RapidAI approved for CMS add-on payment; algorithm pinpoints COVID-19, plus more vendor news

University of Minnesota researchers have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that can evaluate chest x-rays and diagnose possible COVID-19, the institution announced Monday.

All 12 M Health Fairview hospitals—a collaboration between the university, its physician group and Fairview Health Services—are now using the program. U of M is also working with Epic to make the algorithm available at no cost to others using the vendor’s electronic health records software.

Researchers developed the AI tool using more than 100,000 chest x-rays gathered by M Health Fairview since January and teamed with the Wisconsin-based EHR giant to build the infrastructure.

“Epic software puts the University of Minnesota’s algorithm for predicting COVID-19 from x-rays into practice,” Drew McCombs, a developer who worked closely with the U of M and Fairview teams, said in an Oct. 1 statement.

RapidAI approved for add-on payment

RapidAI announced Thursday that CMS has approved its stroke software for the New Technology Add-on Payment.

The San Mateo, California-based company said the extra reimbursement is part of the feds’ Inpatient Prospective Payment System and represents a “significant advancement” in payment for stroke care.

RapidAI said the NTAP program applies to notification and triage for large-vessel occlusion strokes, adding that it’s one of the first companies approved for this add-on.

ASNC’s new imaging app

The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology has released a new application aimed at helping providers deliver evidenced-based imaging.

ASNC’s Clinical and Quality Resources App is filled with key guidelines and educational materials in a single searchable portal. Topics run the gamut from single-photon emission computed tomography and PET protocols to imaging women, and appropriate-use criteria.

“By putting the most current recommendations for diagnosis and treatment at clinicians’ fingertips, the app will further ASNC’s mission of improving cardiovascular outcomes through image-guided patient management,” ASNC President Sharmila Dorbala, MD, said in a statement.

Siemens signs with WakeMed

Siemens Healthineers has inked a 10-year value partnership with WakeMed Health and Hospitals, the imaging vendor announced Thursday.

Through the deal, the 941-bed, North Carolina-based hospital system will add new cardiovascular robotic capabilities, along with “state of the art” new imaging equipment. The partners are also planning to launch a workforce development program to train providers in advanced imaging interventions.

“Our focus on developing technologies with WakeMed will create a hub for training, education, and the advancement of healthcare for the surrounding community,” said David Pacitti, president and head of Americas for Siemens Healthineers, whose flagship customer training facility is located nearby in Cary, North Carolina.

Rapid fire

A few more radiology vendor news items of note, in rapid fashion:

  • Presagen said it has developed a new algorithm that can identify when images may be difficult for AI or a radiologist to interpret.
  • GE Healthcare said it’s collaborating with start-up companies, research labs, and French subject matter experts on the development of new AI tools in medical imaging.
  • Dyad Medical has ballooned its fundraising total to $3.5 million, with plans to use the funds to enhance its patent-pending cardiac imaging software.
  • And finally, Canon Medical and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists recently announced the 2020 Safety First grant recipients.