PC 16 - Ensuring the future role of radiologists
1. To understand what challenges lie ahead.
2. To learn how to deal with these challenges.
3. To learn what you can do as a radiologist.
The role of radiologists has changed enormously in the past decades. With the advent of PACS most clinicians have gained direct and immediate access to radiology images. Many clinicians have at least the basic knowledge and capacities to interpret radiology studies and some clinicians are even highly skilled in interpreting studies in their specific field of expertise. Many radiologists on the other hand work disconnected from the 'patient flow' and report studies on their own pace. Together with the development of intelligent computer systems the traditional role of radiologists becomes less and less meaningful. We as radiologists will need to reinvent ourselves in we want our profession to stay relevant and meaningful in the future.
1. To understand our strengths and weaknesses within the medical world.
2. To recognise opportunities.
3. To identify threats lying ahead.
Since decades, radiology has to face up to multiple challenges to survive as an independent medical speciality. Existential questions surge from everywhere, inside and outside the medical profession. At the same time, technology improvements in radiology open every day new horizons and expand the frontiers of radiological venture. How to find one’s way in the extreme complexity of this perpetually evolving world? How to keep one’s identity and propose the adequate answers to these multiple challenges? The SWOT analysis brings tools to identify the internal and external factors that are favourable or unfavourable to achieve the specific objectives of the radiological profession. In the SWOT analysis, the internal factors of the organization, as the strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), and the external factors, like opportunities (O) and threats (T) are analysed on the light of the defined objectives. Identification of SWOTs clarifies the challenges and helps in planning how to achieve the objectives.
1. To identify possible future invasions in our radiological world.
2. To learn how to deal with turf battles.
3. To learn how to change battles in opportunities.
Different turf battles within or around radiology are challenging, and the way how radiologists deal with these challenges will decide about the future of radiology and radiologists. The “invasions” into our radiological world include not only activities by other medical specialities, but even from the technical evolution within radiology. With further improvement of post-processing, big-data handling and image-guided diagnostic tools, radiology will look completely different in 10 years. If radiologists are not able to adapt to this evolution, they might be replaced. The change from detection to communication, integration and interpretation, describing an evolution from classic “technical” speciality into an integrative clinical speciality is required. Radiology already represents the processor of the modern hospitals, and radiologists are the trigger for clinical decision-making. Beside these challenges from inside there are continuous invasions from outside. However, with view from a distance, it becomes obvious that radiology invades other specialities as well. With every newly implemented minimally invasive treatment offered by radiology, we are competing with other medical specialities and open a new border for turf battles. As more successful such new methods are higher the interest to overtake them will be. This moving target of invasion and being invaded produces many turf battles in many different fields. In this presentation, different “burning” turf battles such as cardiac imaging, stroke treatment as well as vascular IR will be addressed. Although there is no general clue to survive, some possible strategies to further strengthen radiology and to compete with the challenges around will be discussed.
1. To become familiar with new emerging radiological techniques.
2. To learn how to be ahead.
3. To safeguard the future of our profession.
Imaging is the key diagnostic tool in many diseases and has an important role in monitoring treatment and predicting outcome. As the practice of medicine moves away from an intuitive, experience-based model to empirical, evidence-based and to personalized medicine, diagnostic precision becomes paramount to select the particular treatment that will best help each individual patient. “Precision imaging” requires objective quantitative and standardized assessment of all features available in digital images. This “deep image phenotyping” is at the basis of radiomics and radio-genomics and allows to use the big image data for prediction, diagnosis and monitoring of disease. Deep machine learning using neural networks on large image data repositories will allow computers to take over much of the repetitive interpretation work carried out by radiologists in today’s practice. Is the profession in danger? The threat to radiology as a distinct speciality can be overcome only by adapting and embracing this change. Focusing on technological innovation and on high-level super-specialized consulting services and less on image interpretation activities will guarantee the future of the profession. Research into new applications of imaging and value-based imaging are some of the solutions for proving the added value of radiologists in daily practice.