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Q&A with RSNA president Dr. Vijay Rao

by Sean Ruck , Contributing Editor
From the November 2018 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: What has been your most memorable experience with the society?
VR: I have been impressed with the dedication and passion of the volunteers who make invaluable contributions to advancing the mission of the society. The most memorable experience has been an opportunity to work with radiology leaders worldwide, understand global challenges, and to explore areas for collaboration to improve patient care.

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HCB News: What items top RSNA members’ wish list of things they want from their society?
VR: RSNA has over 54,000 members throughout the world, so their needs are diverse. However, a consistent need is education. RSNA continuously strives to expand and enhance its educational offerings to address the evolving needs of our members. Also, members want access to the latest research, which we provide through our annual meeting, through our journal Radiology, and through three new online journals we are introducing next year. Members also appreciate the grant opportunities offered by RSNA, and, of course, the networking experiences. Our members are interested in anything we can offer them to help make them leaders in their specialty.

HCB News: AI and big data are both hot topics over the last few years – how much have they impacted radiology, and can you talk about some of the challenges and opportunities to both of them?
VR: The biggest challenge presented by AI is getting past the perception of some that it will replace us. I feel the opposite is true. Not only can these new technologies benefit education and research in radiology, they also demonstrate the potential to ease manpower shortages and make radiologists more quantitative in diagnosis and therapy. I believe that, employed effectively, AI applications will allow radiologists to make a more meaningful contribution to the world of personalized and precision medicine.

The same could be said for big data. The challenge is to find new ways to harness all of this information efficiently. Machine learning advances have given us the ability to analyze increasingly complex data sets. As we enter the era of precision medicine, this ability has the potential to introduce new and improved diagnostic capabilities and transform the way we practice.

HCB News: Are there any new skills that you believe radiologists will need to develop to be successful in their careers in the future?
VR: We continue to see a transition to a value-based practice model, so radiologists will need to embrace that approach to remain relevant in the coming years. I also believe that health services research will play a big role. Radiologists need to follow trends in imaging utilization, costs, patterns of use, and quality improvement efforts and their relationship to outcomes. To be successful, radiologists should investigate ways to add value and reduce waste in healthcare. These topics will continue to be critically important to our field into the future.
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