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Q & A with RSNA president, Dr. Valerie Jackson

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | November 12, 2019
From the November 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: Has the concern over AI taking away jobs died down or increased in last couple of years?
VJ: While the conversation about AI has increased, I think the initial concerns have been allayed. We are still exploring the ways we can use AI applications to enhance our daily practice. AI is an extraordinary tool that can help radiologists bridge the gap to value-based care. If we successfully integrate AI into our workflow, we’ll have more time to dedicate to patient-centeredness, which is an important goal. This is among the reasons why RSNA has developed so many initiatives centering on AI research and education.

HCB News: Have there been any developments in the field of radiology in the last 12 months that particularly grabbed your attention?
VJ: The RSNA annual meeting program has an abundance of AI research. Research using AI to improve early detection of cancer, particularly breast cancer, has been noteworthy.

HCB News: What are you most excited about seeing or experiencing at this year’s conference?
VJ: We’ve got a great line up of stellar plenary speakers, including Dr. Abraham Verghese at the opening session. He’ll talk about “Finding the Caring in Care.” I’m also excited about the Egypt and India Presents sessions.

The AI Showcase is truly a focal point this year, covering over 40,000 square feet in a new location with more than 100 vendors and dynamic presentations in the AI Showcase Theater. The showcase will also house the RSNA Deep Learning Classroom and a hands-on classroom.

The Fast Five session in the Arie Crown Theater and the Diagnosis Live Residents’ Competition at the Discovery Theater are always crowd pleasers. And, as I mentioned, the Virtual Meeting will be better than ever.

HCB News: The RSNA has been in Chicago for many years. Is there any serious conversation about changing venues ever, or is Chicago set in stone?
VJ: Nothing is set in stone, but having held most of its annual meetings in Chicago, RSNA has a strong relationship with the city. Chicago is an international hub with a large hotel market, which makes it a convenient destination for our growing number of international attendees. We also need to consider that our meeting requires more than 2 million square feet of exhibit and meeting space. We’ll continue to monitor potential alternative sites for the RSNA annual meeting, but Chicago currently offers the location that works best for our needs.

HCB News: What do you hope to leave as your legacy being the president of the RSNA?
VJ: As an educator, I am proud of the work the RSNA Research & Education Foundation has done investing in the future of radiology. This year, the Foundation Board of Trustees approved over $5 million in research and education grants, supporting over 100 recipients from 48 different institutions.

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