Is Prenuvo better than Ezra?
The team at Prenuvo has been performing whole body screenings for over 12 years and so we are very excited that the health industry is starting to pay attention to the potential benefits of preventative screening for early detection of cancer and disease. With greater focus inevitably comes competition. We are heads-down working on continuing to innovate on what we believe to be the best screening in the world and so don’t pay enough attention to what others are doing in order to draw direct comparisons. However your health is important and who you trust for preventative imaging is obviously critically important for you. So we wanted to provide you with a series of questions that you should ask of any company that you are thinking of engaging for health screening.
Do you operate your own imaging facilities or outsource it to third parties?
To provide a great consistent experience we believe it is important to control the entire experience. With the sole exception of our facility in Minneapolis, all our facilities are operated by Prenuvo, which means that we can ensure a welcoming spa-like environment and a high-quality clinical experience.
Many other providers contract with large imaging chains who put profit before patients and are consistently rated very poorly on Yelp and Google.
How many radiologists review your images?
At Prenuvo, our approach to radiology follows something that we all intuitively know as humans - our body is an interconnected system. For example, we can tell a lot about your cardiovascular system by looking at your brain and we can tell a lot about how your heart is pumping by looking at your lower legs. So that the bigger picture is not lost, we have one highly-trained radiologist perform your reading, but who consults with and brings in other experts on the team as required.
Many other providers might claim that they have multiple radiologists reading your study but often that means that they simply carved you up and have different people read different parts.
Is your equipment customized for whole body screening?
All our equipment has been hand-picked, customized and calibrated to provide very high quality whole body imaging in under one hour. A critical component of what makes our imaging incredible is that our machines are calibrated for exceptional diffusion imaging, something we are a world leader at. We use this extensively to be much more accurate for early cancer diagnosis.
Many other providers use a wide range of equipment that happens to be available at imaging centers, which can result in a wide variance in image quality, particularly for these critical diffusion sequences (if they use them at all) and, following from that, a wide variance in the accuracy of the exam.
Is there any radiation or use of contrast in your screening approach?
At Prenuvo, we believe that no whole whole body screening approach should use radiation or heavy-metal contrast. Our goal is to diagnose cancer and disease early, not to raise the risk of it appearing in the first place! As it relates to lung screening, we make use of advanced diffusion techniques to screen for lung lesions which we believe is, in a population with general risk characteristics, an appropriate alternative to lung CT for those who do not want exposure to radiation. Our MRI approach also doesn’t visualize very small benign granulomas in the lungs which can cause a lot of unnecessary followup imaging when using lung CT.
Many other providers often use CT machines for all or parts of their screening. In most cases, CT-based screening approaches should be avoided for people with general risk characteristics.
What Tesla strength magnets do you use?
We use customized 1.5T magnets. You’ll often hear others talk about 3T providing better imaging than 1.5T. For various reasons rooted in MRI physics, this is simply not true. 1.5T imaging produces better quality images in the torso where 95% of cancers and most diseases are found. A 3T MRI does produce better quality imaging in the brain. While this might be helpful if planning brain surgery, it is not a clinically-meaningful difference when screening for cancer and disease in the brain. A 3T MRI machine can also be more uncomfortable because it heats you up 4x more than a 1.5T MRI. There is a reason why almost everyone researching whole body imaging and working to establish hardware standards is focused on 1.5T MRIs.
Many other providers claim that their 3T machines are better because it follows that a higher Tesla strength magnet means better quality images. This is simply marketing speak.
Do you provide your patients with access to their images and report without having to ask?
All Prenuvo patients are given access via a mobile app and website to their digital images and report the moment it is released. Images and reports can also be easily shared with your physicians.
Many other providers make these available only after sending fax requests, sometimes additional payment and typically via CD (for which few of us have a drive to read these days).
Are your technologists trained for whole body imaging and is this all they do?
All our technologists undertake extensive training in whole body imaging and radiology. They don’t split their time between insurance imaging and whole body screening - this is all they do. They are a critical part of the process as they are authorized to run additional sequences and to prioritize patient reports based on what they see. Their performance is measured by performing great imaging and providing an awesome experience.
Many other providers use technologists who spend the majority of their day doing routine diagnostic imaging (eg. knees and shoulders) paid for by insurance companies. Insurance companies don’t pay much so they are measured first and foremost on patient throughput, rather than image quality or patient comfort.
Do you provide recommendations for me and my physician when I need to follow up a medical condition?
We provide detailed findings and recommendations so that you and your physician are equipped to undertake any follow up that might be required. This is a large part of the reason why hundreds of physicians refer to us their patients - we equip them with deep insights and recommendations so they can focus more of their time on improving patient health rather than diagnosing and trying to figure out what to do next.
Many other providers often report on findings and leave the next step to primary care physicians. This is problematic because the radiologist has both more information and more experience with most conditions diagnosed through imaging than a primary care provider does.
Are all the images you take clinical diagnostic quality?
All our imaging is taken at diagnostic quality. This means, for example, that the images we take of your abdomen are as good or better than what you would get if you did a standalone abdominal MRI. Diagnostic-quality imaging is critical for high accuracy and for ensuring that you can take our images and get a second opinion from any appropriately-trained radiologist.
Many other providers often use non-diagnostic sequences which result in “fuzzier” images. Non-diagnostic quality images result in more false positives and more indeterminate findings, both of which can lead to unnecessary anxiety and medical follow-up.
What do you do to help me if I suffer from claustrophobia?
At Prenuvo we focus on making you comfortable in three ways. First, we don’t rush you. We are calm, kind and patient. Second, in our new US facilities we provide in-bore streaming video so you can distract yourself by watching your favorite TV show. Third, we provide prescriptions to a light sedative, Ativan, should you require it. As a result, the rate at which people cannot complete our scan is 10x lower than in regular imaging facilities.
Because many other providers are generally motivated by throughput, and you will be slowing them down, they aren’t as gentle and understanding as you might like while you face your fears. Very few of their facilities have in-bore video entertainment.
Do you perform your own radiology or do you outsource this to an imaging partner?
At Prenuvo, we have our own team of staff and contract radiologists, many of whom only do whole body radiology. We maintain an active community of subspecialties so that each radiologist can draw on advice from the entire team leading to more accurate readings.
Many other providers often simply outsource reading to standard radiologists at partner clinics. These radiologists can be greater or not so great, because they do not always have clear control over who does the reading. This leads to greater variability in quality of readings performed.
Does your imaging today provide a quantitative baseline for tomorrow?
At Prenuvo we are actively researching ways to use AI models to provide people we screen with quantitative measures of their health (organ/muscle/fat volumetrics, and other metrics). While it can take some time for these to make their way through regulatory approval, we already run specific imaging sequences today so we can build this baseline for comparison when you come back in the future
Many other providers aren’t doing active research in quantitative MRI and rarely acquire the highly detailed volumetric images required to do this accurately.
As always, if you have any questions about Prenuvo or the screening that we provide, we invite you to reach out and ask us. We love helping educate people about what we do and helping them determine if it is right for them.
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