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Editor's e-Note
Physicians and patients have long bemoaned the use of disks to store and transmit patient data. This month, we’re reporting on an initiative that aims to do away with those pesky media once and for all. Find out what it’s all about and why you should #DitchTheDisk in this month’s E-News Exclusive.

How does your facility provide patient images? Let us know on Twitter and/or Facebook.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
Heads in the Cloud

By Cate Hayes

The leaders of today’s health care industry pride themselves on advancement and innovation in medicine, yet many practices still hold on to antiquated CDs and DVDs to store patient data. CDs were invented in the 1980s and have been in use for nearly 40 years—even as newer, faster, and more secure technology has advanced. In some cases, medical practices can spend up to $15 per disk. In addition, many computers and laptops no longer support CDs, as companies such as Apple have essentially eliminated CD drives from their machines.

A new campaign, #DitchTheDisk, is advocating for the switch to a universal cloud-based data storage model within the health care industry. By utilizing the cloud, physicians will be able to share medical imaging data efficiently and effectively when communicating with patients.

Morris Panner, JD, is CEO of Ambra Health, a cloud computing company supporting #DitchTheDisk. Panner is a leading proponent of the movement. He believes that this change offers many opportunities for medical information exchange.

“I think it’s going to be a combination of thought leadership from the top of the profession as well as support by industry that’s going to break down the old ways of doing things,” Panner says. “And I think that’s what’s happening as we speak.”

Full story »
Other Imaging News
Late Student’s Cancer Cells Further Research Initiatives
The Purdue Center for Cancer Research is honoring Tyler Trent (1998­–2019), a Purdue alumnus who donated his cells in the fight against bone cancer, through several groundbreaking research initiatives—one of which includes the analysis of osteosarcoma tumors using biodynamic imaging.

Illinois Zoo Scans Half-Ton Polar Bear
The Chicago Tribune reports that veterinary history was recently made at the Brookfield Zoo when a 1,000-pound polar bear received a CT scan. Imaging personnel reportedly utilized a specially modified table that can accommodate four-legged patients weighing in excess of one ton.

Diffusion Tensor MRI Predicts Neurodevelopment in Children
Research led by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences suggests that brain scans analyzing white matter variation in newborns can be invaluable in monitoring neurological development, per the journal Radiology—a sentiment seconded by personnel at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Scorpion Venom Holds Promise as Contrast Agent
A clinical trial at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles has revealed that an extract from scorpion venom, in conjunction with florescent imaging, can be used to highlight brain tumors. Researchers are hopeful that the amino acid tozuleristide, or BLZ-100, will someday be used in practice, according to findings published in Neurosurgery.
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In This e-Newsletter
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The Whole Picture
Given its sensitivity, PET has long been perceived as the go-to modality for noninvasive functional imaging. However, its signal-to-noise ratio has presented challenges. Total-body PET/CT, a new integration of the two technologies, is poised to change things for the better. Read more »

Is Lung Cancer Screening Underused?
A growing body of evidence suggests that low-dose CT screening can significantly reduce mortality for smokers. We take a look at efforts to realize the potential of this preventive measure, as well as some variables that are shaping the narrative. Read more »

Casting a Wider Net
Once considered a stopgap measure, teleradiology has come into its own, becoming a first-line option and an indispensable adjunct to the modern radiology practice. Read more »

Peerless Review
The longstanding peer review model has its advantages and drawbacks. Several innovators have prototyped a new peer learning model and are eager to share their very promising results. Read more »
Worth Repeating
“Minimizing care that provides little benefit to patients has become an important focus to decrease health care costs and improve the quality of care delivery. Diagnostic imaging in children is a common focus for campaigns designed to reduce overuse both in Canada and the United States.”

Eyal Cohen, MD, MSc, FRCP(C), of the University of Toronto, regarding a multinational study quantifying imaging rates in pediatric emergency departments, as profiled in JAMA Pediatrics
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