Cardiac MRI has created a new paradigm in medical imaging providing both significant benefits and challenges. Due to its versatility and lack of ionizing radiation, MRI is rapidly becoming the imaging tool of choice for cardiac studies. However, the unique nature of these studies requires a thorough understanding of the patient’s medical condition so that the “right questions” are asked at the time of the study. This new dynamic dictates greater physician input. At the same time, it adds associated workflow challenges.
The CardioVue™ workflow solution was developed from the ground up to support the benefits of clinical cardiac MRI and address the unique workflow challenges it presents. CardioVue includes easy to use comprehensive and secure networking tools to improve access, image viewing and post-processing tools that improve speed to diagnosis without compromising accuracy, and formatted reports that improve study report consistency, accuracy and turn around time. By packaging these tools as one product, CardioVue improves the productivity of physicians and technologists to maximize the efficient use of facility equipment and resources both locally and remotely. Users can expect significant improvements in workflow as customers report up to 50% reduction in exam throughput from image interpretation and post-processing to final case report and distribution.
Image Review, Organization and Comparison
Cardiac MRI provides the capability of capturing images for multiple procedures in one study. The result is more and better information in a 20-30 minute scan than provided from a combination of multiple cardiac imaging tests. However, cardiac MRI studies generate large numbers of images. For instance, images for structure, resting and stress function, perfusion and viability, as well as, images of the aorta for flow measurements are acquired in one patient study*. Multiple imaging techniques may be used in each of these areas to better visualize a particular pathology. The volume of images can be daunting and will undoubtedly increase exponentially as image acquisition times are improved and new cardiac MRI techniques are developed.
CardioVue is specifically designed to support the benefits of cardiac MRI while offering a solution to the associated challenges. The CardioVue scanner workstation receives cardiac MRI images directly from the scanner as each series is completed. With CardioVue, there is no longer any need for the physician to use the technologist console to review the study images. The technologist is freed to focus on efficient and precise scanning of the patient. The physician can focus on reviewing, sorting, organizing and comparing the images to make a rapid and accurate diagnosis.
Should the physician desire to review the study outside the scanner control room, CardioVue supports the remote viewing of the study images as they are acquired.
CardioVue also provides a necessary tool to conduct dobutamine stress cardiac MRI studies. The design of the CardioVue scanner workstation that provides for the rapid organization and immediate review of the images is critical for monitoring the patient as dobutamine is administered to detect wall motion abnormalities.
Measurements obtained from the images acquired during a cardiac MRI study are essential for assisting the physician in making an accurate diagnosis. Providing the measurements for multiple imaging techniques used in a study requires significant time and skill from both the technologist and the physician. These measurements must be available immediately to provide in the report to the referring physician. Post-processing of the cardiac MRI images at a later time is not an option in the new paradigm. The demand is for greater amounts of quantitative information that is more accurate and faster to obtain. If the information is not available at the time of the study, the diagnosis and the reporting of the findings is delayed resulting in greater physician time, reduction in workflow efficiency and less satisfied referring physicians.
CardioVue™ is designed to analyze images from multiple imaging techniques in a comprehensive, accurate and rapid manner. Images can be selected and analyzed during breaks in the scan workflow. For instance, a stack of short axis wall motion images can be auto-segmented for LV and RV volumes, EF’s and LV mass in 5 minutes and aortic flow measurements in a matter of seconds while waiting to acquire viability images. CardioVue provides the measurements you need before the study is completed and not the next day allowing the physician to complete his diagnosis and report his findings at the time of the study.
Reporting is often a time consuming and difficult task and is particularly so when reporting the findings of a cardiac MRI study. The greater degree of physician involvement in the imaging process, the fact that multiple imaging procedures can be conducted during one study and the complexity of cardiovascular pathologies make the reporting of findings particularly burdensome with cardiac MRI. When time separates the physicians from the scan and analysis to reporting the findings, the physician must be reacquainted with the patient situation and the results of the study to formulate interpretations and impressions. This circumstance reduces physician efficiency, extends time to finalized report and further extends the end-to-end time for a study.
CardioVue provides a reporting solution that is a click away. Under the physician’s control on the scanner workstation or on a remote workstation during the study, a single click on the report icon presents the report in a separate window on the scanner workstation. The scan is not interrupted. In fact the viewer window is resized automatically so that the images being acquired can be reviewed as the physician is working on the report. If the physician wants to review the measurements, they are a mouse click away. Included with the reporting feature of CardioVue is a built in voice to text capability with a cardiovascular medical dictionary. In addition, CardioVue has a database of often used interpretations and impressions for one click entry to the appropriate fields in the report. The database provides for the easy editing of the standard entries and the addition of ones that are unique to each individual user and institution.
Reports are provided in PDF format and can be viewed on any workstation with an internet browser. Report information may be output in text at the user’s option for inclusion in PACS systems. Images, graphs and measurements can be included in reports all under the user’s control. CardioVue provides two standard reports, but customized reports can be easily tailored to a customers needs.
The CardioVue Workflow Solution
There is no longer any need to purchase several products or add-ons to get a complete cardiac MRI workflow solution. CardioVue™ is designed to streamline the end-to-end cardiac MRI workflow making efficient use of expensive equipment and skilled practitioners while improving patient care.
Prova’s product design and development efforts continue to focus on refining CardioVue with new features that significantly increase exam throughput and advanced tools that improve workflow and accessibility.
* Gadolinium is not approved for use in cardiac imaging. CardioVue’s perfusion and viability features are provided off -label.