High-resolution ultrasound and nerve conduction examinations accurately spot and evaluate the severity of nerve damage due to diabetic peripheral neuropathy and may supplant neuro-electrophysiological examination as the primary diagnostic method, according to a study from researchers at the Department of Neurology at China's Guizhou Medical University. HRU's key benefits are its repeatability and non-invasive nature, researchers wrote.
An ultrasound "drill" is a key component in a new technique for dissolving retracted blood clots, according to a study published in Microsystems & Nanoengineering. The procedure involves introduced engineered nanodroplets to the clot's site and exposing the nanodroplets to the ultrasound drill, which converts them to microbubbles that can break up the clots.
The addition of deep neural networks to ultrasound resulted in accuracy that was similar to human evaluation for distinguishing malignant ovarian tumors from benign ones, researchers said. The study of 758 women was published in Ultrasound Obstetrics and Gynecology.
A study in the Journal of Digital Imaging found that the zero watermarking method didn't differentiate an author's modified image from a similar image by another author, and it also failed to distinguish the same body part images from different patients. However, researchers found that zero watermarking enabled evaluation of image integrity and helped identify the level of image modification, indicating the approach's utility in measuring image similarity, but more studies are needed.
A final report from a National Quality Forum expert panel presents recommendations and best practices for improving EHR data quality in support of automated clinical quality measurement. Suggestions include broadening access to data, offering incentives to support measure-development efforts, and aligning use cases and measures across settings to ensure comprehensive patient health records.
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Radiology practices can better navigate the economic downturn brought by the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting a financial risk assessment; managing operating costs; maximizing clinical income and revenue streams; and optimizing cash access, flow, liquidity and availability, according to a study in Academic Radiology. "Taking these into consideration may allow practices -- especially those within an academic medical center -- to transform towards a stronger, more resilient and more cohesive framework," researchers wrote.
Lay juries may be less likely to convict health care providers of malpractice in cases where decisions were based on recommendations from artificial intelligence-driven clinical support tools, researchers reported in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Participants in the study judged physicians more favorably if they accepted a standard AI recommendation than if they rejected it or accepted a nonstandard AI recommendation.
To expedite the COVID-19 vaccination pace and make more shots available to the public, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the federal government is changing its vaccine allocation method by prioritizing states that can quickly administer the vaccines and the size of the over-65 population, rather than focusing on the size of the population in total. The administration will also begin distributing all reserved COVID-19 vaccine doses and encourage states to give vaccines to people ages 65 and older, as well as anyone under 65 with underlying health conditions.
The CMS has finalized a rule to expedite the Medicare coverage approval process for breakthrough medical devices. The Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology rule will allow Medicare to automatically cover FDA-approved products for a maximum of four years, and after that period or the given timeframe for coverage, the CMS can reevaluate whether it will continue coverage based on patient outcomes.
Implementing the Radiology Support, Communication and Alignment Network quality improvement program, which involves collaboration among radiologists, referrers and patients to improve imaging appropriateness across the Medicare population, may result in a $433 million reduction in imaging costs, according to an analysis in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Widespread R-SCAN adoption "will require ongoing education on evidence-based imaging, led by radiologists for their referring clinician colleagues and may be facilitated by the implementation of [clinical decision support] tools," researchers wrote.
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