Studies suggest that this $400 million mammogram tool may actually be worthless

this 400 million high tech mammogram tool may be sort of worthless phillips health watch
If it costs a lot, it must be valuable, right? It seems like a logical train of thought — at the very least, we’d like to believe that expensive objects, tools, or equipment deserve their hefty price tag because of their awesome abilities, especially when it comes to medicine. Unfortunately, in the case of one high-tech mammogram tool, this may not be quite be true.

According to the results of a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the computer-aided detection (CAD) software that is now used in 90 percent of mammograms and costs the United States an additional $400 million a year in its healthcare tab makes little to no difference in helping radiologists detect breast cancer. Oops.

The large study, which involved researchers from across the United States as well as the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle examined results from 625,000 mammograms performed at 66 cancer centers in five states. According to the study leaders, “CAD improved no measure of accuracy of screening mammography: how often cancers were detected, how often they were missed, or how often something was incorrectly labeled as cancer.”

Moreover, lead author Constance D. Lehman, MD, PhD noted, “Even more troubling, when we studied the 107 radiologists who interpreted both with and without CAD, we found that a given radiologist tended to miss more cancers when using CAD than when he or she didn’t use the software. It may be that radiologists reading with CAD are overly dependent on the technology and ignore suspicious lesions if they are not marked by CAD.”

Decidedly miffed by the results, Diana Buist of Seattle’s Group Health Research Institute posited, “This is a perfect example of something that has taken off without adequate analysis of the harms and benefits.” Others pointed out that if CAD doesn’t in fact help with detecting cancer, having patients pay for the service seems to be a waste. “They should not be required to pay for it,” said Dr. Joann Elmore, a diagnostic accuracy specialist at the University of Washington who was not involved in the study.

Of course, just because CAD has not been confirmed be an effective tool doesn’t mean that women should stop getting mammograms. “If women do want to get breast-cancer screening, mammography is the best and only well-studied breast-cancer exam,” Elmore emphasized. So keep yourselves safe, ladies. But just don’t throw your money down the drain while you’re at it.

Business

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Deals

Amazon is slashing its prices on an array of top blenders

Quality blenders from Vitamix to Ninja and more are on sale at Amazon — just in time to gift them for Christmas. They're great for preparing tasty treats, and as a kitchen staple, they make a great gift for the budding chef in your life.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Smart Home

Alexa’s latest skill helps patients manage high blood pressure

People who need some help managing their high blood pressure are getting some help via a new Alexa skill developed in partnership with Omron Healthcare that will work directly with the manufacturer's monitors.
Wearables

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!