Eye on the Future

Leveraging technology to advance patient care.

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Radiology has evolved to become the first truly digital medical specialty. Built on Wilhelm Röntgen’s serendipitous discovery of X-rays in 1895, the profession has embraced numerous technological advancements over the years, from the introduction of CT and MRI modalities to the proliferation of interventional procedures and screening examinations. Now, with artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced informatics coming online, technology remains at the core of the specialty, and we must continue to employ it for the benefit of our patients.

With the shifting focus toward increasingly complex data management in clinical care, imaging endures as an objective and non-invasive source of critical information. This emphasis on informatics and data science means that the radiologist’s role of bridging the gap between diagnosis and appropriate treatment has never been more important. It is our responsibility to ensure that we interpret imaging in conjunction with all other relevant available information to empower referring providers and patients to make the best care decisions.

With this in mind, radiologists are developing, adopting, integrating, and leveraging informatics and AI to synthesize data and provide enduring value to patient care. This issue of Imaging 3.0 in Practice details how radiologists are mobilizing AI algorithms, 3D printers, interactive reporting devices, and other advanced technologies to solve some of the most complex challenges in healthcare today. The stories and resources herein provide actionable insights for working with these technologies to enhance patient care.

While radiologists are well positioned to harness the power of these tools to lead care delivery into the future, we can’t be passive. We must invest personal and institutional resources, time, and effort into expanding our own knowledge and skill base and into positioning our practices for the evolving care paradigm. When we embrace technology that has a positive impact on care, we advance our primary mission: helping patients.

Christoph Wald, MD, MBA, PhD, FACRChristoph Wald, MD, MBA, PhD, FACR
Chair, ACR Informatics Commission

Case Studies In this Issue

Integrating AI into the Clinical Workflow

Radiologists at a Massachusetts hospital integrate artificial intelligence into their workflow to help triage critical cases.
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Patient-Friendly Radiology Reports

Radiologists in Colorado collaborate on an interactive and educational tool to help patients read and understand their radiology reports.
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Bridging the Communication Gap

To keep families connected with COVID-19 patients, an interventional radiologist and a gynecologic surgeon partnered to develop a communication lifeline.
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A Moral Duty

Radiologists and engineers design a 3D-printed surgical mask in response to the shortage of personal protective equipment.
A Moral Duty