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RSNA 2012: Top ten things you may have missed

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | November 29, 2012
DOTmed RSNA 2012 Coverage
1. Putting patients first. Presenters at the conference urged radiologists to become more visible to their patients in order to thrive in the era of health care reform, where patient satisfaction scores and so-called value-based payment models will triumph. During his keynote address, RSNA 2012 president Dr. George S. Bisset III, said 80 to 90 percent of radiologists never meet with their patients and that this needs to change. In line with this theme, RSNA launched a new campaign during the show called RSNA Cares: the art of the patient-centered practice.

2. Dose management vs. dose reduction. For the past two years, everyone has been talking about "reducing dose". But "dose management" was the catchphrase for exhibitors at this year's show. It doesn't mean reducing dose is being ignored — that's still a goal. But managing dose is rising in prominence as a way of improving the patient experience and helping to minimize exposure to radiation by introducing techniques for image processing that can enhance image quality and consistency, thereby reducing the number of procedures, call-backs and additional exposures to patients.

3. Patient-centered products. In addition to addressing dose, all the major OEMs highlighted new products and upgrades to existing products that focused on the patient. For example, Philips Healthcare's Ambient Experience solution was on display for the uptake room for patients undergoing a PET-CT. The idea is to reduce anxiety in advance of the scan through mood lighting, video and sound. Barco launched a terminal for the bedside, the JAO ST-185B, with the patient in mind.

4. A fresh look at pediatric imaging. Over the summer, the FDA released guidance encouraging OEMs to manufacture original products for pediatric patients as well as re-evaluate their existing products for imaging pediatric patients. At RSNA, Agfa, GE Healthcare and Carestream unveiled smaller panels for pediatric imaging; Toshiba introduced pediatric use for its flexible coil for MR imaging, which is still a work in progress, according to the company; and Shimadzu said its new 3-D C-arm, also a work in progress, will be a breakthrough for pediatric imaging.

5. Paying attention: is there an app for that? There are 40 thousand medical apps currently available for smartphones and tablets. A talk titled "Expanding Mobile Radiology: Using iPad for Real-Time Communication between Radiologists and Referring Physicians" presented several papers on how new technology can aid communication, but ironically, many audience members were not listening to the presentation but instead engaged with their gadgets.

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