November 30, 2020 — This year at the all virtual Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc. will demonstrate the latest innovations across its diverse portfolio of imaging, IT and service solutions. Underscoring the company’s theme for this year’s meeting, Depth of Vision, are new data-driven solutions in artificial intelligence, digital radiography, ultrasound and healthcare IT.
“Depth of vision encapsulates Konica Minolta’s focus on imaging to advance outcomes in healthcare, improve operational efficiency and reduce costs,” said David Widmann, President and CEO of Konica Minolta Healthcare. “We are facing unique times that will forever change our customers and business. Precision medicine and personalized healthcare are more important than ever and are at the core of Konica Minolta Healthcare. The combination of imaging, genetics and pharmaceutical clinical research is a unique proposition that brings together data in a more simplified and efficient way so our customers can make decisions very differently than they ever could before.”
Dynamic Digital Radiography (DDR) reinvents X-ray by capturing a series of rapidly acquired images that result in a cine or movie. Now available on the KDR Advanced U-Arm, DDR allows clinicians to see how anatomic structures move in relation to one another over a period of time. With X-ray in motion, clinicians can view functional and physiological information that can be used to make more precise diagnoses and evaluate treatment pathways as well as reduce costs by avoiding the need for supplemental imaging exams. Konica Minolta has partnered with Emory Healthcare (Atlanta) and Mount Sinai Health System (New York) to examine the use of DDR in orthopedic and pulmonary imaging, respectively.
At Emory Healthcare, orthopedic surgeons are using DDR to see what they've never seen before in evaluating musculoskeletal injuries of the spine and upper extremities, many of which are difficult to diagnose with static X-ray. Use of DDR is providing more insight in the dynamic movement of a joint leading to more precise diagnoses. Patient management is enhanced with better ability to predict surgical and treatment outcomes.
Alexander Kagan, M.D., Chair of Radiology at Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West, says that DDR takes one of the most ubiquitous exams, the chest X-ray, and produces a functional exam that wasn’t previously possible. “With DDR, we can perform this functional exam in 10 seconds on the same device that takes a regular chest X-ray. We can see anatomy better and obtain physiologic information, watching their muscles as they inhale and exhale. By looking in two frames – frontal and lateral – we can see the patient’s chest wall expand and contract in ways that we previously did not have before to diagnose different diseases and prescribe appropriate therapies. This can allow patients to be diagnosed quicker in a single exam rather than multiple visits.”
Introducing a next-generation ultrasound system
Konica Minolta introduces the SONIMAGE HS2 Compact Ultrasound System, featuring advanced image clarity and innovative functionality optimized for point-of-care environments. Enhanced needle guidance, superior image quality, high-resolution blood flow imaging, hands-free voice control and an intuitive, wide view touchscreen monitor with improved annotation capabilities are several of the improvements users will experience.
Konica Minolta’s Dual Sonic technology utilizes a unique algorithm that transmits two waveforms depending on the focal length, providing the clarity and high signal needed for deep tissue imaging. Improved Tissue Harmonics technology suppresses acoustic noise and increases both frequency and sensitivity for both deep tissue and superficial imaging. When coupled with the company’s wide bandwidth L18-4 probe, users achieve exceptional image quality with improved fine details and contrast resolution for precision in diagnostic and interventional applications. Additional enhancements include higher resolution and faster frame rates, enabling more clear visualization of slow blood flow. Simple Needle Visualization, or SNV, software is optimized for confident needle guidance.
“Ultrasound is more sensitive and specific for certain pathologies, for example, you can see tendon tears that you may miss on an MRI,” said Pradeep Albert, M.D., radiologist, Lenox Hill Radiology. “With ultrasound, we can get the most amount of information in the least amount of time. I can perform a dynamic exam and watch the ligaments and tendons move while talking to the patient about where they have pain. The image quality from Konica Minolta’s ultrasound systems is amazing and I can obtain immediate information that streamlines the patient experience, enhances safety and makes them an active participant in the procedure.”
New teleradiology and AI solutions
In response to the growing need for teleradiology services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Konica Minolta Healthcare introduced Exa Gateway, a cost-effective platform for secure remote reading that connects hospital radiology departments, radiology practices and teleradiologists through technology and services. By utilizing a facility’s existing PACS investment, Exa Gateway minimizes costs and streamlines connectivity. Teleradiologists can use their current PACS worklist and viewer without additional strain on existing IT staff and resources. Hospital radiology departments can add to or start teleradiology services, providing the flexibility to manage fluctuating volumes. Radiology practices can implement remote reading capabilities with access to teleradiologists to handle overflow of studies or provide overreads and sub-specialty interpretations, enhancing their service to referring physicians and patients. Exa Gateway can be configured for both existing Exa customers and non-Exa users.
In partnership with DiA Imaging, the LVivo Cardiac ultrasound artificial intelligence (AI) Toolbox has been expanded with new features on the Exa Cardio PACS platform. Exa users will have access to LVivo Toolbox to perform automated and quantified analysis of the left ventricle to detect cardiac dysfunction in COVID-19 patients in the echo lab and on the frontline. With Exa’s Zero Footprint Universal Viewer and reporting system, the LVivo EF solution can be used to monitor COVID-19 patients’ global heart function on any workstation, reducing patient imaging bottlenecks. Performing this analysis on a workstation rather than the ultrasound system also minimizes patient-staff contact to limit the risk of infection. Additionally, Exa users can now perform and bill for reimbursement for myocardial strain imaging when using LVivo Strain.
“In the new COVID-19 normal, sonographers and echocardiographers are facing a new challenge in coping with increased procedures in the echo lab while supporting patients on the frontlines,” says Noah Liel-Cohen, M.D., Echocardiographer at Soroka Medical Center (Beersheba, Israel) and a co-founder of DiA Imaging Analysis. “AI-based tools like LVivo can help alleviate bottlenecks by automating workflows and shortening evaluation times to support faster decisions and minimize unnecessary risk of exposure to COVID-19.”
Developed for the Latin American Market, Konica Minolta Healthcare announces the launch of Exa Enterprise Imaging and Exa Lite to the region. With an entirely web-based, Zero Footprint platform, Exa delivers fast access to imaging studies and requires no downloads, making it an ideal solution where bandwidth and connectivity may vary across the region. Additionally, no data is stored or transferred to workstations, providing enhanced cybersecurity. Exa Enterprise Imaging and Exa Lite are designed for hospitals, imaging centers and radiology practices to provide the right functionality at the right price point.
More big data for actionable insights
The latest release of AeroRemote Insights is now compatible with Konica Minolta’s X-ray systems driven by Ultra software, greatly expanding the reach of the service to even more imaging solutions. A cloud-based, business intelligence and analytics solution, AeroRemote Insights provides vital information on productivity, user performance and system health at a glance. With the ability to view data from any computer or mobile device, imaging departments are enabled to improve workflow, accuracy and uptime. AeroRemote Insights represents Konica Minolta’s continuing investment in IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence by creating analytic tools that increase the value of conventional hardware and software solutions.
Usage data provides Konica Minolta with insight into their customers’ experiences. During the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, for example, connected customers saw on average a 54% reduction in exam volumes in April compared to January. May saw a 28% increase in exams over April and June saw an 8% further increase over May, a positive indicator for healthcare providers.
20/20 Imaging expands footprint in veterinary market
20/20 Imaging, a division of Konica Minolta Healthcare, delivers advanced imaging solutions to the veterinary, chiropractic, and podiatry markets. In the first quarter of 2021, the company is launching a new veterinary table DR system with a smart X-ray collimator to control dose and a smart generator that recommends the ideal exposure based on the animal size and body part. The system also utilizes IoT and machine learning for remote real-time monitoring and calibration to reduce the need for more costly and time-consuming onsite service calls.
20/20 Imaging recently upgraded Momentum-EQ, an all-in-one portable DR solution for equine veterinary practices, with the AeroDR® Flat Panel detector and enhanced equine-optimized software. Rugged and lightweight at under 18 pounds for the complete solution (tablet, charging case and detectors), Momentum-EQ includes equine specific protocols and automated image processing for optimized, diagnostic images every time.
The just-released SONIMAGE HS2 Ultrasound System is now available for chiropractic, podiatry and veterinary practices through 20/20 Imaging.
For more information: www.konicaminolta.com/medicalusa
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