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Radiologists converge in Vienna for the ECR meeting

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | July 15, 2022
European News
From the July 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Along the path, I started on a smaller scale and grew. First the research, and my research was multidisciplinary. And then, a larger scale, which was my department and collaboration with other departments. Then, a larger scale — two European societies — the European Society of Oncologic Imaging and the European Society of Abdominal Imaging, and I was president of both. And then I was given the opportunity to lead the ESR and I’m grateful that I can, from this position, make the difference.

I don’t see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I see it as a way to help kick things off. I think it will take multiple generations, well beyond me. But someone needed to start the change.

HCB News: How long have you been a member of the society?
RBT: I’ve been a member for 25 years or so.

HCB News: So goals you are focused on — increasing the visibility of radiologists and their role in collaboration?
RBT: Yes. And in recent years, it has been more common and has been adopted that the radiologist is in a patient meeting — a multidisciplinary meeting — where the patient is discussed and the radiologists are finally there. Still, we have room for improvement because now, we are only there to show the images. I think what we have to evolve into is a clinical partner that also shares our opinions. For example, if a treatment is proposed, we are an equal partner. We can contribute to the discussion as a spar because our images can direct treatment stratification. This is where I would like radiologists to go — to that area where they feel comfortable being a true partner. I think the radiologist has the knowledge of technology, but if they improve their knowledge of the clinical world, they have the perfect combination. That is the opportunity I see for radiologists. That’s why I ask clinicians to come to our congress. This year, we have 100 clinicians in 100 multidisciplinary sessions — neurologists, cardiologists, thoracic surgeons, etc. — they will all be there. It’s a unique program and my wish is that ECR 2022 will truly kick off a new era in radiology because we need to make this crucial turning point.

HCB News: Are there any developments in the field of radiology that you’re particularly excited about?
RBT: What is very important in radiology is that there will be technical innovations and it will focus not only on machines and diagnostic equipment, but also digital infrastructure and artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence, like scans, is a tool. But what’s important now is that with our data we finally have in this digital revolution the chance to be more accurate in predicting the response to treatment and predicting the outcome. That is where I believe our society should focus; not only on education on how to interpret the imaging and which technology we should focus on and investigate, but also how can we transform our radiology in such a way that we make use of the digital transformation to the benefit of our patients.

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