Trends to Watch in Radiology

Posted on August 8, 2018

Radiology Technician

As the American population ages, the need for radiology diagnostic imaging will continue to increase. Radiology plays a particularly important role in the care of elderly patients who are often facing multiple issues and may present with complex symptoms due to a high prevalence of disease that requires diagnostic imaging. The good news is that rapid advancements are being made. Let's look at a few trends to watch in the coming months.

3-D Ultrasonic Holography

One of the most exciting innovations in radiology is 3-D holography. As more and better data becomes available, any 3-D medical data set can be converted to a digital hologram that is clinically useful to aid diagnosis. Radiologists have the opportunity to serve as true clinical consultants and use their expertise to help interpret the models. This detailed information can help guide surgeons through complex procedures and help reduce potential complications.

Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence algorithms improve, technology becomes able to handle basic imaging tasks. Workflows are improved, and resources can be used more effectively. Radiologists gain more time to use their expertise in collaboration with others on the more interesting and challenging aspects of diagnosis, treatment, and patient care. As a bonus, radiologists report greater fulfillment and patient satisfaction increases.

Imaging Initiatives

Health systems with shared imaging have shown the value that comes with the free flow of imaging information. Combined with smaller, mobile equipment, this access to diagnostic imaging for patients who need bedside care results in better communication and collaboration. These improvements enable better care with more efficient operations and, more importantly, better outcomes. Another imaging initiative, teleradiology (working with remote radiologists) plays an important role in assuring services are available in remote areas.

Proven Value

Radiologists have been challenged to do more with less and to prove a positive value proposition. With access to more and better data, diagnostic imaging services have been able to quantify, and report results that show how they make a positive impact. New technologies provide opportunities for more active collaboration with the entire care team.

Dose Management

Balancing diagnostic needs with the risks of exposure to radiation and the potential effects of cumulative exposure from multiple diagnostic tests have been ongoing topics of concern. Advancements in hardware, software, and protocols have allowed significant reductions in radiation doses.

Ceiling-Mounted X-ray

What Does the Future Hold?

The shift from film to digital images was a major step for diagnostic imaging. Fast forward ten years and a radiologist might not even recognize the field. The holographic projections that once were the stuff of science fiction, movies, and television programs are entering real life. As technology improves and costs come down, they'll become a routine part of diagnostic imaging. Changes are happening at such a rapid pace that the entire field could be transformed. Radiology departments will evolve as new technologies and diagnostic tools change the way radiologists work.

Changes in radiology have the potential to shift almost every aspect of the field. Innovation contributes to better accuracy, fewer errors, and improved diagnoses. The result is improved outcomes and greater satisfaction for both providers and patients. If you need radiology diagnostic imaging in Suffolk County, NY, contact Peconic Bay Medical Center.