Author: Leona Werezak

15 Jun 2022

What is DICOM in Medical Imaging?

DICOM stands for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. It is an internationally standardized protocol for managing and transmitting images with related data.  It ensures interoperability of systems that produce, display, query, retrieve, share, send, store, print, and process medical images.

 

Why Is It Important?

 

Advances in imaging technology and increased use of computing in clinical work created a need for a standard method of transferring images and their associated information.  DICOM was developed to answer this need.  It can ensure this transfer between devices, regardless of vendor or manufacturer.

It is important to maintain this accuracy because facilities rely on medical imaging for accurate communication and profit.

With DICOM it is easier for physicians to access images and reports, allowing access from in house or remote locations.  This greatly improves the efficiency, and therefore the quality, of patient care.

What Does A DICOM File Contain?

 

DICOM images consist of two components: a header and the image.

The header contains the data that describes the image, primarily patient data.  As with other medical files, this includes the patient’s demographic information such as their name, age, gender, and date of birth.

The header can also contain information about the image, such as acquisition parameters, pixel intensity, matrix size and dimensions of the image.

 

How To View A DICOM File

 

It is only possible to view DICOM images using special software mean specifically designed for viewing these files.  The software can be proprietary or third party.

Proprietary software is what is installed in the equipment you purchase for medical imaging.

You can view the images at the same workstation where the images, such as CT or MRI, were acquired by the machine using the installed DICOM viewer. It will allow you to view images sequentially and to reconstruct the images.

Unfortunately, the proprietary software only allows you to view the images in the same location as the hardware.  The only way you can transfer the images is to a portable storage device or a network; however, you need to compress the images to do that.  Compression and exporting images usually prohibits access to the original image.

Because of these and other issues, third-party software has been developed and is used more commonly.  Third-party applications allow you to open DICOM files from any source (PACS server, the internet, a CD, or a DVD).

There are many DICOM viewing applications available.  Each viewer has different features, and you can consider the features available in each application as they compare to your viewing needs. The availability of third-party applications facilitates interoperability of your medical viewing device with other devices.

 

What Can I Do To A DICOM File In Addition To Simply Viewing The Image?

 

DICOM medical image viewers provide functionality that can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your work.  Some of the capabilities go beyond what was first imagined when imaging technology was developed.  Among the things you can achieve with DICOM are:

  • Comparison of medical images – With DICOM, you can view two digital images side by side to make comparisons.

 

  • Enhancement of image quality – DICOM allows you to zoom in to see detail and to change the contrast in an image. By increasing or decreasing the brightness of the image, you can make better distinctions between radiodensity and radiolucency in different areas of the image.

 

  • Reconstruction of images – This allows you to see aspects of the anatomy that are not available from the original images.
    • Two-dimensional to three-dimensional rendering is a method that takes the initial two-dimensional images from the initial DICOM data set that are taken in all three planes (axial, coronal, and sagittal) and reconstructs them into a three-dimensional rendering.
    • Multiplanar Reconstruction (MPR) uses the 3D reconstructed images and makes slices of them to allow you to view different anatomical levels at different angles than those acquired in the initial images.

 

  • Combination of images – Some DICOM applications allow you to combine different modalities, such as PET and CT images. Using this combined image, you can simultaneously leverage the advantages of both types of imaging modalities.  So, for example, a PET scan would locate areas of high metabolic activity, and you could combine that with the CT scan to map it to corresponding anatomical sites.

 

  • Measurement of image targets– If you want to measure the linear size or volume of anatomic structures, you will appreciate apps that have this functionality. Being able to make these measurements accurately and efficiently is useful in assessing treatment efficacy or in planning treatment.

 

Can You Transfer A DICOM File Into Other Formats?

 

Each DICOM file contains several high-resolution images.  Because this can create a very large file, compression is needed so you can transfer it.

It is important to note that compression of DICOM files uses two strategies:  lossless and lossy.

Lossless does not lose any information when it is compressed.  You can easily recover the original file at any time.  However, this requires a lot of processing and results slow file opening and saving.  A lot of compression is not possible with this strategy.

Lossy compression achieves greater compression because it removes some data.  Typically, redundant data is removed.  However, if a significant amount of compression is done, image quality can be impacted.

DICOM files can be compressed and exported into various formats, including JPEG, TIFF, PNG and GIF. This table summarizes the formats.

 

Other DICOM Capabilities

 

In addition to capabilities that enhance your viewing of and working with images, DICOM also has several functionalities that enhance the operation of your hospital or clinic.

DICOM supports network image management, network image interpretation management, network print management, image procedure management and offline storage media management.

DICOM simplifies the way you interface with your imaging equipment and can often be achieved by a “plug and play” system.

The system also works to group images with similar properties, which facilitates storage and retrieval.

Workload is also minimized by communication between Imaging Equipment and Existing Information Systems.  Once connected, DICOM generates a list of scheduled imaging procedures for that equipment.  Therefore, DICOM eliminates the need for duplicate data entry at the imaging equipment console.  Furthering efficiency, DICOM allows the user of that equipment to query another system and obtain additional details about the procedure and/or the patient.

 

Double Black Imaging Is Here For All Your Medical Imaging Needs

 

Double Black Imaging Displays can be calibrated remotely and automatically to employ DICOM functionality.  We include these capabilities to help make radiology imaging and reporting easier, more accurate and less time consuming.

We are here to help you solve your imaging issues and improve your process in your radiology department.  To learn more about your ideal OR Monitors, DICOM applications that make your life easier, or our other products and services, contact us today or email us at sales@doubleblackimaging.com.

 

03 May 2022

What Are Diagnostic Imaging Systems?

Diagnostic Imaging Systems are a vital component of clinical decision-making, and they are commonly used in many hospitals and health centers. Imaging provides physicians a tool not only to diagnose injuries or illness, but also to plan and monitor the course of needed treatments.

 

What Is Diagnostic Imaging?

 

Diagnostic medical imaging involves specific techniques that obtain images from inside the body. This technology provides detailed visualizations that include any abnormalities in structure or function. A diagnostic radiologist is a physician who is specially trained in the interpretation of these images to diagnose illness or injury.

 

What Is It Used For?

 

Diagnostic medical imaging allows physicians to visualize activities and structures inside the body. The images help diagnose the cause of symptoms or identify signs of a health condition. Diagnostic imaging also provides capabilities to confirm illnesses or monitor how well a patient is responding to medical treatment or intervention.

 

Types of Diagnostic Imaging

 

  1. An MRI scan can detect tumors, injuries, lesions, and infections. One benefit of this type of diagnostic imaging system is that it uses a powerful magnet (not radiation) to obtain a 3D image of organs and tissues inside the body of the patient. This scan can be used to examine the spinal cord, brain, joints, breast tissue, abdomen, or liver for injuries or abnormalities like cysts or tumors. An MRI exam can be ordered with contrast and generally takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

There are four types of MRI machines:

  • True open: This is open on all sides; beneficial for individuals who are claustrophobic.
  • Closed: A traditional tube is one in which a patient lies down inside for the images.
  • Wide bore: This resembles a closed MRI, but with a wider middle opening.
  • 3T MRI: This type is more advanced than traditional MRI and it takes less time. The high-resolution images enable the radiologist to determine the severity of a patient’s condition.

 

  1. MRA Scans (magnetic resonance angiogram) provide very detailed images of the blood vessels to identify issues that lead to reduced blood flow. Physicians use MRAs to look for calcium deposits, aneurysms, inflammation, or clots within the blood flow that may narrow or occlude vessels. In some cases, they may order a contrast dye to get a better definition of the scan’s images. MRA tests are typically used on the legs, neck, brain, or kidneys. In many cases, an MRA scan can detect more information than x-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans.

 

  1. Computed tomography (CT) or computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans are frequently used to quickly examine individuals who may have internal injuries from trauma. CT scans are commonly used to evaluate the spine, brain, abdomen, neck, and chest. A CT scan can detect bone and muscle disorders, masses, tumors, injuries, and internal bleeding. This test combines a string of X-ray images taken at multiple angles to generate a cross-sectional slice of blood vessels and soft tissues. While CT scans use low doses of radiation, they’re still relatively non-invasive and safe.

 

A CT scan can be used to visualize nearly all body parts, including:

  • Head: Check for stroke, masses, and other abnormalities
  • Chest: Provide more detail into abnormalities as needed after an x-ray
  • Neck: Look for enlarged glands or lymph nodes and lumps.
  • Spine: Detect problems like spinal canal narrowing, a herniated disc, or fractures
  • Sinus: Detect and diagnose obstructions or sinus disease
  • Pelvis/ Abdomen: Check organs and diagnose unexplained pain

 

  1. Ultrasound- This technology produces real-time images onto a computer monitor as the technician moves the transducer over an area to show the structure and movement of internal organs or blood flow. It is often used to assess wellbeing during pregnancy. It doesn’t use radiation, but rather high-frequency waves that bounce back when they hit an area of density.

A physician may order an ultrasound to investigate the cause of symptoms such as swelling, infection, or pain. Ultrasounds can be used to examine the Heart, Joints, Uterus, Blood vessels, Muscles, Bladder, or Kidneys.

 

  1. X-rays -X-rays are among the most used diagnostic imaging tests. They provide quick results at a relatively inexpensive cost. X-ray equipment generates a high-energy beam that dense tissue and bones can’t absorb but can pass through other areas of the body. This process generates an image, allowing your doctor to see an injury to bones. This technology uses low-dose radiation and a specialized plate to produce images of inside the body, typically the bones and joints. Digital x-rays use less radiation and are employed for the same purposes.

 

  1. Mammography- Mammograms are a type of x-ray image of the breasts. They screen for early evidence of breast cancer, sometimes identifying lumps years before they are palpable. A radiologist can use Digital mammography, which requires a much lower radiation dose to produce high-quality images of breast tissue to identify and diagnose cancer nodules that older systems can’t detect.

 

  1. Bone Density Scan- This procedure, also known as “bone mineral density testing,” uses x-ray equipment to measure the amount of bone minerals and calcium per square centimeter. Typically, this scan is conducted on the hip, spine, or forearm. This scan can determine whether a patient has osteoporosis (a condition where the bones are fragile and susceptible to fractures). Bone density scans are recommended for patients with the following risk factors: a recent fracture, height loss of more than an inch and a half, decreased hormone levels, long-term steroid use, or anti-rejection medication due to organ or tissue transplant.

 

  1. Arthrogram- Also known as “arthrography,” arthrograms consist of various images obtained using x-ray, fluoroscopy, CT scans, or an MRI specifically of an individual’s joints. An arthrogram is one of many types of medical imaging used to diagnose joint problems. To do this, a radiologist will inject your joint with a contrast dye that coats your joint structures and lining, allowing the physician to easily evaluate joint function. An arthrogram might capture detail that other types of imaging may not detect.

 

  1. Myelogram- During a myelogram, a technologist injects contrast dye into the spinal cord space. While this dye moves through the spinal spaces, fluoroscopy is used to examine the spinal cord, tissue, and surrounding nerves for any abnormalities, like tumors, infection, and inflammation.

 

  1. Nuclear Medicine – During this type of medical imaging, radioactive tracers are injected into a vein to provide images of the internal organs and structures. This gives physicians the opportunity to diagnose some types of cancers, gastrointestinal issues, or endocrine disorders. It can be used with a bone scan, thyroid scan, thallium cardiac stress, or positron emission tomography (PET scan).

 

Do you have imaging needs?

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23 Feb 2022

Human-Computer Interaction in Radiology & Reporting: A Look at Three Applications

Why HCI in Radiology?

 

Focus on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in the field of radiology has increased significantly over the years.  It is now common to use the terms HCI radiology and HCI imaging to refer to the study of radiology as it pertains to human-computer interaction.

The emphasis on HCI radiology, or HCI imaging, has changed the way we look at equipment purchases, report writing, and E-Learning.

The influence of HCI considerations not only has had a major impact on these areas to date but could continue to influence these and other considerations for the field of radiology in the future.

 

HCI Radiology and Equipment Purchases

 

Jogia, et.al. (2021)1 reported a case study to consider HCI factors when purchasing X-ray equipment.  While they looked at ergonomic factors such as force to operate machines, the primary emphasis was on the HCI between Medical Radiation Technologists (MRTs) and the control room console.

They focused on the tasks involved in operating the control room console as these are the actions that make up the HCI.  Further, they looked at actions at the console that could result in wasted images and which aspects of the design might reduce repeated and wasting (rejecting) X-ray images.

A primary focus of the assessment involved heuristic evaluation.  This allowed them to judge the usability without speaking to the users.

They identified three sources of the task workload for HCI activities:  mental demand, frustration and performance.

Consistency and Standards, User Control and Freedom, Error Recovery Problems, Help and Documentation, and Error Prevention and Memory were all areas of errors when using the console.

They summarized the following questions:

Should HCI factors be included in a purchasing guide?

Can HCI factors be identified using HCI tools while observing MRTs working with the equipment?

Can we determine the most relevant method and tool for evaluating HCI between MRTs and the X-ray equipment?

Jogia, et. al. (2021) called for additional studies employing the use of heuristic evaluation that focuses on factors that can be easily identified and tested during the purchasing process.  They suggested that these HCI factors could be instrumental in planning and designing an X-ray suite.

 

HCI Imaging and Reporting

 

Ganapathi, et.al. (In print)2 studied HCI for the development of a structured reporting process that incorporated eye-gaze and speech signals.  The primary objective was to generate data to create an HCI to automate generation of a structured radiology report that captures key image findings and a radiologist’s subsequent spoken descriptions of those findings.

They used an eye-gaze tracking device to establish an eye-gaze-voice span parameter which they defined as a unit of time from when the radiologist fixates on an image to the start of speech.

They looked at factors such as anatomy imaged, image modality, image resolution and radiologist interpretation.

They concluded that because the individual radiologist was the key to designing a system of automated reporting that utilizes eye gaze, a system based on these parameters would need to be customized to the individual radiologist.

The order of items targeted did not produce significant variability, nor did the anatomy being imaged, image resolution, and modality, so customization is not needed for these items.

They suggest a “next step would be to use the gaze and speech signals together to identify diagnostic regions-of-interest from the gaze signals and corresponding speech content to incorporate key image findings into a structured report.”

The authors believe that a system using eye gaze – voice span could improve structured acceptance and implementation.

The article concludes with the suggestion that the best success with the system could be achieved through training the radiologist to better use the HCI.

 

HCI Radiology and E-Learning

 

Den Harder, et.al. (2016)3 looked at how learning outcomes and perspectives of medical students and teachers were influenced using image interaction in radiology e-learning programs.

They defined e-learning as us of electronic media, including audio, digital images, and web-based learning for educational purposes.

Advantages of e-learning include flexibility in when and where a student can learn, the types of materials that can be used (animation, video, interactive programs), and the ability to increase class sizes.

Two primary forms of HCI that are of benefit to radiology in e-learning are:

Navigation or scrolling through a stack of images in different planes)

Manipulation (adjusting contrast setting, rotating 3D models)

In the past, Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)  in hospitals were viewed by physicians as single images printed next to each other.  In radiology, they are viewed as a stack of images (volumetric image).  Now that images are digitalized and used in Picture Archiving Systems (PACS), the volumetric images are available to all in-house doctors.

This highlights the importance of medical students learning to interpret radiological images and understanding the relationship between the anatomical and pathological structures.

This article suggests that a “first step can be the use of videos of volumetric image stacks.  However, ultimately, human-computer interaction with images should be possible since this is more representative to clinical practice and more reliable than tests with 2D CT images.”

They indicate that allowing for image manipulation is a key method e-learning can improve radiology education.

This was supported by the finding that tests that used stack images were more reliable and more representative of clinical practice compared to tests that used 2D images.

Now that in-hospital doctors have stacks of images available for review, and the study found that stack image and 2-D image review require different cognitive processes, the argument is made that medical students could benefit from similar exposure.

The study also noted that scores using stack viewing and image manipulation correlated with scores on human cadaver anatomy tests.  This same correlation did not occur for tests without stack viewing.

The authors suggest that radiology anatomy courses should use radiological images with stack viewing and other image manipulation tools.

They concluded that the use of image interaction in e-learning could be beneficial for medical students.

 

About Double Black Imaging

 

Radiology Monitor Provider and RetailerDouble Black Imaging makes radiology imaging and reporting easier and less time consuming for you.  Implementation of new information about HCI is just one way we hope to accomplish that.

We are here to help you solve your imaging issues and improve your process in your radiology department.  Give us a call at (877) 852-2870, email us at sales@doubleblackimaging.com, or go here to submit a request.  Let us know how we can help you use the latest knowledge to make your department work smarter.

 

References:

  1. Jogia, A; Brunet, J-P; Ramos, D; Lintack, J; Di Raimo, L; Sharpe, M; Rowr, K; Paul, N; Lall, D; Cheadle, S; Smith, J; Macdonald, R; Plastino, J.  Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in General Radiography:  A Case Study to Consider HCI Factors When Purchasing X-ray Equipment (2021).  Proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021), IV.
  2. Ganapathi, T; Vining, D; Bassett, R; Garg, N; and Markey, M. A Human Computer Interaction Solution for Radiology Reporting:  Evaluation of the Factors of Variation.  Journal Preprint.
  3. den Harder, A.M., Frijlingh, M., Ravesloot, C.J. et al.The Importance of Human–Computer Interaction in Radiology E-learning. J Digit Imaging 29, 195–205 (2016).

20 Jan 2022

Tips for Radiology Reporting Online

Radiology reporting online has become a primary means of communicating results of radiology imaging.  As this change has evolved, the requirement for immediate availability of results has emerged.  Previously, radiologists took a few days to write their reports and communicate results with the managing physician prior to releasing those results to the patient.

Now, with the development of teleradiology reporting via portals, patients usually obtain access at the same time the report is made available to the referring physician.

Radiologists have two primary concerns about how these requirements impact their practices.

  • A delay in access to personal health information can result in a hefty fine.
  • Remote radiology reporting has become the primary means of communication between the radiologist, the referring medical doctor and the patient.

While clarity has always been a focus, we must be able to convey that information to 2 or more distinct audiences.

Here are some tips for creating effective radiology reports online:

 

Keep Your Reports Clear and Concise

 

When writing your report for publication in the online portal, use of standardized sections provides a consistent organization across all reports and simplifies the content for both the patient and the referring physician.

The following five sections help provide the structure of the report:

  • Clinical Referral and Medical History
    • Reason for the referral (clearly and briefly)
    • Clinical problem being investigated
    • Indicate if insufficient clinical information limited full interpretation
    • Justification of radiation exposure, if warranted

 

  • Procedure/Technique
    • Name of the procedure(s)
    • Description of the procedure(s)
    • Variations in the standard procedure(s)
    • Contrast medium
    • Route of administration
    • Type of contrast
    • Dose of administered
    • Adverse reactions
    • Medications given while in the radiology department
    • Suboptimal features and any impact on the interpretation of results
    •  Radiation dose (if applicable)

 

  • Evaluation Results/Findings
    • Description of abnormalities, organized systematically
    • First address the findings that pertain to the clinical diagnosis and suspected pathology
    • Use accepted terminology and precise language
      • Include details about the abnormalities
      • Dimension
      • Signal intensity
      • Attenuation
      • Echogenicity
      • Density
    • Positive or negative features that impact the interpretation
    • The site of any abnormalities and the relationship to other structures
    • Reference which images in the report best illustrate the abnormality
    • Any incidental or relative negative findings
    • Compare the current findings with previous studies (if available)
    • Use the term “normal” rather than “unremarkable”

 

  • Summary/Conclusions
    • This is one of the most important sections to the patient
    • Use clear and concise language to avoid confusion and minimize anxiety
    • Because of its importance, this section is addressed later in this article

 

  • Recommendations/Next Steps
    • This is another one                                                                                                                                     of the most important sections to the patient
    • This section is also addressed later in this article

 

Unique and Patient-Specific Reports Make The Patient Feel Valued

 

When a patient sees specific information about themselves in your report, they understand that you see yourself as a member of their healthcare team and that you are concerned about them.

Reserve judgment about sensitive topics, such as smoking, alcohol use or body build.

 

Use of Structured Reporting Presents Standardized Information In A Clear, Organized Format, Tracking The Attributes of Each Finding

 

We have provided an outline for structured reporting in radiology in this article.  Using structured reporting, you can present standardized information in a clear, organized format.  You can track each finding, and you are prompted to complete all required fields to create consistency in subsequent reports.  Further, physicians who regularly make referrals can follow the structure and scan to areas that are important to the treatment plan.

Other benefits to using Structured Reporting include that can result in:

  • More time efficiency
  • Support for automated billing and order entry
  • Helping research analysis and decisions
  • An improvement in communication of radiology results
  • Easier retrieval of data for comparison, audit and research
  • Standardized section headings and sequenced observations with templates or checklists
  • An easy way to implement standardized language and vocabulary
  • Improved clarity, reduced ambiguity, and increased confidence in the findings and recommendations
  • Organized communication with patients
  • A method of giving patients information about their condition that is easily understood and organ-specific which helps guide healthcare decisions

 

While structured reporting increases certainty and clarity, often there is uncertainty in the interpretation of the findings.  Clearly communicating uncertainty is vital to clarifying the nature and extent of that uncertainty so that physicians and patients can understand the degree of confidence in the findings and use it to guide clinical decision making.

 

Include A Short Summary Wrapping Up Everything Covered In The Report

 

As stated before, patients are most interested in the conclusions and summary/recommendations of the written report.

This section should not be a mere repetition of the findings.  It should improve understanding of the findings and have clear next steps.  Be sure this section addresses the following:

  • States an overall impression that gives a comprehensive review of:
  • Imaging features
  • Clinical information
  • Laboratory findings.
    • States the diagnosis with the greatest possible precision (if not possible, provide an appropriately ranked differential diagnosis)
    • If use of a differential diagnosis is necessary, it should be
      • Relevant
      • Limited
      • Should explain how it supports or denies the referring diagnosis
    • Be sure that the conclusion relates to the original presentation of the referral
  • Discuss relevance of incidental findings
  • Restate adverse events

 

Include Advice For What To Do Moving Forward

 

Provide a message directly to the patient which indicates normal or abnormal findings and next steps.  This will help reduce patient anxiety.

 

 Avoid Technical jargon

 

Incorporate lay-language translations of complicated terms into digital radiology reports.

While the report always needs to consider the expected level of knowledge and expertise of the referring physician, keep in mind that you are also writing a report that will be read by the patient.  Avoid abbreviations unless it is something that is commonly known.

 

Enhanced Reports – Pictures, Tables, Graphs, and Hyperlinks To Useful Links

 

Patient understanding is improved by using information that is presented visually or evokes a visual image.  Providing links to patient-focused information also makes the information more accessible.

Information should be presented in a form that precisely illustrates the findings and helps the patient understand the imaging results.

 

 Approach Bad News Carefully

 

Bad news needs to be delivered in a simple, supportive manner that states clearly what has been observed.  Jargon should be avoided, and language should be used that creates a supportive atmosphere should be used.

 

Conclusion About What Double Black Imaging Provides For Your Practice

 

Work With Experts At Double Black ImagingDouble Black Imaging, headquartered in Plymouth, MN, has sales and service offices across the USA.  Double Black Imaging is committed to making imaging more efficient, reducing healthcare costs, and strengthening customer service while performing 100% of software development and display integration in the USA.

For more information about Double Black Image, our products, and our services, visit our website at https://doubleblackimaging.com/ or email us at sales@doubleblackimaging.com.

22 Dec 2021

Physical, Cognitive, and Organizational Ergonomics

As medical offices work to increase patient satisfaction while reducing costs, employee injuries, and sick time, their workplaces’ physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomics are crucial to evaluate and correct, if necessary, to meet these goals.

According to the International Ergonomics Association (IEA), the word “ergonomics” refers to “the science of work” and “is derived from the Greek ergon (work) and nomos (laws).” The IEA goes on to explain that the terms “ergonomics” and “human factors” can be used interchangeably or combined—“(e.g., human factors and ergonomics – HFE or EHF).”

As such, HFE examines the “physical, cognitive, sociotechnical, organizational, environmental and other relevant factors, as well as the complex interactions between the human and other humans, the environment, tools, products, equipment, and technology.”

HFE can be further broken down into the three sub-disciplines of physical, cognitive, and organizational ergonomics to evaluate their individual and combined effects on people working within a given system.

Simply put, physical ergonomics is concerned with the human physical body, cognitive ergonomics with the human brain, and organizational ergonomics with systems and the unique cultures within them.

Ergonomics is also considered to be “both a science and a profession.” As a science, ergonomics focuses on understanding how humans interact with other elements of a system. As a profession, ergonomics aims to maximize human well-being and system performance which is accomplished by applying data, principles, theories, and methods to design concepts.

 

What is Physical Ergonomics?

 

In looking at the human body, the focus in physical ergonomics is on preventing injuries, increasing productivity, and reducing errors and quality concerns.

Injury prevention is accomplished by evaluating and designing workplaces to make safety a top priority while ensuring jobs and tasks are completed as efficiently as possible. This includes assessment of physical activities such as repetitive movements, postures and body positions, and manual tasks performed. It also includes examining how people use their bodies to work with equipment, tools, and other people to perform daily tasks.

 

How Does Physical Ergonomics Help Increase Productivity?

 

When workers experience less physical strain and difficulty performing their work, studies have shown they are more productive.

For example, a study conducted by Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health found a 46% increase in employee productivity at a call center when employees were provided with a sit/stand desk that allowed them to change their body position and stand or sit to be more comfortable while working.

Researchers found that employees with stand-capable desks sat approximately 1.6 hours less than their fellow employees who worked at traditional seated desk setups. Productivity was defined as “how many successful calls workers completed per hour at work.”

In addition, almost 75% of employees with stand-capable desks reported less “body discomfort” after using these desks for the 6 months of the study. So, in addition to increased productivity, these employees’ overall sense of well-being and health improved as well.

 

How Does Physical Ergonomics Help Reduce Errors and Quality Concerns?

 

According to the Center For Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) at the University of California, Berkeley, “Poor ergonomics can have a direct negative impact on quality and profit. Ergonomically unsound designs can lead to physical and mental fatigue, and in turn, errors and reduction in work quality.”

Researchers note that when tasks require greater precision or force, there are corresponding increases in quality errors, fatigue, and the subsequent need for more inspection.

For businesses, they point out that worker fatigue can also result in decreased customer satisfaction and more equipment malfunctions and replacements.

 

What is Cognitive Ergonomics?

 

Cognitive ergonomics is concerned with the human brain’s ability to interact with and process information, and subsequently, the quality of a person’s performance within a given system.

This sub-discipline of cognitive ergonomics analyzes things like training, decision making, and “mental workload.” Ergonomists in this field are also involved in making assessments and recommendations regarding design, usability, and human-machine interaction, as well as analyzing errors and investigating workplace accidents.

From a product perspective, cognitive ergonomics “focuses on how well the use of a product matches the cognitive capabilities of users”. And as David Bulfin explains, this includes understanding how the human mind “naturally” responds to stimuli, which is influenced by both cultural and evolutionary factors.

From a design perspective, ergonomists are key when it comes to designing products and systems that provide a better user experience by taking into consideration the limitations and capabilities of its users. The goal is to design products and systems that are “simple, clear, and easy to use, contributing to a superior overall user experience.”

 

What is Macroergonomics?

 

Macroergonomics, also referred to as organizational ergonomics, assesses how organizations and systems interact and how these systems of work are designed. It includes having the knowledge and ability to improve systems of work to improve an organization’s overall performance and effectiveness.

As a result, macroergonomics involves optimizing an organization’s policies, processes, and structures that make up its socio-technical system (STS).

A socio-technical system refers to looking at systems from a broad perspective and “considers requirements spanning hardware, software, personal, and community aspects.”

As the Interaction Design Foundation explains, STSs “(apply) an understanding of the social structures, roles and rights (the social sciences) to inform the design of systems that involve communities of people and technology. Examples of STSs include emails, blogs, and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter”, to name a few.

Macroergonomics can be approached many different ways within an organization: top-down, bottom-up, and middle-out.

To improve macroergonomics, or organizational ergonomics, using a top-down approach, the work structure, flow, and resources available to perform work may be “prescribed” by those in leadership or management positions. A middle-out approach involves analyzing an organization from within to determine how effective its work systems and processes are, both up and down the “organizational hierarchy.” Using a bottom-up approach requires significant participation and input of employees to identify problems and possible solutions.

Workplace elements that may need to be assessed to improve a business’s organizational ergonomics include:

  • Communication
  • Cooperative work
  • Community ergonomics
  • Crew resource management
  • Design of work times
  • New work paradigms
  • Participatory design
  • Telework or remote work
  • Quality management
  • Teamwork
  • Virtual organizations
  • Work design

 

Getting the physical, cognitive, and organizational ergonomics right in your workplace doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. But it does require finding out what employees find helpful and problematic when trying to perform their jobs. Starting with the most obvious problems and working towards solutions with an expert in ergonomics can help ensure any changes you do make are likely to pay you back in spades.

Premier Radiology Display CatalogueDouble Black Imaging is the industry leader in medical monitor systems for medical practices and offices. We can answer your questions, provide demos, and help you find solutions that meet your needs and budget.

Contact one of our diagnostic imaging experts today for information about quality medical grade monitors, the use of automated calibration tools, and other benefits of purchasing monitors from Double Black Imaging.

 

29 Nov 2021

What Is Interventional Radiology?

Interventional radiology (IR) is a medical sub-specialty of radiology that performs minimally-invasive procedures with the aid of medical imaging devices to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ in the human body. Most areas of hospital medicine and ​​patient management have been impacted by IR. With the help of these devices, interventional radiologists interpret the images to guide, monitor, and provide appropriate actions during medical procedures, thus ensuring patients’ safety.

All professionals that practice IR are board-certified, fellowship trained physicians who have graduated from an accredited medical school, passed a licensing examination, and completed at least five years of graduate medical education. Additionally, they have undergone one of the various paths to board certification, specialized training programs certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and have been certified by the American Board of Radiology. To become certified by these boards, interventional radiologists must prove their expertise in radiation safety, radiation physics, and the biological effects of radiation and injury prevention. Furthermore, they must show their thorough proficiency in invasive treatments as well as diagnostic and clinical experience.

What are the benefits of interventional radiology?

 

IR procedures are steadily increasing in popularity because of how effective they are in comparison with traditional surgeries. IR procedures often mean reduced costs, decreased recovery time, reduced risk, and less pain for patients. In fact, in many cases they don’t even need to be carried out in a hospital.

  • Reduced costs: Hospital stays and general anesthesia are often what make surgical procedure costs high. IR means the invasive procedure will be minimal as well as effective and precise, and patients will be sleeping in their own bed that night.
  • Quicker convalescence: Typically, patients recover much faster from an IR procedure than traditional open surgery methods. For instance, a hysterectomy can take weeks to fully heal from, whereas having a uterine fibroid embolization (a procedure using IR) takes days to recover from.
  • Reduced risk: General anesthesia is unavoidable in open surgery. However, with IR procedures, local anesthetics are applied to the area that will be treated. This eliminates the risks of going under the full effect of the medically induced coma, as well as the risk of patients’ inner organs being exposed to bacteria for a prolonged period.

 

What kind of procedures are performed in interventional radiology?

 

Even though interventional radiologists are skilled in various techniques, procedures often fall into three main categories:

Arteries and Blood Vessel procedures: The shrinking of arteries and blood vessels can restrict blood flow. Lack of blood flow to limbs may lead to amputation in some cases. To treat this, interventional radiologists use balloon angioplasty (a kind of balloon) or metal springs to hold arteries open, or they can help save limbs by infusing clot-busting drugs directly into the artery via small catheters.

Hemorrhage is one of the most common vascular emergencies that IRs treat. Bleeding can come from anywhere in the body and is often stopped by blocking the vessel. Interventional radiologists often prevent hemorrhage during surgical procedures with a stent gaft or by blowing up a balloon in the vessel.

 

Non-vascular intervention radiology: This technique is often used for treatments in the field of oncology, but treatments are also efficient when it comes to benign tumors. The aim of this treatment is to shrink or destroy tumors that are either at their primary site or have spread. Ultrasound, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance are the kinds of imaging often used in tumor therapies. Ultimately, the goal of this intervention is for patient survival.

 

Kidney stones and gallstones are some of the most common abdominal diseases. Kidney stones cause pain, infection and blockage of the kidney which can lead to irreversible kidney damage if it’s not treated quickly. With the help of IR, an endoscope can be accurately passed into the kidney through a small skin incision which enables surgeons to break the stone, pull the fragments out or drain urine from the kidney.

Gall stones are cured with laparoscopic surgery, where IR is used to ensure greater precision during the procedure. Sometimes interventional radiologists are required to perform drainage by placing catheter tubes through the liver to either remove the stones or place stents to allow drainage.

 

Therapeutic and Diagnostic Specialty

 

The range of techniques used in IR help target therapy and diagnosis more precisely. The aim of IR is to diagnose and treat patients using the least invasive techniques, ultimately minimizing risk to the patient while improving their health outcomes. IR is often a great option to traditional open surgery and is increasingly becoming a primary approach to treat various conditions. IR professionals often collaborate with other physicians to provide patients with a comprehensive evaluation and manage image-guided interventions. Some of the most commonly implemented image-guided therapeutic and diagnostic procedures include:

  • Gastrointestinal
  • Hepatobiliary
  • Genitourinary
  • Pulmonary
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Central Nervous system

 

Get started with an ​​interventional radiology suite that will improve your patient care

 

Work With Double Black Imaging TodayWhen it comes to making an important investment in your healthcare facility, you want to make sure you do so through a reliable company that has a thorough understanding of your needs. With over 30 years of experience in the high-performance display industry, Double Black Imaging provides ways to make imaging more efficient. Dedicated to building long-term customer relationships, we are committed to supporting quality products with exceptional customer service.

Double Black Imaging offers the latest mobile medical imaging technology at competitive prices and can walk you through how to implement it in your healthcare organization. Contact Double Black Imaging for help with making the most of your purchase, or take a look at our latest medical imaging technology.

26 Oct 2021

Ergonomics in Interventional Radiology

Professionals in interventional radiology perform medical imaging during various minimally-invasive procedures such as X-ray fluoroscopy, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or ultrasounds. These imaging tests can help diagnose, cure, or alleviate symptoms of vascular disease, stroke, cancer, and much more.

Although times may vary depending on each individual case, interventional radiology procedures usually take approximately four hours. During any invasive procedure, the patient’s safety is the top priority, which is why a lot of interventional radiologists neglect basic ergonomic needs and ultimately, their health during procedures. This means interventional radiologists are regularly exposed to radiation, and lack of ergonomic equipment can lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the long term.

In fact, in interventional radiology, the use of x-ray aprons, in association with awkward postures and non-ergonomic working conditions, might increase the likelihood of musculoskeletal disorders. The prevalence of neck and back pain at least once a week ranges from 50% to 60% for those who use lead aprons frequently. Additionally, not having the right equipment to work with, will likely impact their livelihoods, quality of life, and productivity in various ways.

Even though interventional radiology often overlaps with other specialties such as cardiology, vascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, and urology among others, implementing unique ergonomic considerations is key to ensure interventional radiologists’ safety in their place of work. Having an interventional radiology suite with ergonomic equipment is crucial to the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and injury. By including ergonomic interventional radiology equipment in your facility, you are investing in the health, wellbeing, and productivity of interventional radiologists.

 

Here are a few things to consider to maximize your investment and efficiently plan for a new interventional radiology suite:

 

What makes up an efficient interventional radiology suite?

 

To optimize interventional radiologists’ performance, as well as improve their wellbeing while meeting patients’ needs, there are various crucial aspects to consider when planning for your suite. One of the key things to keep in mind is the types of procedures the equipment will be used for. There are often various professionals that are part of a procedure, such as nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and radiologists. Understanding each professional’s role and the input will ensure you plan your investment accordingly.

Each area of expertise requires its own set of equipment and standards to follow during the installation. The Society of Interventional Radiology published “Resource and Environment Recommended Standards for the IR” where it details recommendations for the interventional radiology surgical suite.

Furthermore, The Society of interventional Radiology recommends: “The preparatory and recovery areas must be located in a setting with adequate electrical, oxygen, suction, anesthesia, and emergency services. There must be appropriate temperature and humidity control, air exchange and ventilation, lighting, computer terminals, PACS access, and monitoring equipment. Access to basic and advanced resuscitation equipment as well as necessary medications and fluids and adequate support area for supplies, nutritional support, ice machines, blanket warmers, and nursing space is also required.”

How is interventional radiology equipment different?

 

The main focus when purchasing new equipment should be to make interventional radiologists’ workflow more ergonomic and make patient care more personalized. The following is a list of essential equipment that is required in an interventional radiology suite:

 

  • Imaging equipment:

Limiting radiation exposure is key for IRs. While lead aprons are commonly used they can weigh up to 15 pounds and increase pressure in the lumbar or cervical discs. Instead, today’s mobile technology like CT scanners can provide improved quality without high radiation exposure. Because interventional radiology is used during invasive procedures, it’s key for both radiologists and surgeons to clearly see what they’re working on. Using surgical displays can ensure any issues that come up are addressed immediately. Ultimately, they make any procedure safer while ensuring issues can be observed in real-time during crucial operations.

  • Ultrasound equipment:

Awkward positions are often adopted by professionals performing ultrasounds. Upper extremities are usually sustained in forceful gripping for long periods of time and are often conducive to work-related MSDs. In fact, ​​studies found that the average scan can lead to back, neck, and shoulder pain. To avoid the risk of MSDs, IRs should vary their exam postures throughout their working day.
Enter ergonomic workstations. Every radiologist needs the easy adjustability that an ergonomic desk setup will provide to stay productive. Ergonomic workstations that include adjustable heights, give IRs the possibility to switch their position, limiting the risk of postural and visual fatigue. Whether IRs are working sitting down or standing up, monitors should be placed just below eye level so that the neck muscles are relaxed at a downward viewing angle.

 

  • Medical grade computer monitors:

Today, these crucial devices are revolutionizing the medical industry with their ability to provide faster, cost-effective, and convenient imaging services in contrast with traditional imaging departments in hospitals and third-party facilities. Using a large screen and a broadcast video system may allow an ergonomic multimodal visualization that ensures IRs, surgeons, and any other key personnel attending a procedure has a clear picture.

 

Why interventional radiology equipment is key to improving your radiology teams efficiency

 

Work-related MSDs don’t only cause pain and discomfort during procedures, but affect IRs during their time off work. This can lead to burnout, a response to stress that involves both physical and emotional exhaustion and cognitive weariness. The risk with healthcare professionals having burnout is that ultimately it can affect their cardiovascular health and cause depression. However, promoting the wellness of IRs can help prevent this.

Interventional radiology suite design was created to make a safer, more efficient, and productive work environment for IRs. By investing in an IR suite, you can further optimize the performance and well-being of IRs while significantly reducing the risk of MSDs in your healthcare facility.

 

Get started with an ​​interventional radiology suite that will make your radiology practice more productive

 

Ergonomics In RadiologyWhen it comes to making an important investment in your healthcare facility, you want to make sure you do so through a reliable company that has a thorough understanding of your needs. With over 30 years of experience in the high-performance display industry, Double Black Imaging provides ways to make imaging more efficient. Dedicated to building long-term customer relationships, they are committed to supporting quality products with exceptional customer service.

Double Black Imaging offers the latest mobile medical imaging technology as well as ergonomic workstations at competitive prices and can walk you through how to implement it in your healthcare organization. Contact Double Black Imaging for help with making the most of your purchase, or take a look at our latest ergonomic workstations.

22 Sep 2021

Improving Patient Care in Radiology

During the past decade, and especially with the new normal, the medical model has shifted to focus on patient-centered care. Patient-centered care (PCC) is at the heart of medicine and focuses on each individual’s particular healthcare needs. Treatments, medications, and medical approaches are tailored to the patient’s preferences, needs, and values. What is Patient-Centered Care? Today, PCC is equated with high-quality medical services. At the core of PPC is the moral obligation to care for patients on their terms. This way it’s ensured that patients are listened to, informed, respected, and become more significantly involved in the care process.

Evidence-based medicine acknowledges that a successful outcome is not only what is valued by physicians but also what is meaningful to the patients themselves. Preparing health care professionals to be more mindful, informative, and empathic shifts their role which in the past has been characterized by that of being a detached authority to one that encourages partnership, solidarity, empathy, and collaboration. With our diagnostic radiology display monitors, practitioners can evaluate the best course of action and treatment for patients, while simultaneously helping to provide a medical experience that also caters to the patient’s requests.

How Radiology Displays Improve Patient Centered Care:

 

The Benefits of Patient-Centered Care? PCC can be profoundly beneficial when done right. However, confusion on what the term’s aim can produce unhelpful results that are superficial and ineffective. In fact, some hospitals and healthcare facilities operate in the name of patient-centered care but instead adopt models used by hotels, including greeters, greenery, and gadgets. Even though these services are great for the patient’s experience they don’t necessarily accomplish the aim of patient-centered care. A partial positive patient experience isn’t the goal. Sure, patients should have a good experience when they embark on their care process, but PCC is much more comprehensive and addresses a much deeper level. Our diagnostic radiology display monitors seek to uphold the tenets of the Patient-Center Care model by helping departments and radiologists evaluate patients true needs, and apply medical assistance from those images.

Here are the benefits both patients and healthcare facilities can accomplish when PCC is implemented properly:

Access to a Comprehensive Patient Profile: Within the healthcare system patients often have various touchpoints making it challenging to access their data as it’s spread out through website usage, social media, claims, provider data, and many others. Adopting this method helps to provide patient care under one roof, and with our radiology display monitors, patient care is evaluated based on radiological imaging.

Information is power: By creating a comprehensive profile of your patient, with radiology displays, you are ensuring you have a full picture of their health and medical history. With this information, you’ll be able to provide your patients with the kind of high-quality care that PCC aims for.

Build trust and increase customer retention: According to a 2021 Beryl Institute report, 70% of patients will share a positive experience with others. But your bigger risk is that 76% will share a negative one. And with a negative experience, 43% of patients won’t go back to that provider, with 37% finding a different doctor altogether. By implementing PCC you’re ensuring your patients get the best possible experience by acting upon the ailment. Ultimately, not only will your patients keep going back to a healthcare facility they trust, but they’ll share this positive experience with others.

Radiology Equipment Systems and MonitorsIncrease Patient Engagement: An interactive process with patients ensures a quality-based experience for them. Guiding them through their care journey at your healthcare facility while keeping an open communication will keep your patients engaged as well as deliver a personalized end-to end care.

Discover how our diagnostic radiology display monitors can help improve your practice today.

24 Aug 2021

Benefits of Mobile Medical Imaging

 Mobile medical imaging is gaining increasing momentum in the medical field.  This cost-effective service helps patients get an early diagnosis from medical facilities, homes, or their workplaces.  With the new normal, healthcare facilities often become overwhelmed, making mobile imaging services become more convenient for patients than in-house imaging services.

In fact, mobile medical imaging is projected to increase in popularity in the medical industry. A 2020 study by Coherent Market Insights, found that by 2027, the mobile imaging services market will account for $ 16,709.3 Million with a 3.3% compound annual growth rate.  Though mobile medical imaging is a recent addition to the medical industry, these services are easy to integrate into existing ones without incurring additional costs.

What is Mobile Medical Imaging?

 

Mobile imaging enables both patients or healthcare professionals to access the equipment they need, wherever they need it.  Whether patients are at the office, home, or at a medical facility, mobile imaging offers comprehensive X-Ray, EKG, and ultrasound services among others.  This flexible service is especially helpful for patients suffering from memory-related disorders who favor a familiar environment or to help surgeons make informed decisions during a critical moment in an operation.Mobile Medical Imaging

The following are some of the most popular uses for mobile imaging:

  • X-Ray: The most frequent use of X-rays is to identify bone injuries, deformities, and observe bone healing. However, X-rays are used in other ways as well.  For instance, chest X-rays can detect pneumonia ​​or bronchitis and other placements can detect gallstones as well as kidney stones.  Additionally, X-rays can be used to check for the correct placement of other medical devices such as implantable pumps and catheters.

 

  • EKG: An electrocardiogram is used to check for signs of heart disease. This technology detects the electrical signal from patients’ hearts using electrodes placed on the skin.  It’s one of the easiest and fastest tests to check for abnormalities or heart damage such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes or heart disease.  EKGs also help healthcare professionals check how efficiently medication is working and whether it’s causing side effects that have a negative impact on the heart.

 

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images from internal body structures such as tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels, and internal organs. This imaging method is used for diagnosing the causes of pain, swelling, infections in the body’s internal organs, and to examine a baby in pregnant women.  Additionally, this technology can help identify abdominal aneurysms, carotid occlusive disease and carotid artery disease, renal vascular disease, hypertension and early signs of kidney failure

 

What are the Benefits of Mobile Medical Imaging?

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) an estimated 3.6 billion diagnostic medical examinations, such as X-rays, are performed every year, and the number continues to increase. In the past, when patients required X-rays, ultrasounds, or EKGs, they would be sent to the in-house imaging department at the hospital.  Due to the high demand for these services, in-house departments often get overwhelmed, which lead to long wait times.  With the new normal this is especially problematic.  Sitting for long stretches of time in busy waiting rooms is not only a cause for concern regarding COVID-19 infection, but it’s often the case that these diagnoses are time-sensitive.  Whether patients are using third-party imaging facilities or doing it in-house at a hospital, having an imaging service performed typically takes longer.

With our monitors and equipment, we can help you begin your practice as mobile medical imaging company with our mobile medical imaging equipment and monitors.

Mobile imaging services enable patients to have much more flexible access to imaging scans.  This kind of imaging service is not only much more accommodating to patients, but also much more cost-effective. Mobile imaging allows for faster turnaround times which ultimately help healthcare professionals diagnose patients in a shorter time frame.

Improved Patient Care

 

Patient care is a top priority for healthcare facilities which is why increasing organizations are adopting mobile imaging.  When a patient is critically ill or has a debilitating mental illness, it could put them at risk to have them mobilized to a hospital’s imaging department or to go to an imaging facility.  Enabling access to diagnostic imaging for high-risk patients is not only much more accommodating to their needs, but could save lives.

Additionally, not having to move patients from one place to another, means other nearby patients will be able to heal better and faster.  Quiet environments allow patients to sleep and rest much more effectively, which enables them to heal faster.  Decreasing noise and activity not only enable better rest but also lead to fewer spikes in heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol output, and overall anxiety.

Quick Diagnosis

 

Mobile medical imaging services help healthcare facilities address delays that are related to performing diagnostic imaging.  Factoring out the time it takes to transport a patient from their bedside to where images will be performed, makes the image capture process significantly faster.  Additionally, the images captured by the patient’s bedside can be viewed by healthcare professionals immediately, which ultimately helps speed up diagnosis.

Improved Use of a Physical Layout

 

One of the main concerns of implementing new technology into existing care services is its integration with the current technology as well as the investment of time and funds.  Integrating mobile imaging into existing services is seamless because there are no space requirements, no equipment overhead, and no training is necessary.

All you need to operate your mobile imaging service is an easily accessible level location, proximity to power sources, and protection from the elements.  Additionally, you should make sure the distance from network connections isn’t too far as this will ensure the reliability of speedy IT connections and how swiftly the equipment can scan.

Mobile medical imaging services are revolutionizing the medical industry with their ability to provide faster, cost-effective, and convenient imaging services in contrast with traditional imaging departments in hospitals and third-party facilities.  Today more than ever, imaging professionals have a much more flexible and crucial role that has a real-time impact on patients’ health.

With this portable technology, healthcare professionals don’t have to use small doses of radiation in scans that could seriously affect the health of both patients and attending healthcare professionals.  Instead, today’s mobile technology like CT scanners can provide improved quality without high radiation exposure. Uses in surgeries can ensure there is no internal bleeding, necessary cuts and dissections are minimally invasive, and other issues can be observed in real-time during crucial operations.  With the ability to provide faster and more accomodating diagnostic medical examinations, healthcare professionals are better able to address patients issues and continue to save lives with the help of mobile medical imaging.

With over 30 years of experience in the high-performance display industry, Double Black Imaging provides ways to make imaging more efficient.  Dedicated to building long-term customer relationships, they are committed to supporting quality products with exceptional customer service. We can help you begin your journey as a mobile medical imaging provider.

The Largest Radiology Group in North America stated:
“If I was dealing with one of the large corporate companies, I probably wouldn’t have expected a reply for a couple of days. Great to see that I have some instant support.  That is definitely one of the factors in our decision.  That’s why you are so successful… you guys are doing things right out there in Colorado!  Another happy customer.”

Imaging Systems and Displays For RadiologyDouble Black Imaging offers the latest mobile medical imaging technology at competitive prices and can walk you through how to implement it in your healthcare organization.  Contact Double Black Imaging for help with making the most of your purchase or take a look at our latest medical monitors.

Double Black Imaging understands the monitors and equipment you will need to begin your practice and enhance your ability to become a mobile medical imaging company.

13 Aug 2021

Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging

Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the way the medical industry approaches decision-making. Data collected by AI affords healthcare workers and scientists detailed insights and efficient tools that streamline medical processes.  Its scope ranges from scheduling appointments and digitizing medical records, to drug dosage algorithms and adverse effect warnings when multidrug combinations are prescribed.  From its early days being used for administrative work, AI has become an indispensable tool in several branches of medicine, most significantly in medical imaging.

 

How AI Can Help Make Data-Backed Decisions

During the last decade the use of data has become increasingly valuable and crucial in businesses across the world.  This is especially true in the medical industry.  Hard data is the panacea.  It enables professionals to make faster and more accurate decisions by setting aside biases and information gaps.  This awareness has led to major players in the medical industry allocating significant investments into tools that can help capture, store, and leverage data resources in order to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving global landscape.

Radiology, CAD (computer-assisted diagnosis), and MRIs are some of the primary technologies that have efficiently incorporated AI.  By implementing AI, healthcare professionals are able to access much more accurate, sensitive, and specific data that aids in the detection of small radiographic abnormalities that lead to improved diagnosis and treatment. Processing significant numbers of medical images has become faster, ultimately expediting the detection of disease characteristics that would normally go unnoticed by the human eye.  Additionally, false-positive diagnosis can be greatly reduced by AI identifying and flagging abnormal exams.  This is especially helpful for computed tomographies, X-rays, magnetic resonance images in high volume settings, and hospitals with less available human resources.  Furthermore, finding reliable data that can go undetected by humans such as molecular markers in tumors is much more accurate with this tool.

 

How AI is Impacting Radiology

AI shows special promise in radiology because it will increasingly optimize workflows, facilitate quantitative radiology, aid the discovery of genomic markers, and much more. AI has become essential for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.  By recognizing complex patterns in imaging data and providing quantitative assessments of radiographic characteristics, healthcare professionals are able to make much more informed decisions and provide better patient care.

In the coming years, AI will radically transform radiology, particularly with Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging.  It will impact clinical processes by reducing administrative burden as well, ensuring billing efficiency, procedure integrity, and fraud detection.  Not only will healthcare professionals be much more efficient but they’ll be able to focus much more on patients with the help of automation.  Decades of entrenched data silos that exist in healthcare facilities will be digitized and automated.  This way the entirety of patient records will be available to healthcare professionals.  They’ll have a comprehensive patient story which can be easily accessed instead of having to manually hunt down data across systems.

 

Recent Improvements Using Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging


The core purpose of AI is machine learning.  From its early days in radiology it has been used to understand how to classify an image (i.e. whether it had a tumor in a specific area). In its early days, machine learning required users to input and determine a significant amount of data.  However, the aim of using AI is for it to implement deep learning. Deep learning doesn’t require explicit user input and learns much more from the data it accesses.  With deep learning, high-level features can be extracted from raw image inputs, disentangling abstractions and it can determine how its performance can improve.

Though the concept of deep learning was approached decades ago, it has not been feasible until now.  Using deep learning Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging, momentous improvements in research have been demonstrated. A study by Ardila et al proposed a deep learning algorithm to predict the risk of lung cancer using patients’ current and prior CT volumes. The model achieved advanced performance on 6,716 national lung cancer screening trial cases.  Compared to conventional screenings which have risks of false-positive exams, overdiagnosis, diagnostic evaluation complications, and radiation exposure, AI diagnosis performed 94.4% under the curve, significantly reducing these risks.

 

Workflow Efficiency Using Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging


Using AI for medical imaging, not only improves patient care, but also optimizes workflows significantly.  Automating processes saves time and can make the difference when a patient’s life is at risk.  With the new normal, automation is becoming more crucial than ever as more radiographers and other medical staff may experience burnout.  Intelligent imaging features make images easier to read and can catch details that may go undetected by the human eye especially if radiologists are fatigued, have little experience, or there’s a high volume of studies to review.  Additionally, exams can be carried out quicker and workloads can be reduced by assigning monotonous tasks like segmenting structures to AI.

Among the most prominent features that have greatly improved workflow efficiency in medical imaging is image capture.  Using artificial intelligence in medical imaging software, quality image capture is greatly improved.  This means radiologists have improved visualization and consistent presentation.  Patient care becomes much more personalized due to the radiation dose being optimized and custom preference looks can be implemented.

Not only do AI-driven radiology solutions provide consistent quality and imaging, but they also reduce retakes and don’t require additional training.  This tool enables more quantitative imaging that detects lesions that may be subtle and can go unnoticed when radiologists aren’t fully focused.  Moreover, best sanitary practices are easily implemented by radiographers because the time they need to be in close contact with patients for positioning is reduced.  This is especially crucial when there’s infectious diseases.

AI solutions continue to be developed at a rapid pace. The long-term impact it could have on patient care is momentously promising.  Radiology generates large quantities of digital data as images.  Using artificial intelligence in medical imagingto include this data into patients’ clinical history will significantly improve diagnosis, treatment planning, screening, follow up, and prognosis.  By using the right AI tools for your healthcare facility, you’ll not only ensure business continuity but considerably improve patient care.

With over 25 years of experience in the high-performance display industry, Double Black Imaging provides ways to make imaging more efficient.  Dedicated to building long-term customer relationships, they are committed to supporting quality products with exceptional customer service.

A nonprofit Healthcare Organization with 12 hospitals stated:
“Our experience with Double Black Imaging and WIDE monitors in our enterprise has been excellent. The product selection and quality has been great to fulfill our needs.  Technical support has been excellent from Double Black Imaging, X-CAL can be run from a server if you have a multi-hospital enterprise as we do and can save the PACS administrator a lot of time.”

Explore Radiology Imaging Systems TodayWhether you’re looking to implement AI into your medical processes or furnish your healthcare facility, Double Black Imaging offers the latest technology at competitive prices and can help install your new device.  Contact our team of radiology imaging experts at Double Black Imaging for help with making the most of your purchase or take a look at our latest medical monitors.