By Vincent Chan
This year's annual Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) conference comes at what feels like a pivotal moment in the medical imaging world.
After three years primarily defined by the pandemic and its aftershocks, we are solidly in the post-pandemic phase. Yet medical imaging teams still face significant changes and pressures. How are radiology departments prioritizing these myriad challenges? And where are technology partners seeing the most powerful potential to help with innovative tools? Here is a look at the three major trends that are sure to be a general focus at the RSNA conference.
#1: All things AI
It’s no surprise that AI will continue to be a hot topic at RSNA 2023. AI is getting highly publicized in every industry right now. Still, there are few areas where AI has more obvious potential: advanced image recognition has profound applications in medical imaging and diagnostics.
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There will be lots of exciting discussions around the future potential of AI—especially how capabilities in five or ten years may completely redefine what's possible in medical imaging. We have been discussing these capabilities at RSNA for the past several years.
But RSNA 2023 will also highlight AI advances that are changing how radiographers work today—for example, continuing to help us balance the goal of capturing the most information possible in an image without excessive radiation dose.
AI tools that enable radiographers to separate noise from an image already exist today. These software applications can dramatically improve dose efficiency, delivering image quality and utility at the lowest dose possible. AI also can help with specific elements of image enhancement, such as automatically removing or suppressing the appearance of bone to enhance soft-tissue visualization.
Many attendees will be looking at RSNA 2023 for ways AI can enable imaging teams to drive bottom-line efficiencies. Speedier workflows powered by AI—as well as automation—have the potential to get diagnostic images into the hands of radiologists and physicians quicker so that they can begin a course of treatment for their patients. They also free up more time for human interaction with patients—the little things like holding a patient's hand or asking more questions that play a significant role in improving the patient's experience.
#2: Tackling staffing shortages
Staffing shortages will remain a very salient topic at RSNA 2023. The issue dominated discussions at the August American Healthcare Radiology Administrators (AHRA) conference as one of the major challenges facing radiology administrators.