Radiology On The Rise: Advancements In The Field
Over the years, radiology has seen breakthrough after breakthrough change the way medical professionals work with patients. From the discovery of X-rays to the invention of 4-D ultrasound tech, radiology continues to push the boundaries of imaging, diagnosis, and care across the globe.
This tradition of innovation seems primed to continue, with many promising developments just around the corner. In our latest blog, we take a look at some of the most intriguing future developments.
One extremely exciting development in radiology is liquid biopsies, which could prove to be incredibly useful as an alternative to traditional biopsies. Basically, liquid biopsies use a simple blood draw and look for biomarkers that indicate issues like cancer. Traditional biopsies require physical cells to be removed for analysis, which can be quite invasive. Liquid biopsies aren’t exactly new, but they are poised to become more standard in 2021.
Liquid biopsies could be used in tandem with ultrasounds for more accurate diagnoses. The realm of radionics also promises to be improved by liquid biopsies. Of course, the analysis and interpretation of biomarkers in the blood will need to be refined and standardized, but the initial results seem more than promising.
For many years, deep learning and artificial intelligence have gained a fair amount of hype in the world of radiology. MRI, PET, CT, and nuclear medicine have all seen ripples because of the advances in this field, and this seems primed to continue in the future.
Specifically, deep learning and artificial intelligence are primed to improve imaging time and clarity. Older imaging devices and programs produce images with a good deal of “noise” that the radiologist has to parse through. Better AI could save time and money for the radiologist and patients.
The collection and interpretation of raw data into useful, accurate, and insightful images and information is crucial for patients, and these new developments promise to make these processes more consistent in 2021 and beyond.
Microfracture X-Ray Imaging
In 2019, a groundbreaking study by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the University of Baltimore, developed a new method of X-ray imaging. This method used color to identify microfractures in bones. Previously, microfractures could not be identified with X-rays.
This study was such a huge deal because microfractures play a big role in bone health and care. Not all microfractures are a big deal, but some could be linked to skeletal fragility, stress fractures, and major injuries. By using this new technology, microfractures could be spotted and addressed by doctors and patients. This technology is still being refined and is not yet commercially ready, but the findings are certainly promising.
As AI and deep learning improve the world of radiology, computing platforms and applications geared at making the workplace more efficient are being developed as well. Applications for patient care and information access have been developed alongside new imaging tech to streamline clinics and give radiologists more control.
While these applications won’t improve actual radiology equipment, they will improve all the other aspects of running a successful radiology clinic. Operational tasks take time and resources, so streamlining and optimizing these processes can have an indirect effect on the patient experience. Due to COVID-19, the importance of these digital applications like remote viewing has become even more apparent for radiologists and clients alike.
Patient Comfort Tech
While most of the hype in radiology is focused on better imaging technology, breakthroughs are also being made in the realm of patient comfort. Patients consistently report painful and uncomfortable tests, especially for mammograms. Those negative experiences can stick with patients, even if the imaging services themselves are good.
For years, companies have listened to these complaints. Now, they’re focusing on developing more comfortable solutions that don’t compromise on image quality or speed. It’s common knowledge that patient comfort is an important factor in health outcomes, and comfort tech will reflect this in 2021.
Enjoy The Cutting Edge With Professional Radiology!
No matter what advancements come up in the field of radiology, you can count on Professional Radiology to be on the cutting edge. Since we are a radiologist-owned clinic, we are able to invest fully in world-class care without worrying about investors and the profit-motive. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more about what makes us the best in the Southwest!