Using Innovative Imaging Technology to Improve Patient Outcomes

 By McKenna Bryant

In today’s competitive healthcare environment, hospitals and outpatient facilities are driven to provide the best care possible while being measured on their ability to improve outcomes, efficiency, and ultimately, patient satisfaction. In many cases, reimbursement levels are based on these measurements.

Radiology can play an important role in helping to meet those objectives; imaging is valuable in both diagnosing and treating patients, and it has the potential to have an outsized impact on patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. Phoenix Children’s Hospital is one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the country, dedicated to bringing world-class imaging services to Arizona’s children. Dianna Bardo, MD, is a Pediatric Radiologist, Co-Director of the 3D Innovation Lab, and Vice Chair of Radiology for program development at Phoenix Children’s. For Dr. Bardo and her staff, achieving better health outcomes spans the entire disease process of their pediatric patients, particularly those with cancer, chronic diseases such as congenital heart disease, and neurological issues such as epilepsy.

“Better health outcomes in Radiology means that we’re more efficient in making a diagnosis,” she says. “If we can deliver efficient care that requires fewer procedures and is less expensive, that’s what’s important to us and our department.

She says a major challenge is streamlining communication among the parent, patient, and healthcare providers. Phoenix Children’s radiologists review images with patients and referring physicians throughout the diagnosis and treatment stages, putting them in a unique position to support efficient, high-quality.

“I think that’s going to lead us to a place where the radiologist becomes more and more important in the healthcare cycle of a patient,” says Dr. Bardo. She adds that current limitations imposed by healthcare and governmental authorities on person-to-person contact aren’t keeping her team from carrying out their mission.

“In this era of COVID-19, while we are observing ‘social distancing’ guidelines, we are having online video conferences in order to continue our commitment to direct patient communication,” says Dr. Bardo.

Innovative Imaging Technology Delivers Better Outcomes

As part of a long-term strategic partnership that began in 2017, Philips and Phoenix Children’s continue to collaborate on new research opportunities and innovations intended to make healthcare delivery more seamless and to address the specific needs of children. In the MR suite, this partnership includes a comprehensive portfolio of imaging technologies, including two 3.0T MR systems, with plans this year to add a third, along with a 1.5T system.

The hospital is also developing new imaging sequences for Compressed SENSE, a breakthrough acceleration technique that shortens single MRI sequences and full MRI examinations.

“Combining these technologies and sequences might help us manage the way we’re acquiring images so that we can image faster. If we can get good temporal resolution, spatial resolution, and tissue contrast with a faster sequence, then we’re going to be doing things better for our patients,” says Dr. Bardo.

Reducing Anxiety in Small patients and their Parents

One of the biggest challenges in pediatric radiology is calming an anxious child – and their equally nervous parents so that high-quality images can be acquired and the need to repeat scans can be reduced. Faster scans result in faster image acquisition, which in turn translates to getting an anxious child back to the worried parents more quickly, thus having a positive effect on patient satisfaction. For patients who need serial imaging, such as children with tumors, this positive effect carries over to each visit.

The hospital has also installed ambient solutions, including relaxing videos, calming music, and soothing lighting, in the quiet rooms where patients rest during the FDG uptake process for PET exams.

“If we can help calm a patient, their parents will stay calm,” Dr. Bardo says. “If we can make that imaging experience faster and still get the same, or even better, information about their anatomy and the disease process, everybody’s happy.”

Medical Cost Reduction is a Bonus

Increasing throughput and efficiency while delivering safe, high-quality care is a goal of every healthcare institution. Technologies that help reduce anxiety also positively affect the bottom line. “It helps reduce medical costs because perhaps we’re not using the expertise of an anesthesiologist and sedation medications. If I can make that a shorter experience by implementing sequence changes or faster imaging, that is beneficial,” Dr. Bardo says.

Partnership and Innovation Deliver Success in Pediatric Imaging

Dr. Bardo says her institution’s partnership with Philips offers the Phoenix Children’s long-term opportunities for innovation and better outcomes. “Because of this relationship, we’re able to be at the cutting edge of things,” she says. “Because Philips is a leader in the development of software and hardware and imaging technology, we feel like we’re able to better care for our patients. “And if we feel that we’re better able to care for our patients,” she concludes, “then the entire focus of that child’s care is better.”

Editor’s note: Kieran Anderson, publisher of Applied Radiology, spoke with Dianna Bardo, MD, a pediatric radiologist and Vice-Chair of Radiology at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona, about the imaging technologies the hospital is using that improve patient outcomes. This is a brief account of that discussion.

 

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the video(s) or article(s) above are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Bracco Diagnostics Inc. (“BDI”). The primary purpose of this video(s) or article(s) is to educate and inform. This information does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.

EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System

Caution: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.

INDICATIONS:

The EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System is indicated for the vascular administration of contrast and flushing media in conjunction with computed tomography (CT) scanning of the body with an optional interface to a CT scanner and an optional calculator for glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

The Extravasation Detection Accessory (EDA™) is an optional accessory and is indicated for the detection of extravasations of ionic and nonionic contrast during CT procedures using a power injector.

Protocols have been independently developed and are not intended as medical advice. Bracco and Bracco Injeneering S.A. shall not be responsible for any physicians’ reliance on these or any other products.

 

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

The EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System is not intended for use as a long-term infusion pump, nor is it intended to be used to inject any agents other than contrast or flushing media. Do not attempt to use the Injector for any other purpose (such as chemotherapy or drug infusion). The EmpowerCTA+ Injector System should not be used to inject substances into nonvascular body cavities. Any applications of the EmpowerCTA+ Injector System other than those described in its Operator Manual are inappropriate and should not be attempted.

Not all products available in all global markets.

EmpowerCTA+ is distributed by Bracco Diagnostics Inc.; 259 Prospect Plains Road, Bldg. H; Monroe Township, NJ 08831 USA; Phone: (800) 631-5245; Fax: (609) 514-2424; Customer Service: 1-877-BRACCO 9 (1-877-272-2269); Professional Services: 1-800-257-5181 (Option 2); EmpowerCTA+ Email: empowerinfo@diag.bracco.com; Website: https://www.braccoimaging.com/us-en/products/injectors-informatics/empowercta

EmpowerCTA+ is manufactured for Bracco Injeneering S.A., Avenue de Sevelin 46, CH – 1004 Lausanne, Switzerland. http://imaging.bracco.com

 

EmpowerMR® Injector System

Caution: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.

INDICATIONS:

The EmpowerMR® Injector System is indicated for vascular administration of contrast media and flushing media in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Protocols have been independently developed and are not intended as medical advice and Bracco shall not be responsible for any physicians’ reliance on these or any other protocols.

Bracco Injeneering S.A. reserves the right at any time and without notice, to change the specifications and features described herein, or to change the production or adjust the product described.

Not all products available in all global markets.

EmpowerMR is distributed by Bracco Diagnostics Inc.; 259 Prospect Plains Road, Bldg. H; Monroe Township, NJ 08831 USA; Phone: (800) 631-5245; Fax: (609) 514-2424; Customer Service: 1-877-BRACCO 9 (1-877-272-2269); Professional Services: 1-800-257-5181 (Option 2); Website: https://www.braccoimaging.com/us-en/products/injectors-informatics/empowermr

EmpowerMR is manufactured by Bracco Injeneering S.A., Avenue de Sevelin 46, CH – 1004 Lausanne, Switzerland. http://imaging.bracco.com

 

NEXO® Contrast Management System

Intended Use:

The NEXO® Contrast Management System is a server-based application intended to be used as a data-management and visualization system. The NEXO Contrast Management System is able to read, store, share, compare/relate, as well as graphically display data and injection programs coming from RIS, PACS and multiple enabled EmpowerCTA® Injector Systems. This device provides users with record-lists, graphics and reports about data and performances.

This device is intended for retrospective and statistical data management and visualization. It is not intended for real-time data visualization, diagnostic applications or for any other use for which the device is not indicated. This device is only to be operated by and under quasi-continuous supervision of qualified and trained staff in an appropriate licensed healthcare facility.

The NEXO Contrast Management System is compatible with the EmpowerCTA Injector System version 8.0, and EmpowerCTA®+ Injector System version 9.0 and higher.

Bracco Injeneering S.A. reserves the right at any time and without notice, to change the specifications and features described herein, or to change the production or adjust the product described.

Not all products available in all global markets.

NEXO is distributed by Bracco Diagnostics Inc.; 259 Prospect Plains Road, Building H; Monroe Township, NJ 08831 USA; Phone: (800) 631-5245; Fax: (609) 514-2424; NEXO Customer Service: 1-877-BRACCO 9 (1-877-272-2269); NEXO questions: Nexo.Answers@diag.bracco.com; NEXO U.S. Technical Service and Support: Phone: 888-670-7701; Fax: 609-514-2448; NEXO Email:  customer.support@acistmedical.com; Website: https://imaging.bracco.com/us-en/products/injectors-informatics/nexo

NEXO is manufactured by Bracco Injeneering S.A., Avenue de Sévelin 46, CH-1004 Lausanne, Switzerland. http://imaging.bracco.com

 

NEXO [DOSE]® Multi-Modality Radiation Informatics

Intended Use:

NEXO [DOSE]® Multi-Modality Radiation Informatics is a server-based application that acquires, stores, and reports radiation dose index data from medical imaging procedures.

NEXO [DOSE] Multi-Modality Radiation Informatics is intended to be used by qualified medical personnel only.

NEXO [DOSE] is distributed by Bracco Diagnostics Inc.; 259 Prospect Plains Road, Building H; Monroe Township, NJ 08831 USA; Phone: (800) 631-5245; Fax: (609) 514-2424; NEXO [DOSE] Customer Service: 1-877-BRACCO 9 (1-877-272-2269); NEXO [DOSE] questions: Nexo.Answers@diag.bracco.com; Website: https://imaging.bracco.com/us-en/products/injectors-informatics/nexo-dose NEXO [DOSE] Technical Support provided by PACSHealth, L.L.C: 1-877-299-6587

NEXO [DOSE] is manufactured by and is licensed from PHS Technologies Group, L.L.C, 32531 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite #105-282, Scottsdale, AZ 85266; a wholly-owned subsidiary of PACSHealth, L.L.C.

Not all products available in all global markets.

 

About Bracco Injeneering S.A.

Bracco Injeneering S.A., located in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the most recently added Business Unit of Bracco Imaging. Bracco Injeneering is committed to develop the best-in-class integrated injection solutions with a strong heritage in research and innovation. It provides quality solutions for state-of-the-art radiology centers, offering proven injection technology, built on Bracco Imaging’s expertise.

Thanks to this strengthened product portfolio, including the CT Exprès® 3D Contrast Media Delivery System, EmpowerCTA+ Injector System, EmpowerMR Injector System, NEXO Contrast Management System and NEXO [DOSE] Multi-Modality Radiation Informatics, Bracco Imaging will be able to focus on constant innovation, not only for devices, but also for software development and data management.

CT Exprès, EmpowerCTA, EmpowerMR, IRiSCT, NEXO and NEXO [DOSE] are registered trademarks of Bracco Injeneering S.A.

EDA and FastLoad are trademarks of Bracco Injeneering S.A.

These are representative images from reference studies; individual results may vary.

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