Study: Ultrasound can identify COVID-19 in pregnant women | Clinicians propose standards for COVID-19 lung ultrasound | Hospitals leveraging AI to fight pandemic
April 2, 2020
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Clinical Advancements in Sonography
Lung ultrasounds can be used to determine pregnant women in the early stages of COVID-19 and those with false-negative polymerase chain reaction test results, with scans proceeding from the basal to the upper thorax zones, according to a report in Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. OB-GYNs can use any ultrasound machine, but handheld scanners are best to avoid disease transmission, researchers wrote, while ultrasound focus settings should be adjusted to ensure an adequate pleural line view, and the gain should be reduced to emphasize A- and B-lines, as well as other hyperechoic indications.
Full Story: AuntMinnie (free registration) (4/1) 
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Clinicians in Italy proposed international standards recommending the use of wireless ultrasound probes and tablets to scan patients with COVID-19, the development of a disease scoring system and the creation of a global database containing ultrasound, CT and X-ray images and videos from people with COVID-19. The proposed standards were published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine.
Full Story: Health Imaging online (3/31) 
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Technology Update
Hospitals across the country are increasingly incorporating artificial intelligence into medical care as part of their efforts to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Health systems are now using AI for various applications including screening people and health care workers who might be infected with the virus, identifying high-risk patients, distinguishing the novel coronavirus from other respiratory diseases, and tracking hospital beds and medical supplies.
Full Story: STAT (tiered subscription model) (3/31) 
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Telehealth is becoming a critical tool in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic because it allows patients with mild cases and on home isolation to continue receiving health care services, writes LinktoMedicine and Future50 founder Marianna Imenokhoeva. Aside from its usual applications, health systems can also use telehealth as a mental health support tool for patients and medical professionals, and it can also be integrated in the coronavirus testing process through e-schedules for clinical and home tests.
Full Story: MobiHealthNews (3/31) 
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Practice News
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., has introduced legislation that he says would limit malpractice lawsuits against health care professionals who are providing COVID-19 testing or patient care, or working to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The CARES Act shields radiologists from liability in most cases, according to the ACR, when they voluntarily provide services.
Full Story: Radiology Business (3/31) 
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Patient Care in Medicine
US coronavirus deaths top 5K, cases surpass 216K
San Francisco (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Data from Johns Hopkins University showed the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US has risen beyond 216,000, and there have been more than 5,100 COVID-19-related fatalities, prompting Florida, Georgia and Mississippi to issue stay-at-home orders. Twelve states have not issued stay-at-home orders, and President Donald Trump declined to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order.
Full Story: CNBC (4/2),  CNN (4/2),  The Hill (4/1) 
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CDC researchers analyzed 7,162 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US and found that the risk of developing severe complications is higher among people with cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease or diabetes and those who smoke. Data showed 78% of COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care units and 71% who were hospitalized had one or more underlying health conditions.
Full Story: CNBC (3/31) 
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Legislative & Regulatory Update
The FDA should expedite review and clearance for mobile ultrasound, X-ray and CT systems that can help imaging professionals and clinicians amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance. "We stand ready to work with the FDA to address this public health emergency by helping to ensure health care providers have the medical imaging resources they need to mitigate risk and save lives," said Dennis Durmis, who chairs the MITA's board of directors.
Full Story: Radiology Business (4/1) 
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HHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency established a task force to address personal protective equipment supply problems. The Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force will focus on limiting unnecessary use of PPE and other important products, accelerating production to help meet demand, expanding production capacity of needed supplies and determining the allocation of resources.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (4/1) 
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ARDMS News
ARDMS stands with the Registrant and sonography community in calling for PPEs and limiting elective sonography studies. To help you advocate for immediate change at your practice setting, please download and share this letter with your employer, health care administrators and others. Access the ARDMS letter.
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ARDMS is currently accepting applications for all on-demand and open-windowed examinations. Pearson Vue, our testing vendor, has closed or modified access to many of their testing center locations. Please visit the ARDMS COVID-19 page for details.
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