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Editor's e-Note
While the world is focused on COVID-19, advances in radiology technology continue to expand the utility of medical imaging. AI is one technology that has had applications in prepandemic and present times and will, no doubt, be part of radiology practice long after the danger from the virus has passed. This month’s newsletter looks at how AI can be used to improve breast cancer risk models, breast density assessments, and mammography workflow.

Is AI being used to improve workflow in your practice? Tell us about it on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Stay safe.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
AI Benefits Mammography Screening and Workflow
By Samir Parikh

The greatest medical innovations are typically designed to help clinicians do their jobs better in some way, whether they improve efficiency, accuracy, comfort, or another aspect of the job. More importantly, these enhancements can, in turn, produce various benefits for patients. This concept holds true in the radiology field, especially in regard to the use of AI—a technology that continues to gain attention in the radiology community, particularly with the emergence of deep learning.

AI offers incredible potential to transform clinical and administrative workflow tasks. More specifically, AI plays a powerful role in mammography screening for breast cancer detection in a number of ways, starting with risk models and breast density assessments that are completed prior to cancer screening.

Risk Models and AI
Each patient profile is unique, from family history to environmental surroundings, lifestyle habits, and beyond, creating a different level of risk for any given condition, including breast cancer. Through risk stratification—classifying patients by level of risk—clinicians can guide patients on the screening regimen that is optimal for their individual situation, whether that is starting them at an earlier age or encouraging them to be screened with a certain imaging modality.

Full story »
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Worth Repeating
“However, screening CT scans at airports might be a boon for people without health insurance. The out-of-pocket cost of a CT scan in a hospital or outpatient imaging center can range from $400 to more than $2,000. If a patient needed a chest CT scan, it would be cheaper to buy a plane ticket, go to the airport, have the CT scan, and not bother to get on the plane.”

Skeptical Scalpel, a blogger for Physicians Weekly, in response to calls for airports to screen passengers for COVID-19
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In This e-Newsletter
Other Imaging News
Thermal Screening Measures Protect Zoo Animals, Patrons
Preparing to reopen in the wake of the pandemic, Florida’s ZooTampa is employing social distancing to protect its patrons, as well as its caged animals, from exposure to COVID-19. Protective measures include thermal imaging to determine the body temperature of those entering the zoo, according to ABC Action News.

3D Facial Imaging Helps Diagnose Genetic Diseases
Distinctive facial features are integral to the diagnosis of several genetic diseases in children. According to the University of California San Francisco, a collaborative database is applying machine learning to 3D facial images, and the effort has the potential to streamline the diagnosis of such disorders.

Colorization Technique Renders Cells in Vivid Detail
Researchers from the University of Tokyo have unveiled biochemical quantitative phase imaging, which, according to Optica, combines quantitative phase microscopy with molecular vibrational imaging. The technology can yield 3D images in unprecedented detail, likened to colorizing a black-and-white image, the researchers say.

Op-Ed: Traditional Medical Physicals Face Extinction
An editorial in Scientific American ponders the possibility that, amid declining hands-on skills, an increased reliance upon blood tests and imaging modalities, and new protocols arising in the wake of COVID-19, the days of the conventional, time-honored medical physical may be numbered.
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