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Editor's e-Note
Practice management is always challenging, and that’s especially true for rural health care facilities. With operating budgets stretched to the limit, new capital expenses can represent an existential threat. Getting more mileage from existing equipment is often the best, and sometimes only, option. This month’s E-News Exclusive offers some advice for what to do when the original equipment manufacturer ends support for a piece of equipment.

How does your organization manage aging equipment? Let us know on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Enjoy the e-newsletter and, as always, stay safe during the pandemic.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
Support for Rural Health — Facing the Needs and Challenges of Medical Imaging in Rural America
By Jeremy Probst

Rural communities attract businesses and residents for a variety of reasons. While they may not feature all the amenities larger cities provide, they need to have the basics, including proper health care facilities. Unfortunately, studies show that 1 in 5 rural hospitals in the United States are at high risk of closing due to financial concerns, which are partially related to maintaining medical imaging equipment. The effect of these closures is substantial. For example, patients who need a CT scan, mammogram, or MRI may have no option but to drive long distances to get the diagnosis and care they need, which can substantially affect the outcome of their treatment.

The loss of a rural health care facility can also directly impact the local economy. Businesses such as manufacturers often move to rural areas due to the space needed for their facility and the availability of local labor. Access to health care is high on their checklist of priorities.

Sadly, health care facility closures can sometimes begin with end-of-support letters that hospitals receive from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). When health care facilities receive end-of-support notification from OEMs, the potential cost to upgrade equipment can be devastating. New medical imaging systems can come with a price tag well over $1 million, which can be a major burden on already financially strapped institutions. Wanting to maintain properly working equipment and staying in business shouldn’t be a choice between two options. Clearly, better end-of-support solutions are needed.

Full story »
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In This e-Newsletter
Other Imaging News
Chemical Luminescence Makes Samples ‘Glow in the Dark’
Australia’s Curtin University details a new imaging method that reportedly projects light onto an external electrode, which in turn makes the sample “glow in the dark,” thereby sparing cells undue exposure to external light. Their findings are reported in Cell Reports Physical Science.

Study Evaluates Medicaid Alternative Payment Model for Imaging Services
According to an eye-opening study by Oregon Health & Science University published in Health Affairs, a Medicaid alternative payment model reduced utilization of imaging and other traditional primary care services among community health centers by 42%.

AI-Driven Holography Speeds Identification of Pathogens
Utilizing AI deep learning, holographic imaging, and microbiology, UCLA researchers say they have pioneered a method that outperforms existing gold-standard tests for the identification and classification of bacteria, according to findings recently published in Light: Science and Applications.

Researchers Unveil Single-Pixel Terahertz Camera
A team led by the United Kingdom’s Warwick University has reportedly created a single-pixel terahertz camera with acquisition 100 times faster than that of conventional methods. This, according to an article in Nature Communications, has game-changing implications for industrial and medical imaging applications.
Worth Repeating
“In a wider sense, this project has really opened my eyes to phototoxicity and the often damaging effect that fluorescence excitation light can have on living samples, so we are raising awareness of this (potentially very misleading) phenomenon and hoping to set some standards on assessing, reporting, and minimizing phototoxicity in other live-imaging approaches.”

Philippe Laissue, PhD, of the United Kingdom’s University of Essex, regarding a light-sheet illumination system that harmlessly performs fluorescence microscopy on photosensitive organisms