Get Your CT Lung Cancer Screening at the Mall

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One of the developments advocates for responsible screening of patients for lung cancer with low-dose CT specifically have warned about is screening occurring outside experienced facilities where patients can receive counseling about risks and benefits, as well as help reading their results. However, there is little they may be able to do to stop such practices.

Imaging Solutions, Inc. of Fargo, N.D., and ( www.imagingsolutionsinc.com)  and Medic Vision Imaging Solutions, Ltd. of Tirat Carmel, Israel ( www.medicvision.com) have jointly announced that one of Imaging Solutions partners is now “able to offer routine high-quality low-dose lung cancer screening services to the general public at rural shopping centers in the Upper Midwest.” Patients will be screened using a mobile GE LightSpeed 16 CT scanner unit fitted with Medic Vision’s add-on SafeCT system that improves the quality of the images delivered to the GE workstation.

Because low-dose CT screening for lung cancer is not covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private payors, keeping the cost of the test affordable is important in making it accessible to patients. Use of 16-slice CT with an add-on technology to provide iterative image reconstruction is important in this regard.

“We are quite happy with SafeCT technology, and are proud to pioneer affordable and readily accessible low-dose lung cancer screening to the general public on our mobile CT unit,” stated Krueger in the press release.

Although Imaging Solutions did not disclose who its client was, in mid April, lung cancer screening with a mobile CT unit was offered at the Sanford Health and KELO-TV Health Fair at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls, S.D., for $25.

"It's shown to be very helpful,” said Sanford Clinic Chief Medical Officer Dan Heinemann in the KELO-TV report, which touted the test as a new offering this year.

Early detection of lung cancers is serious business and while in theory one could pre-screen and educate patients at a mall as well as anywhere else, I find the practical logistics of doing so hard to imagine. A more likely scenario is for the patient to be handed materials on the risks and benefits of screening along with a screening questionnaire. Just fill it out, sign and we'll scan you.

The need for an accreditation program for CT lung cancer screening could not be more urgent.