with insignificant doses of radiation emitted.

The next step will be to assess the responsiveness of the standing CT scanner to changes in the tibiofemoral joint over time. If effective, the protocol will no doubt become an invaluable tool for doctors and researchers alike in their work to combat the ravages of knee osteoarthritis and related ailments.

Access the link to the article here.

Preview: Curvebeam at AAHS

In September 2016, we showcased InReach at the ASSH Conference! Take a look above!

Happy New Year from CurveBeam, we’re kicking off 2017 with a bang! This week in Waikoloa, HI, we are showcasing some incredible tech at the American Association for Hand Surgery Conference.

The AAHS was founded on the premise of bringing hand surgeons and hand therapy professionals from the United States, Canada, and other countries around the world who work to assess and manage a variety of common and complex conditions related to the hand and upper limb together to provide an educational forum to expand the professional expertise.

Here are the top reasons our Booth is a can’t miss!

    1. Experience CubeVue

CubeVue is a custom visualization software that can transform your diagnosis ability with 3D technology. It automatically generates all standard X-Ray views, eliminating the need for your plain X-Ray system altogether. Receive a demo at our booth!

      1. Learn how to better practice workflow

It is important to understand how point-of-care advanced diagnostic imaging can benefit your practice workflow. Learn how our imaging solutions can help you!

        1. Receive information about InReach

InReach is a point-of-care extremity CT imaging device that you saw in the video at the beginning of this article! The InReach is an extremity cone beam CT scanner that images the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow and the lower extremities that’s comfortable and low impact on your patients. It’s also FDA 510(K) Pending.

We are proud to surround ourselves with the top of the line medical professionals in the field of hand and upper extremities. Your dedication and hard work in the field is the reason we do what we do, and we are honored to be a part of a community that advances in leaps and bounds each year.

If you’re at the conference this week, don’t be shy, we’d love to meet you!