The fields of healthcare and medicine have embraced a steady stream of new technology in the past several years and the future is destined to bring more of the same. That includes the field of radiology, in which the future promises to hold even greater value to patients.
What are some things that will change the radiology landscape in the next decade? Let’s take a closer look:
1. The continued movement toward artificial intelligence
Commonly referred to as AI, artificial intelligence is a hot topic in healthcare and it will have an impact on the future of radiology. AI has even been used to try and predict whether patients will die within a specified time frame, but the long-term goal is to measure overall health. One of the challenges facing AI and radiology is that it’s a lengthy process that requires extensive data.
Another concern with AI is that it will eventually replace radiologists, but most experts don’t think that will happen. Instead, they think radiologists who use AI will move to the forefront.
2. More tools and higher precision
From X-rays to portable ultrasound machines, the world of radiology is ever-evolving. In 2016, the introduction of the first hand-held device was another breakthrough, while CT body scanners have advanced by leaps and bounds. Today’s imaging centers usually include a cardiac MRI, body MRI, fetal imaging, and more.
3. A continued shift to automation
Automation promises to make radiology even more precise while making the radiologist’s job easier. Today’s radiologist is apt to go through more images than ever before, making it inevitable that automation should handle some of their workloads. It’s worth noting that automation and AI aren’t the same things: automation is making hardware or software that’s capable of doing things automatically, while AI is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.
4. 3D printing
Like artificial intelligence, 3D printing has excited radiologists for some time. Clinicians will be able to generate anatomical models from a 3D file, while other applications for bringing modalities to life are an inevitable part of the future.
5. New indications for imaging
Regardless of the pace of imaging’s growth, the rate of new applications for the process is steadily expanding. CT angiograms of the head and neck are on the rise, as are other indications as people live longer and are more likely to suffer dementia and aortic stenosis.
6. Continued collaboration with mobile devices
Mobile devices may not qualify as a future trend – because they’re very much in the here and now – but their many uses and applications will continue to expand. For instance, Teledoc is a phone app that connects people to over 3,000 licensed healthcare professionals with an average wait time of only 10 minutes.
Lubbock Diagnostic Radiology uses state-of-the-art-technology that provides quick results and real-time reporting.