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The future of pediatric imaging

by Mai Hiraoka, Media Relations Manager | March 08, 2019
From the March 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

New advances in healthcare IT and enterprise imaging will drive better care and outcomes for pediatric patients. Sharing of imaging data needs to be seamless. This capability reduces the need for repeat exams in children and thereby minimizes their exposure to excessive radiation.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize pediatric care. Boston Children’s Hospital helped develop and is using a decision support platform to improve the accuracy of pediatric brain scans. Children’s brains change at a rapid rate, so accuracy is vital. The deep-learning tool that reviews thousands of previous scans is helping clinicians pinpoint the exact diagnosis. In the future, we will see many new AI applications specific to pediatric imaging.

A profession in need of a boost
One unfortunate trend is the lack of young residents seeking to pursue the pediatric radiology subspecialty. Moreover, a recent survey of members of the Society for Pediatric Radiology found that today’s pediatric radiologists suffer from significant burnout, with 66 percent of respondents reporting high levels of emotional exhaustion.

While imaging technology will continue to evolve, it is imperative that the medical profession find ways to revive interest in the subspecialty, and recruit and retain the best and the brightest. High tech will never trump human touch. The future of pediatric imaging depends not only on technological advances, but most importantly, on the people who put those tools to use.

About the author: Dr. Diku Mandavia is chief medical officer for FUJIFILM Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. and FUJIFILM SonoSite Inc.

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