This year’s Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting proved, once again, that it is the premier event in the Radiology industry. Roughly 65,000 attendees participated in educational sessions, lectures and networking. This is in addition to walking the extensive exhibit halls that included over 600 vendors from around the world. The dominant theme at RSNA 2016 surrounded the theories of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
Share this Post
AI is the concept that computer systems are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence while Machine learning is a method of data analysis that uses sophisticated algorithms to iteratively learn.
While these theories dominated much of the discussion and put Radiologists on notice, it is unknown how or when this technology will emerge and disrupt the industry, as predicted. What we know now is that Radiologists are faced with an increasingly complex workflow; they are required to view more images and dictate more reports, for equal pay, while simultaneously communicating abnormal findings, tracking performance and quality reporting. AI and machine learning may ease this burden at some point, but no one really knows how or when this wave of new technology will take hold. Combining the potential for emerging disruptive technology and the push towards quality over consumption (fee for service) creates uncertainty in the industry and this was certainly recognized by those in attendance.
Today’s challenges look much different than the challenges Radiologists will face over the next decade, but it is important to listen to what today’s Radiologists are saying and address their immediate concerns. A Radiologist and CEO of an emerging Teleradiology company explained that he needs to view images and produce a report in under a minute, from a variety of locations. This includes selecting the images from a worklist, viewing the images and documenting his findings. He cannot be bothered by a bogged down or slow computer, or a complicated user interface. In order to accomplish this, he acknowledged that Radiologists must embrace and leverage new technology.
Technology that has been optimized to improve efficiency. Zero footprint or cloud-based technology is stepping up to this challenge. Radiologists do not want to be burdened by applications that consume massive resources on their local computer to view an image or dictate their findings. Zero footprint RIS and PACS viewers are now available, as is zero footprint voice recognition (VR). The use of fully integrated workflow templates and the ability to access these applications on a variety of operating systems, in a variety of browsers, and on an unlimited number of devices, allows the Radiologist a wide range of efficient and flexible workflow options.
Regardless of whether AI or machine learning is leveraged, Radiologists need technology that improves their workflow, makes them more efficient and produces a quality report. Never has improving performance been so important to a Radiologist’s future.
For more information on Cloud-Based, Zero-Footprint, RIS, PACS, VR please contact Chad Hiner, Executive Director, Healthcare, nVoq, Inc.