Q&A: Clear Vision and Comprehensive Care Took Center Stage at SBI 2024

AUTHOR: Marissa Confredo

The annual SBI Breast Imaging Symposium is the most prestigious scientific conference in breast imaging. This year’s event was no exception. Held from April 11-14 in Montreal, the meeting drew some 1,618 attendees and exhibitors from 36 countries.

We spoke to Christine Murray, Sr. Product Manager of Women’s Health for FUJIFILM Healthcare Americas Corporation, to discuss some of the highlights and key takeaways from the 2024 SBI Breast Imaging Symposium, and to find out what sets Fujifilm’s robust women’s health portfolio apart.

What kinds of professionals attended this conference and also visited the exhibit floor?

The SBI Symposium is like the “RSNA of breast imaging!” By that I mean this international conference offers an enormous amount of research findings and clinical information in the form of talks, lectures, workshops, and so on. It also features hundreds of vendors showcasing technology and solutions vital to breast imaging and women’s healthcare. For those reasons, the event draws an array of professionals including radiologists, breast imagers, breast surgeons, other women’s health clinicians, radiologic techs, radiology administrators, researchers, and more. Some of these professionals’ work in small breast imaging or women’s health practices, others in community hospitals and in large academic health systems and research organizations. Each year, this conference convenes a diverse cross section of attendees from around the world.

There’s a bevy of new innovations taking hold in breast imaging. What were some of the hot topics covered at the conference?

From a trend perspective, there was a great deal of interest in artificial intelligence (AI). That’s not surprising, as we know one of the first applications of AI in healthcare was in the radiology specialty. So, diagnostic imaging is in some ways ahead of the curve when it comes to AI.

At the SBI Symposium, there were several experts speaking on the topic of AI and some vendors showcasing AI tools. It’s no wonder that AI was such a “hot topic” as one study published in late 2023 found that AI-supported mammogram screening increases breast cancer detection by 20%.

In addition, attendees showed a great deal of interest in learning about the latest in breast MRI and Contrast Enhanced Digital Mammography (CEDM). While 3D mammography is becoming the new standard of care, the industry is seeing an increase in supplemental imaging for women with dense breasts. For women with dense breasts, it is difficult to detect cancers because the dense tissue appears as white on mammograms, and so can cancers. Ultrasound, MRI and CEDM are excellent diagnostic imaging tools for supplemental screening.

Tell us about Fujifilm’s booth at this year’s meeting. What solutions were visitors most excited to see?

The Fujifilm booth was bustling from the minute the show started! We were constantly busy greeting and demonstrating solutions to attendees from around the world. Fujifilm offers the full spectrum of women’s health solutions—MRI, ultrasound, mammography, reading stations and breast biopsy tools. As a full-service women’s imaging technology vendor, our booth drew a great deal of attention.

Attendees weren’t just excited to see our technology, they were excited to try it out! Our Synapse® PACS workstation, which featured our latest software release version 7.4, was packed with visitors at all times! Attendees were excited about our breast implant suppression, the ability to display up to 10 years of the same imaging view on the fly, and many other feature sets that came directly from the input of consulting radiologists.  Attendees experienced firsthand how our latest release enhances their mammography workflows, which was quite a powerful draw for breast imagers and other visitors to the booth.

Attending radiologists were also very interested in learning about Fujifilm’s ASPIRE SR Specimen Radiography System, which is part of our biopsy portfolio. By utilizing the system in conjunction with our ASPIRE Cristalle 3D Mammography System, biopsy specimens can be imaged and verified in seconds, at the point-of-care, allowing for a significantly shorter procedure. In addition, the system offers users a seamless workflow, as it is designed to support standalone operation as well as fully integrated configuration with RIS and PACS. The real value of the ASPIRE is that it can drive efficiency and quicker diagnosis for clinicians, which means faster, and even lifesaving, treatment for patients.

Is there anything else that you believe SBI Symposium attendees learned or appreciated about Fujifilm?

In terms of our technology in general, customers and prospects had many positive comments about Fujifilm’s consistent outstanding image quality. Our breast imaging portfolio is truly equipped with the latest advancements in imaging. SBI booth attendees were also intrigued with our patient comfort features, like our very unique comfort paddle that is designed to improve patient comfort during mammograms with the ASPIRE Cristalle. Far too many women forgo their annual mammography screening out of fear of pain—and Fujifilm has really eased that issue!

Finally, I know that so many of our customers appreciate the kind of dedicated partner Fujifilm is to their organizations. My colleagues and I see that not just at the SBI Symposium – but every industry conference we attend – healthcare providers are looking to partner with vendors they can trust. At Fujifilm, our commitment to any customer remains steadfast from installation to applications training to post-sales support. We’re with them every step of the way!