- Boston Children’s Hospital and GE Healthcare are teaming up to bring digital solutions to childhood diseases.
- The collaboration will initially on focus diagnostic accuracy in pediatric brain scans, which can be tricky as children’s’ brains are still developing and pediatric neuroradiologists — who are trained to distinguish abnormal from normal — are scarce.
- Tens of thousands of children undergo brain scans every day, and Boston Children’s alone performs nearly 1,000 studies a day.
The brains of children under age four are developing rapidly and can make interpreting scan especially challenging, GE notes. For example, changes in myelination can be confused with specific diseases, leading to misdiagnoses when in fact the child is healthy.
By leveraging GE’s software expertise and high-volume cloud computing power with Boston Children’s clinical knowledge, the medical devicemaker and hospital hope to create a decision support tool that helps providers hone in on brain disorders, despite the variability in brain MRI scans.
Normative reference scans from young children will be preloaded into the system and serve as a benchmark.
“Interpreting pediatric brain scans requires a specific understanding of the developing brain,” Richard Robertson, radiologist-in-chief at Boston Children’s, said in a statement. “ Since most pediatric imaging is not performed in children’s hospitals by specialists, this new digital tool, once available, will provide non-specialists with access to knowledge and expertise to help effectively diagnose children.”
In 2013, GE Healthcare launched Centricity 360, a cloud- based service for streamlining clinical collaboration on images. The collaboration with Boston Children’s builds on that, with plans to add hundreds of apps on various healthcare diseases to its deep-learning library.