CO-RADS, AI COVID-19 Pneumonia Tools, Expert Experiences, and Bedside MRI

May 1, 2020

Diagnostic Imaging Weekly Scan -- May 1, 2020

Whitney Palmer:  Welcome to Diagnostic Imaging’s Weekly Scan. I’m Whitney Palmer, Senior Editor. We’re back with you this week with the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the radiology industry.

Following the example of BI-RADS and Lung-RADS to categorize the severity of disease, a group of Dutch researchers this week released CO-RADS, a system designed to not only help you determine the extent of a patient’s disease on CT scans, but to also streamline the language in your structured reporting. Outlined in Radiology, the team discussed a six-category system that discusses the varying appearances of pulmonary involvement, scoring patients from 0 to 6.

Although we’re several weeks into this pandemic, radiology practices can still benefit from hearing about the experiences of others in the industry. In an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, six experts from throughout the country shared how the viral outbreak has impacted their practices and departments. They discussed how COVID-19 has changed their workflow, their imaging management, and their revenue. These experts said they hoped by sharing their experiences they can help you and your colleagues continue to navigate this outbreak, as well as prepare for any second COVID-19 waves or other pandemics.

There’s been a great deal of conversation about whether artificial intelligence tools can actually help you in identifying or managing patients who are COVID-19 positive. In a study published this week in Radiology, you finally got some type of answer. A research team, led by investigators from Rhode Island Hospital, developed a new AI model to help you distinguish between COVID-19 pneumonia and pneumonias of other etiologies. According to their results, using this tool can improve your diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity.

No doubt you’ve experienced significant changes to your workflow, your imaging volume, and your bottom line. And, you might be wondering how these shifts could be affecting the radiology industry as a whole. To answer those questions, Dr. Krishna Nallamshetty, President of Radiology Associates of Florida and Executive Vice President of Radiology Partners shared his thoughts with Diagnostic Imaging on the current impact of these changes and what influence they might have long-term.

And, finally, news has continued to emerge this week on the incidence of stroke and other neurological and vascular complications in patients who are COVID-19 positive. Scanning these patients with MRI can be tricky because many are too sick to move, and doing so presents additional safety challenges. To address this problem, a handful of institutions have begun using Hyperfine, a portable, bedside MRI system, to scan patients and identify significant problems. Northwell Health is one of these facilities, and Diagnostic Imaging had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Michael Schulder, co-director of radiosurgery and stereotactic radiation and director of neurosurgery, about his facility’s experience with this tool and the impact it’s making. Here’s what he had to say.