On the eve of the International Day of Radiology, radiologists from across the country will come together on November 5 and 6th on Parliament Hill to meet with Members of Parliament to to talk about key issues in medical imaging that impact patient care in Canada.
Recently the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) published a pre-budget submission that defined the priorities for medical imaging in Canada based on improved access and enhanced outcomes for patients. Among these was a request for the federal government to take a leadership role in four key areas:
Invest $625 million over 5 years in modern medical imaging equipment across Canada
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Partner with the CAR to develop a strategy involving radiology for the eradication of tuberculosis in Innuit communities
Invest in a pan-Canadian Clinical Decision Support System for referral guidelines and appropriateness of medical imaging in Canada
Invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in radiology and assume a leadership role in establishing an ethical framework for the implementation for technology
Innovation in radiology is transforming healthcare. Through the implementation of new technologies and the introduction of AI into medical imaging applications, we are changing the way patients are being cared for.
The CAR President, Dr. Emil Lee states “A modest investment from government in modern equipment and research will have a significant gain in improving patient outcomes and ultimately make medical imaging more accessible for Canadians.”
These advancements are helping to identify disease earlier and are creating lifesaving technologies that never existed before. Further investments in radiology are needed.
Patients are supportive of this approach. A recent poll conducted by Nanos Research revealed that Canadians would support further investments in radiology. When asked, over 70% of Canadians were supportive of spending tax dollars to have more current medical imaging equipment available for patients. Further, over 80% Canadians support additional research in the use of AI in radiology within Canada.
“Innovation in radiology is accelerating. As we become more technologically advanced, we will be able to do bigger and better things, which will change the way radiologists’ practice while improving patient care.” says Dr. Lee.
The International Day of Radiology (IDoR) is November 8th. The theme for this year’s IDoR is Cardiac Imaging. Cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is one of the most innovative ways to assess cardiac disease. CCTA is an imaging method that uses a computed tomography (CT) scanner to look at the structures and blood vessels of the heart. CCTA is the best non-invasive test for the detection of cardiac disease and has much higher accuracy than all other non-invasive tests. CCTA helps guide clinical decision making in a fashion that improves outcomes for patients.
Randomized trial data suggests that CCTA-guided decision making is cost effective and reduces downstream heart attacks by 40%. “With new techniques in radiology, there is growing evidence that CCTA can determine who needs to be treated in a more cost effective and safe fashion. There is also the potential to better understand the mechanisms of heart attack and how to prevent them” says Dr. Jonathon Leipsic, Professor, Radiology and Cardiology at the University of British Columbia.
As the voice of radiologists in Canada, it is the CAR’s desire to work with multiple stakeholder including patients and government in the implementation of advancements in radiology as well as the expansion of existing infrastructures.