Rachel Klein and Alyssa Pollizzi, Technology Insights
Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) has been a presence in the U.S. market for four years now, and was recently approved as an adjunct to screening mammography in dense breasted patients. The addition of ABUS to screening mammography has been shown to increase sensitivity in dense breasted women, and has comparable diagnostic ability to a more costly option (i.e. MRI).
As opposed to traditional ultrasound guided by a sonographer, ABUS scans the whole breast automatically. This reduces image variability and improves clinic efficiency by uncoupling the image acquisition from the interpretation.
Some experts currently using the device agree that implementing ABUS as an adjunct to screening mammography will eventually become the standard of care for dense breasted women. If that’s true, then why don’t we hear about it more?
Experts in the field express that it isn’t a lack of incremental payment holding adoption back, but a knowledge gap. Initial use shows an improvement in workflow efficiency and sensitivity in dense breasted women; however, additional research and publicity regarding its benefits are needed to promote its adoption.
What people are (not) saying about ABUS
Chetan Mahajan, Technology Insights
This month, a Taiwanese hospital announced plans to build a heavy ion radiotherapy treatment center. This marks continued uptick in carbon ion adoption and has reignited the debate on whether heavy ion therapy can live up to its potential and become the new standard for radiation therapy delivery. Proponents believe the time is nearing, while other experts we’ve spoken with across the industry are still skeptical about the widespread adoption of what still remains an investigational technology.
Ultimately, carbon ion therapy will need to become less costly and achieve a smaller footprint to spur adoption in the United States, though administrators should continue to monitor its progress.
What does carbon ion therapy adoption mean for protons?
Chris Pericak and Caitlin Visek
Falling reimbursement for extremity MRI exams performed in freestanding imaging centers may present hospitals with the opportunity to reap the benefit of these volumes—while simultaneously lowering costs and boosting patient satisfaction.
Declines in imaging center reimbursement may offer new opportunity