ROLE OF RADIOLOGY IN THE FUTURE HEALTHCARE
The field of radiology has been a distinct medical speciality which required continued technical enhancement from the time of its inception. The requirement for specialisation, specificity, and accuracy can be tracked down to the initial stages of X-ray technology which demanded for research to improve image capture along with reducing exposure defects, transportation, and development of images on fragile glass plates for interpretation. Although, radiology was merely defined as technical service in the medical field during early 1900s, the interpretation of radiographic images and proper reporting required medical specialists. Therefore, radiologist gradually got recognised as clinical specialists who compulsorily required to be an expert in image capturing technology, broad-based advances in engineering, and most importantly application of findings to healthcare (Hillman & Goldsmith, 2010).
Presently, with emergence of new techniques and enhancement in efficacy of the pre-existing radiological techniques, radiology has become an important tool for the diagnosis of many ailments and diseases along with a crucial player in treatment monitoring and patient prognosis. Number of imaging modalities with different physical principles of varying complexity are now integral part of the field. With steady and rapid increase in the usage of ultrastructural diagnostic imaging, nanotechnology, functional and qualitative diagnostics and molecular medicines, a high level of anatomical details and diagnosis sensitivity is observed. Technological advances has helped hugely to post-process the images, manipulate them and communicate them all around the globe instantly (Krestin et al. 2009).
Radiologist have always been strongly involved in the technological development along with identification of strength and limitations of the various observations. Over the time, radiologists have cultivated understanding and idea of most suitable unified imaging procedures in order to capitalize on the treatment success. Radiologist are also accountable for the execution of these enlargements in to the clinical settings and therefore ensure maximum utilisation of the technology and medical reserves (Dalla, 2006).
The plethora of information obtained for these enhanced techniques also requires the radiologist to carefully interpret the information without any preconception in a manner that prejudice can be avoided. The implementation of imaging techniques for functional evaluation and cellular activity has emerged as latest challenge for the imaging specialists whose academic education has always been predominantly focused on the anatomical and pathological models with a very limited exposure to physiology and cell function. It is thus very necessary for them to continuously organise their talents and effectively use these modern modalities for evaluation of patient complaints (European Society of Radiologists, 2010).
RATIONAL OF THE STUDY:
The structure of radiology has lengthened theatrically and new knowledge in imaging is produced rapidly. It is not possible for a one individual to major all the present techniques and knowledge. But, the referring healthcare professionals and other healthcare provides expects the radiologist to fully understand the clinical problem and provide best available referencing. Since radiologist is expected to provide vast range of imaging information for all the medical specialities; increased requirement for clinical experience along with appropriate training in imaging as well as specific training in clinical sub-specialties can be observed. If this is not done, radiological imaging will again reach to its primitive stage where it was recognised as a mere small technical field within the healthcare speciality and under such circumstances different speciality will start to focus on their own requirements of specific imaging modalities and education and ultimately the impact of imaging proficiency will vanish (The Royal College of Radiologists, 2013).
Prosperity of radiology lay in keeping forward in the race of progress. Therefore radiologist requires to modify their approaches and revaluate their professional education which can house the theatrical revolt and development in the field. Radiologist continuously requires to adapt to the changes in the technology they can deliver the service which is expected by the patients and which the medical progress requires. Different researchers over the year suggested few changes which are required in the field of radiology which are crucial for the maintaining the importance of distinct radiology filed in healthcare (Goldsmith, 2011) (Lugneguard, 2013). These changes are as follows:
- Effectively assimilating with the medical procedures and recognising the other clinical specialists as prospective clients or associates.
- Becoming a leader in the reorganisation of healthcare which will be based on both the broad perspectives as well as revelation of incidental findings along with special interest information.
- Creating a working environment which allows continued learning which can cope with the knowledge explosion.
- Providing support to the different medical imaging department so that they can assimilate into a mutual infrastructure for radiology.
- Using the methods of data mining so that key performance indicators can be developed and effectively measured.
- Improving diagnosis reporting so that it is free of preconceptions and prejudice.
The present study will attempt to identify all the changes required in the field radiology which are important for improving its performance in healthcare.
Dalla L. (2006) Tomorrow’s radiologist: what future? Radiol Med., 111:621–633.
European Society of Radiology (2009) The future role of radiology in healthcare. Insights imaging, 1(1): PMC3259353.
Goldsmith J. (2011) The Future of Radiology in the New Health Care Paradigm: The Moreton Lecture. J Am Coll Radiol, 8:159-163.
Hillman B & Goldsmith J. (2010) The sorcerer’s apprentice: how imaging is reshaping the healthcare. London: Oxford University Press.
Krestin GP. (2009) Maintaining identity in a changing environment: the professional and organizational future of radiology. Radiology, 250:612–617.
Lugneguard H. (2013) Key role for radiology in future healthcare. [Online] Sectra. Available at: http://www.sectra.com/medical/diagnostic_imaging/articles/key-role-for-radiology-in-future-healthcare-2012-06-02/
The Royal College of Radiologist’s (2013) The future of clinical radiology in the UK: A discussion paper. [Onlien] RCR. Available at: http://www.rcr.ac.uk/docs/general/pdf/The_future_of_radiology_in_the_UK.pdf
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