October 24, 2019

ACR Advocacy Objectives Correlate with Minnies Award Recipients

The American College of Radiology (ACR®) and AuntMinnie.com found common ground on many of the policies and people that the online radiology news service has recognized with its 20th Annual “Minnies” awards this year.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are significant priorities for the ACR, and our multi-society statement on the ethics of AI, originally published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, played a key role in the Minnies “Most Significant News Event in Radiology” in 2019. The fast pace of AI-related developments is also reflected in the ACR Data Science Institute®’s release of landmark AI use cases to guide research and development; and the ACR AI-LAB™, enabling radiologists to create, validate and use AI.

Honors for the “Scientific Paper of the Year” went to the European NELSON study, which is providing additional evidence supporting the ACR’s advocacy of low-dose CT lung cancer screening. Preliminary reports from the randomized, prospective trial of 16,000 subjects has demonstrated a 26 percent lower lung cancer death rate after 10 years among high-risk smokers who followed the trial’s CT screening criteria and a 61 percent lower mortality rate among male smokers who received periodic CT screenings.

AuntMinnie’s decision to identify physician burnout is the “Biggest Threat to Radiology” also correlates with recent policy developments at the College. The College’s Radiology Well-Being Program provides members with tools and resources to assess their level of wellness and to help them identify ways to improve their well-being.

As its “Most Influential Radiology Researcher,” AuntMinnie has selected Barry Siegel, MD, FACR, former chief of nuclear medicine at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, St. Louis, co-chair of the National Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study and former co-chair of the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR).

The ACR is closely associated with both initiatives. The IDEAS Study aims at demonstrating the clinical value of brain amyloid-PET imaging in patients with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. It is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association and managed by the ACR and the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group.

From 2005 to 2018, Siegel served as co-chair of the NOPR. The influential registry led the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to establish and then greatly expand national Medicare coverage of FDG-PET for cancer staging. NOPR was sponsored by the Academy of Molecular Imaging and managed by the ACR and ACR Imaging Network.

Elliot Fishman, MD, FACR, who co-chairs Image Wisely® – a voluntary joint initiative of the ACR, medical radiation reduction program for radiologists and other health care professionals – won the award for “Best Educational Mobile App and Best Radiology Image.” Emanuel Kanal, MD, FACR, received a Minnie as this year’s “Most Effective Radiology Educator” for teaching many generations of radiologists and technologists the fundamentals of MRI physics.

The Minnies awards will be formally presented in November at the Radiological Society of North America Assembly in Chicago.