X-ray – News Round up for May 2024

Publication Date: 13/06/2024

Co-authored with Max Street

Cranfield, UK, 6th June 2024

In this monthly news round up, I offer some of the latest news and developments impacting the X-ray markets that caught my eye in recent weeks, including my thoughts on the implications for the market.

Radiobotics extends its reach through Lunit and deepc partnerships

The two AI companies formed a strategic agreement in which Lunit will begin distributing Radiobotics bone fracture detection AI within its INSIGHT CXR AI, starting with the EMEA market. This fills a gap in the Lunit’s portfolio for fracture detection and extends Radiobotics market penetration utilising Lunit’s brand recognition and existing customer base. There is also potential for this partnership to be extended to additional markets upon further approvals for Radiobotics’ RBfracture AI solution.

Radiobotics also entered a partnership with deepcOS in May 2024, enabling its RBfracture and RBknee (knee osteoarthritis grading software) AI solutions to be available within the deepcOS platform.

AI tool increases accuracy in scoliosis monitoring

A new study published April 30th in RSNA’s Radiology journal, demonstrated the potential of AI to increase the accuracy of paediatric scoliosis growth predictions compared to the current standard, the Anderson-Green model. Growth predictions play a crucial role in determining whether corrective surgery is required but currently necessitates time-consuming manual measurements from recurrent, low-dose, full-body biplanar slot scanning X-rays. By delegating these tasks to AI, both accuracy and radiologist workload can be increased.

AI tool to automate tuberculosis (TB) screening and reduces workload

Abu Dhabi-headquartered healthcare company, M42, recently released results from a pilot study of its AIRIS-TB AI solution. The study presented results claiming it missed zero TB cases from over one million chest X-rays. The study took place in Capital Health Screening Centre in Abu Dhabi, where TB screening with X-ray is a requirement for visa applicants. The study suggests that the AI can reduce radiologist workloads by 80% by dismissing negative cases. M42 plans on implementing AIRIS-TB in Malaffi, the Health Information Exchange platform for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which accounts for approximately 35% of the UAE population.

The AI has a strong use case for diagnosing TB in developing countries, where accessibility to radiologists is lower. It could also be used in conjunction with a ultra-portable or handheld X-ray system. Screening programmes like this take place under the introducing New Tools Project from the UN and Stop TB Strategy. As part of the projects, 63 Fujifilm Xair and Delft Light portable X-rays systems were distributed across Vietnam, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

KA Imaging receives Health Canada approval for the Reveal Mobi Pro

This May, KA Imaging received approval for their new Reveal Mobi Pro system in Canada. It already holds FDA approval, with CE mark pending.

The Reveal Mobi Pro is an OEM system by UMG/DEL Medical and incorporates KA Imaging’ signature single-exposure dual-energy detector, the Reveal 35C, which enables better differentiation between soft tissue and bone. KA Imaging’s SpectralDR technology is also available by implementing the Reveal 35C flat panel X-ray detector into existing mobile DR systems. This enables further market penetration of dual-energy technology, including in Asia and Europe, where the detector, but not the Mobi Pro, is approved. However, the technology commands a high price premium, which has limited adoption to date.

Offering the technology within a mobile DR system is not expected to have a significant market impact but differentiates KA Imaging from competitors iRay and DRTECH, who also offer single-exposure dual-energy detectors.

Updated breast screening guidelines from The Canadian Task Force on preventive health care

The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) updated its breast cancer screening guidelines in May 2024. The guidelines recommend that women at average risk should have screenings every 2 or 3 years based on individual preferences. In addition, the guidelines found that there was no further evidence of the benefits of the use of supplemental screening with MRI and Ultrasound for women with dense breasts or those who have a family history of breast cancer. The screening recommendation remains the same for women aged 50-74 and stops short of recommending routine mammograms for women 40-49 years old. This has raised several criticisms from various breast cancer advisory groups. However, in most provinces women aged 40-49 can self-refer themselves for mammogram screening.

This announcement differs slightly from the recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the European Society of Breast Imaging (EUSOBI) released in April. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends the screening of women starting at the age of 40. The task force continues to recommend screenings every 2 years for women aged 40 to 74, consistent with their draft recommendations from 2023. Furthermore, the USPSTF found no adequate evidence to endorse supplemental screening methods like MRI or ultrasound for women, irrespective of their breast density. On the other hand, EUSOBI proposes a personalised approach that considers a woman’s individual risk level. They recommend additional screening with MRI or ultrasound for women at average risk and annual MRI screenings starting as early as 25 years old for high-risk women. This risk-based approach is expected to improve detection rates while reducing false positives and overdiagnosis. It is also expected to lead to better overall screening performance and cost-effectiveness.

GE HealthCare and Medis Medical Imaging announce partnership for non-invasive coronary assessments

GE HealthCare and Medis Medical Imaging, a leading cardiac imaging software company have announced their collaboration aimed at helping advance precision care in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease. This partnership will incorporate Medis Quantitative Flow Ratio (Medis QFR), a non-invasive method for evaluating coronary physiology, into GE HealthCare’s interventional cardiology portfolio, which is centered around the Allia Platform. This partnership aims to simplify procedures in the cath lab, enhance the work environment for clinicians, and introduce Medis QFR as a novel diagnostic technique for managing coronary artery disease. This is also a step forward in the direction of GE HealthCare’s commitment to advancing precision care in the Interventional cardiology market.

Signify Research’s most recent reports include new analysis on the General Radiography and Fluoroscopy, Interventional and Surgical X-ray and Flat Panel Detectors. We will be publishing the following reports soon:

Breast Imaging Report in October 2024.

Bone and Metabolic Health Report in November 2024.

We welcome further conversations on the trends specifically impacting the markets highlighted.

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About the team

Bhvita Jani – Bhvita joined Signify Research in 2020 as part of the Medical Imaging Team focusing on the X-ray market. She brings with her 3 years’ experience covering X-ray, MRI and CT research at IHS Markit. Bhvita also has three years’ experience in digital and offline marketing and was previously an assistant clinical psychologist. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology from Aston University.

Poornima Anil – Poornima joined Signify Research’s Medical Imaging Team in 2023. She brings over 14 years’ of experience in healthcare market research, analysis and business intelligence. She has a Master’s degree in bioinformatics.

Max Street – Having graduated from the University of Bristol with a BSc in Pharmacology, Max joined the Medical Imaging team at Signify Research in 2023, focusing on the X-ray market.

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