WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Oct. 17, 2018—Volpara Solutions today announced that the data stored in the Volpara®Enterprise™ cloud now exceeds 1 million mammographic studies. Analysis of this anonymized big data, reflecting the state of mammography in 2018, helps mammography providers achieve improved mammographic sensitivity and detect breast cancers at an earlier stage. It also helps breast imaging centers better understand how their image quality compares to that of other facilities and how to improve their mammograms going forward.
Initial analysis has identified common key weaknesses such as inadequate pectoralis muscle present and poor visibility of the inframammary fold (IMF)—both in MLO views. These findings are in line with the US Food and Drug Administration's rationale for implementing the EQUIP initiative during FDA inspections; that improper positioning and compression are the cause of most clinical image deficiencies. This October, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Volpara's blog, Top 5 Positioning Challenges in Mammography, will highlight key positioning issues and provide tips for improvement.
"Manually evaluating mammography positioning on a case-by-case basis is just not practical. But Volpara's new AI techniques, which automatically and objectively analyze positioning and compression on every image, let us understand the quality challenges of mammography at a massive scale," said Monica Saini, MD, Volpara's Chief Medical Officer. "Volpara will use this information to both help breast imaging teams achieve the highest standards of image quality and further refine our products that guide day-to-day improvement in positioning skills."
"Our research shows that perfect positioning is achieved in a limited number of exams, and that presents a real opportunity for the refinement of technologist skill," said Dr. Lisa Johnston, Senior Technical Product Manager. "Since implementing VolparaEnterprise software, facilities have seen real improvement in mammography quality. For example, St. Luke's Hospital in Maumee, Ohio, improved their overall quality scores each month with 82% of technologists displaying a positive trend."
Lori Keiper, Clinical Specialist and Women's Imaging Coordinator at another facility, St. Luke's University Health Network in Pennsylvania had this to say: "Being able to walk through a formal, self-guided training process has helped us focus our quality improvement efforts. Since implementing VolparaEnterprise software, the majority of our 60-plus technologists across 17 sites have seen steady improvements in their compression, positioning, and overall quality scores. We encourage our technologists to check their progress on their quality dashboards regularly, and we've actually seen friendly competition develop as they work to improve their exam quality."
"It is clear that Volpara technology is becoming an integral component in the effective measurement and management of quality mammography screening," said Dr. Ralph Highnam, Volpara Solutions CEO and Chief Scientist. "As a community, we've made significant progress in the battle against breast cancer, but we have more work to do. Volpara will continue to work with breast imaging professionals around the globe to share best practices and use this data to ensure that women consistently receive the highest quality screening possible."