I was pleased to represent BrightInsight at the recent annual meeting for the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, IL (RSNA 2021). As my first business trip since the start of the pandemic, it was great to meet and dine with colleagues in person again and to network in 3-D vs. the all-too-familiar virtual meeting approach. Chicago was a great host and made sure that we were well protected from COVID transmission through strict mask-wearing policies at the convention center and in public buildings. Attendees were also required to share proof of COVID vaccination prior to attending the conference.
RSNA is the world’s largest gathering of the radiology and diagnostic imaging community. This year’s theme was Redefining Radiology, and it did not disappoint. Presenters and exhibitors did an excellent job of sharing new ideas, perspectives, and experiences to help redefine what it means to work as a radiologist. My focus at the conference was on the emerging applications of digital health in radiology, and to identify opportunities for BrightInsight to support development in this area through our BrightInsight Platform™ and associated digital health development services.
One of most common topics during presentations and in the exhibit halls was artificial intelligence (AI). It seemed as though there was an unlimited selection of AI-based algorithms for supporting clinicians in detecting various forms of cancer, and other diseases, based on imaging modalities ranging from ultrasound to computed tomography (CT). Other hot topics in the digital health space included the ongoing evolution of connectivity and integration; 3D printing and “mixed reality” – the integration of advanced visualization, holography, and virtual reality; and new point-of-care imaging applications.
One of the most active exhibits that I attended was for Hyperfine's Swoop, which is a portable MRI scanner that can be literally driven to the patient’s bedside and plugged into standard wall outlet for neurological scans. The Swoop MRI received US FDA regulatory clearance in 2020, and Hyperfine announced at the conference that it just received clearance for its new machine learning-based advanced image reconstruction technology for use with its MRI scanner. This is one of many examples from the conference of diagnostic imaging and digital health dramatically expanding access to care. In fact, Hyperfine displayed a video at its booth demonstrating this on a global level through a collaboration with Madonna’s Charitable Organization, Raising Malawi. My wife thought the Madonna connection was pretty cool.
Many of the exhibitors that I spoke with at the conference are relatively new to their cloud-based digital health journey. They have typically worked through the foundations of their AI-based algorithms, connectivity, mobile app development, or other solutions. However, they have not often matured to scale, particularly at a global level. From a BrightInsight business development perspective, I was encouraged to learn that many are open to working with a managed service like ours, which can handle the heavy lifting of managing and maturing a digital health cloud infrastructure. This includes not only technology and software development, but also global regulatory, quality, privacy, and security compliance.
The aforementioned compliance is critical for any digital health application, especially for those that are classified from a regulatory point of view as Software as Medical Devices (SaMD). Developing the underlying global regulatory and cloud infrastructure for SaMD products can take a tremendous amount of time and resources, even for IT-savvy operations. BrightInsight has worked with numerous clients looking to take advantage of our focus on these aspects of their product development – with the ultimate goal of accelerating time-to-market and reducing overall development costs.
It was great to meet so many new colleagues at RSNA this year. If you did not have a chance to attend, or if you did and we didn’t cross paths, I’d be happy to hear from you to discuss how BrightInsight can support your digital health development. We can even meet the now tried-and-true virtual way. In the meantime, you can learn more about how BrightInsight is supporting medical device/imaging companies as they strive to unlock better outcomes for patients by reading our white paper, “Harnessing the power of cloud computing in medtech.”