Redefining Radiology at #RSNA21

GE Healthcare

Every year after Thanksgiving, tens of thousands of doctors, hospital managers, equipment manufacturers and other medical industry professionals descend upon Chicago for what might be the largest healthcare gathering in the world: the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, or RSNA. After a virtual 2020 gathering, the in-person meeting resumed on Sunday, November 28. The theme this year: Redefining Radiology.
GE Healthcare is typically one of the biggest names at RSNA, and this year is no different. In Chicago, the company announced collaborations with SOPHiA Genetics, the University of Cambridge and Optellum as part of its vision to help make precision health more accessible and, ultimately, improve care for cancer patients. But there is more. 

The company has unveiled around 60 innovative technology solutions at this year’s show, spanning the healthcare spectrum – from patient screening to diagnostics to therapy planning to guidance to monitoring. Amidst a global pandemic and mounting pressure on the industry, the company accelerated innovations underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI) and digital solutions to help transform healthcare delivery, making it easier and more efficient for clinicians and health systems, and more personalized and precise for patients.

Many of GE Healthcare’s new products were developed in direct response to clinicians most pressing needs, which continue to be important topics at #RSNA21.

What’s Trending at #RSNA21?

Software and AI continue to be important themes at RSNA. GE Healthcare, for example, recently received the FDA’s 510(k) clearance for an AI solution to help doctors assess the placement of endotracheal tubes — an important development, since intubation has become a crucial tool for keeping the sickest COVID-19 patients alive using ventilators. The solution is one of five included in GE Healthcare’s Critical Care Suite 2.0, a collection of algorithms embedded in mobile X-ray devices that can give hospitals access to AI without their having to make large investments in IT infrastructure. You can find the story here.

There is also much discussion of backlogs in non-urgent patient care, combined with today’s growing disease burden and industry-wide staff shortages, which demand new solutions to help clinicians address today’s evolving needs. As a result, healthcare systems – and radiology departments in particular – face more strain than ever. In response, GE Healthcare unveiled SIGNA Hero [i], a new 3.0T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system named in honor of all the healthcare workers who continue caring for our global community amidst today’s COVID-19 pandemic. Paired with AIR Recon DL – GE Healthcare’s advanced deep learning image reconstruction technology that works across anatomies – this technology can offer clinicians a 30-50 percent reduction in exam times, helping to address today’s backlog more quickly and with impressive image quality[ii].To read an ode to our healthcare heroes and their work on the frontlines click here.

Another hot topic: technology obsolescence and the struggle to keep up with the pace of innovation today. Twenty years ago, new CT technologies were introduced every four-to-five years; but today, we see new solutions introduced annually. This is largely due to the speed and growth of modern engineering, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing. Because of these advancements, CT technology is becoming obsolete more quickly than ever before – resulting in 44 percent of facilities expressing challenges during their attempts to keep systems up to date[iii]. To help alleviate this pressure, GE Healthcare introduced the Revolution Apex platform, an industry first[iv] CT solution offering onsite/in-field detector upgrades from a 40 mm detector CT system to 80 mm or 160 mm CT system without swapping the gantry. Read more about how the new platform helps radiology departments stay ahead of the technology curve here.

This topic goes hand-in-hand with discussions of access to technology. The reality is that no matter where the patient is, it remains essential for clinicians to quickly triage patients and make fast clinical decisions by ruling in or out a variety of acute conditions.  GE’s Vscan Air, an advanced wireless pocket-sized ultrasound, provides exceptionally clear image quality, whole body scanning capabilities and intuitive software—all in the palm of a clinicians’ hands.  Now, they don’t have to wait to get to the hospital Emergency Department to get a scan—you can quickly assess patients where needed, in the field, or during transport[v]. Click here to read an article on the power of this small technology.

Finally, industry focus remains on the future of healthcare and providing more personalized care. To that end, GE Healthcare is excited to share an update on the development of its photon counting CT with Deep Silicon detector technology[vi] – nearly one year after announcing its acquisition of Prismatic Sensors AB. Karolinska Institutet and MedTechLabs recently started testing the world’s first silicon-based photon counting CT system, which is designed for future clinical use as they begin a new pilot study of the technology. Photon counting CT has the promise to further improve the capabilities of traditional CT, including the visualization of minute details of organ structures, improved tissue characterization, more accurate material density measurement (or quantification) and lower radiation dose. As a result, photon counting CT has the potential to significantly increase imaging performance for oncology, cardiology, neurology, and many other clinical CT applications, potentially enabling more personalized treatment recommendations. You can find the story here.


[i] SIGNA™ Hero is 510(k) pending at FDA. Not yet CE Marked. Not available for sale in the United States or the EU.  Not commercially available in all markets.

[ii] GE Healthcare data on file

[iii] GE Healthcare data on file.

[iv] GE Healthcare data on file.

[v] The device has been verified for limited use outside of professional healthcare facilities. Use is restricted to environmental properties described in the user manual. Please contact your GE Healthcare sales representative for detailed information.

[vi] Technology in development. Not for sale. Not cleared or approved by the U.S. FDA or any other global regulator for commercial availability.