The following is information on the ImageChecker system provided by the Radiology Department of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF).
What is ImageChecker?
ImageChecker is a computer-aided detection (CAD) system that can help your radiologist analyze analog and digital mammograms for features associated with cancers. PAMF has the latest version of this technology.
Like a "spellchecker" for pictures, ImageChecker looks for certain patterns in mammogram images and helps the radiologist zero in on these suspicious areas for closer examination. This aids the radiologist in detecting signs of breast cancer in the early stages of the disease when the cancer is most treatable.
The ImageChecker, which is manufactured by R2 Technology Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., was approved in 1998 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Is ImageChecker an Optional Service?
No. ImageChecker is an integral part of mammography services at PAMF and is not optional. The technology helps to detect cancers at the earliest possible stages and maximizes the benefits of having a mammogram. Early detection of breast cancer is the key to higher survival rates, better prognosis and lower treatment costs.
Clinical studies have shown that for every 100,000 cancers detected during screening mammography, general use of the ImageChecker could result in an additional 12,800 women annually who could have their breast cancers detected. Use of the ImageChecker also could result in earlier detection of up to 23.4 percent of the cancers currently detected with screening mammography in women who had a mammogram nine to 24 months earlier.
Will My Health Insurer Cover ImageChecker?
Coverage for the ImageChecker will vary by health plan. Many health insurers will cover 100 percent of the costs of ImageChecker services as part of mammography screening. However, some health insurers will not cover this cost. If your health insurer does not cover the cost of ImageChecker, you may be charged a fee to cover the cost of the services.
Contact your insurer directly to find out if ImageChecker services are covered under your plan. If you have questions about the service or the additional charge, please contact Cheryl Donaville in the Department of Radiology at 650-853-4708.