Research estimates patient exposure to radiation during hospital visits; MITA announces new radiation therapy equipment standard;

News From Around the Web

> A study in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology estimates that hospitalized patients receive a mean radiation dose of 14.8 milliSieverts. Researchers studied 200 consecutively hospitalized adult patients in two hospitals, who underwent 2,751 imaging studies. According to the study, CT scans accounted for just 10 percent of the total number of imaging studies, but almost 82 percent of the total radiation dose estimate. Article

> The Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance has announced a new radiation therapy equipment standard. Called the RT-1 Gating Interface Standard, it's designed to provide manufacturers with information to synchronize radiation therapy equipment with a patient's breathing and other movements during treatment. According to MITA, this kind of information can be used to improve targeting accuracy through treatment delivery interventions in the event that the target moves away from the planned position. Announcement

> Engineers and radiologists at Dartmouth College are developing a new breast imaging technique that combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. The combination of MRI and NIR should help women with previous abnormal breast screening results by increasing the specificity of a dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI before a biopsy. Article

Health IT News

> The networks and Internet-connected devices of healthcare organizations--from hospitals to insurance carriers to pharmaceutical companies--are being compromised at an "alarming" frequency, according to analysis of malicious traffic by The SANS Institute. Using data gathered by a live threat intelligence platform between September 2012 and October 2013, it found 49,917 malicious events, 723 malicious source IP addresses and 375 compromised U.S.-based health-related organizations. Article

Health Finance News

> The mergers of hospitals and healthcare systems are more likely to lead to higher costs for consumers than more efficient healthcare delivery, according to a Bloomberg opinion article. "The disconnect between price and value has many causes, but the flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the hospital industry is making it worse," Shannon Brownlee and Vikas Saini of the Lown Institute wrote. "Hospitals command higher prices when they corner market share. They gain even more leverage when they gobble up large physician practices." Article

And Finally... Politics going to the dogs? Article

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