Diagnostic Radiology is anticipating major and fundamental changes in the next few years the likes of which our specialty hasn’t experienced in a very long time, which has been an anxiety provoking prospect. This was acknowledged and highlighted at the recent American College of Radiology (ACR) Annual Meeting in D.C. where the concept of “Imaging 3.0” was introduced. The ACR describes this “initiative” as including a “set of technology tools that equip 21st-century radiologists to ensure their key role in evolving health care delivery and payment models—and quality patient care.”
“Imaging 3.0” will require an agile and proactive response and plan to address the major shift from a fee for service payment model to one in which radiologists are on salary, where appropriateness becomes a matter of economic viability rather than just the right thing to do, and where quality will become less a subjective and more of a quantitative metric and will be associated with pay tied to performance.
As a SIIM board member, I’m excited about this year’s program, which addresses many of the issues and “technology tools” that will be required by “21st-century radiologists” and their colleagues. This year’s themes, in a very timely way, focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, reinvention of the radiologist, defining and re-engineering workflow, integration with the electronic medical record and enterprise IT, legislative changes impacting radiology, and “Personalized Medicine”.
Specific sessions that I am particularly enthusiastic and excited about include:
- The opening session, Translating Innovations to Clinical Practice by a good friend and colleague, Dr. Bradley Erickson, M.D., Ph.D. who is a neuroradiologist at the Mayo Clinic. He is that extraordinarily rare Medical Doctor and laboratory scientist who has a deep understanding of the full spectrum from the lab “bench” to the patient bedside and has a great sense of humor and perspective about the special challenges in doing this translational research in imaging informatics.
- Immediately after the opening session, Brad teams up with one of the founders of Stentor, Dr. Paul Chang now at the University of Chicago and Chris Meenan who has an earlier phase but very promising start-up in Analytical Informatics. They will share their experiences with translating innovation into a viable business product. The title of the session is “Got Innovation? Where to go now…
- Sadly, I won’t be able to attend the “Got Innovation?” session personally because I will be presenting at a “Hot Topic” session on Personalized Medicine along with Drs. George Shih and Khan Siddiqui. Personalized medicine is a particularly hot topic which heavily leverages our newfound ability to sequence the human genome as well as the use of “big data” to tailor diagnosis and treatment to an individual patient. In this era of patients dishing out $99 to companies such as 23andme to get the lowdown on their genes, I believe that radiology will play a major complementary role, and in turn this will have a substantial impact on utilization, and the ways in which we order, analyze, and report our studies. George Shih will present apps that he has created which provide personalized patient preparation and individualized protocoling of studies and Khan Siddiqui will discuss his experiences at Microsoft and as CEO of Higi in personalized optimization of wellness for consumer.
- Two other hot topic sessions Decision Support: Improving Quality, Efficiency, and Safety through Innovative Use of IT and Quantitative Imaging: a Revolution in Evolution are highly relevant to the Imaging 3.0 initiative and will offer creative ideas including how SIIM might be able to help to play a significant role in the major sea change that radiology will undergo.
- The closing session of the meeting has always been a popular, thought-provoking one and this year’s, titled Quality, Quantity, or Both: Can you Really Have it All? promises to be no exception. Drs. Andriole, Geis, Weiss, and Wendt lead what will be a lively discussion about whether we really do need to compromise on quality in our increasingly high volume practices. The aviation industry has achieved an enviable record of safety despite dramatic increases in the number of passengers and we in medical imaging have many lessons to learn from their experience.
I’m really looking forward to SIIM this year and hopefully, hearing your thoughts and ideas about how radiology might prepare for its ongoing metamorphosis