Hot Topics in Imaging Informatics: Introduction

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Dr. Siegel is a Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and the Radiology Associate Vice Chairman for Informatics, Diagnostic Imaging, University of Maryland Medical Center, and the Director, Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore, MD. He is also a member of the editorial board of this journal.

In May 2008 I served as the moderator of a roundtable discussion on imaging informatics—one of the hottest topics in diagnostic imaging. The roundtable, which brought together a distinguished panel of experts, was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine in Seattle, WA. The information from this roundtable has been published as this special supplement to Applied Radiology.

Imaging informatics is having a major impact on all of our practices and, in my opinion, is a driving force in the future of diagnostic imaging. In planning for the roundtable, we chose topics that were important, practical, and, at times, controversial.

In an article about re-engineering radiology for an electronic world, Dr. Paul Chang from the University of Chicago focuses on how we can avoid having radiology services become a commodity and the importance of using imaging technology to provide added value to our customers.

Dr. Paul Nagy from the University of Maryland delves into the use of informatics to improve the quality of radiology. He points out that if we’re not careful, quality can fall by the wayside as we transition from film-based to digital imaging.

Dr. Khan Siddiqui recently left the University of Maryland to begin work on healthcare informatics with Microsoft. In his article, he discusses advanced visualization—what it is, how its role is changing, and why it has become such an integral and important part of image interpretation. He also offers advice on how to choose the best possible system for your practice.

Although some radiologists have only recently purchased their first picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), many have been through several different PACS over the last 15 years. Dr. Steven Horii from the University of Pennsylvania describes how difficult and painful the addition of a PACS or the transition from one PACS to another can be, and offers frank “prenuptial” and “postnuptial” advice on how to minimize the disruption to patient care.

Dr. David Weiss from the Geisinger Health System weighs in on the pros and cons of speech recognition systems. Currently more than half of academic radiology departments across the country use speech recognition technology. However, its adoption has been controversial and the results mixed. Dr. Weiss describes how to get the most out of speech recognition systems.

Finally, Chris Hafey of Vital Images offers a vendor’s perspective on the key steps to enterprise-wide advanced visualization, while Robert Cooke of FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA explores how the Internet is revolutionizing radiology.

It has been my distinct pleasure to work with such a distinguished panel of experts. I would like to thank Vital Images and FUJIFILM for sponsoring the roundtable, Anderson Publishing for producing this special supplement, and all of the roundtable participants for providing thoughtful advice and practical tips on how to use imaging informatics to improve the quality and efficiency of radiology services.

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Hot Topics in Imaging Informatics: Introduction.  Appl Radiol. 

December 14, 2008



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