Top 3 Diagnostic Imaging Trends for 2019
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The technology is not new, but the applications might be surprising.
The outlook for diagnostic imaging in 2019 seems very familiar to what Everything Rad reported in 2018. Artificial intelligence (AI) and wearable devices are on the list once again, along with the addition of more apps for mobile imaging devices. This top three list of diagnostic imaging trends is no surprise. However, better understanding and more applications of these existing technologies in 2019 will be interesting to watch.
Diagnostic imaging trend 1: AI worth a deeper look
Interest in and development of AI applications will remain high. There is even a new RSNA publication dedicated to the topic: Radiology: Artificial Intelligence. (1)
Although AI is being explored as an extra eye on imaging analysis, it will not replace the human factor. What was noted by Dr. Eliot Siegel in 2016 remains true today. That is, radiologists do much, much more than even the most advanced algorithm can because they don’t just look at images! Their scope includes communication, image quality assessment, image optimization, education, procedures, policy making, and more. (Watch his video interview below.) Being proficient at all these essential skills would require a level of “general AI” that is at least 20 years – and maybe farther – away. (2)
However, AI and radiologists will continue to complement each other in 2019.
Recently, Korean researchers measured the performance of AI versus board certified radiologists in detecting malignant nodules on X-rays. The researchers then compared what would happen if the machines and the humans worked together. Interestingly, although AI was faster on its own, the best results came from teamwork – humans utilizing the AI algorithm as a second look. (3)
AI also will support radiologists and radiographers by streamlining workflows and improving productivity. Case in point: Carestream’s Workflow Orchestrator with its intelligent workflow engine that can enable greater productivity, quality and collaboration for radiology reading workflows. Look for more adoption in 2019 as medical imaging facilities continually search for ways to increase efficiency and patient satisfaction.
Diagnostic imaging trend 2: diagnostic wearables
Wearable medical devices will make more inroads into diagnostic imaging in 2019. Although many medical devices have limitations and some are controversial, the list of applications – from measuring EKGs to alerting people to over exposure to UV rays – is exploding.
One of the most recent inventions for medical imaging is the MEG wearable brain scanner. (4) The lightweight MEG is “worn like a helmet and can measure brain activity while people make natural movements such as nodding, stretching, drinking tea and even playing ping-pong.” The wearable scanner brings improved imaging possibilities to patients with disorders that cause body movements.
Another wearable device is an MRI glove. Worn next to the skin, it can provide clear, constant images of moving joints and tendons. Introduced by The New York University School of Medicine, the new glove-shaped MRI device has been integrated with garment-like detectors. (5) The benefits of the images produced by the MRI glove include providing a clear map of the anatomy of the hand, aiding in everything from surgery to the design of more accurate prosthetics.
Diagnostic imaging trend 3: mobile apps for brains and bodies
While many mobile healthcare applications exist, there are not many approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical imaging.
However, mobile technology will continue to impact the diagnostic imaging profession. Here are a couple diagnostic imaging mobile applications from 2018 that help improve radiologists’ access on the go:
- Mobile Classroom – option for radiologists-in-training since their curriculum is so technologically dense. (6)
- Diagnostic Imaging Comparisons – DocCheck News named CTisus Critical Diagnostic Measurements in CT as one of the Top 5 Radiology apps for 2018. (7) Free on iTunes, the app allows the comparison of an anatomic structure to the norm.
Also on the mobile front, our universal viewer, CARESTREAM Vue Motion, includes a tool set with volumetric measuring capabilities to make reading possible on a tablet, or even a smartphone. Together, these advances make it possible for radiologists to read, report, collaborate, and consult with referring clinicians with the same confidence that they would have completing an evaluation at their PACS workstations.
Overall, the outlook for radiologists in 2019 is good. There will be technology advances that will help improve diagnoses and the speed in which they can be made. More flexibility through mobile access for radiologists, ordering physicians, nurses, and others will help those involved in the patient care continuum to be better informed.
- Learn more about the role of wearables in healthcare in 2019.
- When, What, and Why to Read on Mobile Devices
- Mobile Devices and Messaging Apps in Radiology on the Rise
- Learn more about CARESTREAM Workflow Orchestrator and CARESTREAM Vue Motion.
Les Campbell is a sales manager with Carestream Healthcare Information Systems. He has nearly 30 years of experience in radiology and cardiology in various roles including sales, product development, implementation and applications. Les’s education in electrical engineering and business administration blend well with the healthcare information systems industry. Meet with him at HIMSS – contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
- RSNA:Radiology: Artificial Intelligence https://pubs.rsna.org/journal/ai
- Everything Rad: Will Radiologists be Replaced by Computers? Debunking the Hype of AI https://www.carestream.com/blog/2016/11/01/debating-radiologists-replaced-by-computers/
- Diagnostic Imaging: Deep Learning-based Automatic Detection Algorithm Outperforms Physicians http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/automation/deep-learningbased-automatic-detection-algorithm-outperforms-physicians
- Silicone Republic: Scientists unveil 3D-printed brain scanner you wear playing ping-pong https://www.siliconrepublic.com/machines/3d-printed-wearable-brain-scanner
- NYU Langone Health: MRI ‘Glove’ provides New Look at Hand Anatomy https://nyulangone.org/press-releases/mri-glove-provides-new-look-at-hand-anatomy#
- Radiology Business: Smartphone apps offer interactive, on-the-go learning for millennial radiology students https://www.radiologybusiness.com/topics/quality/smartphone-apps-offer-interactive-go-learning-millennial-radiology-students
- Top 5 Radiology Apps for 2018 http://news.doccheck.com/en/blog/post/8315-top-5-radiology-apps-for-2018/?utm_source=news.doccheck.com&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=DC%2BSearch