Medical Imaging is a constantly evolving industry, and to help you stay up-to-speed, below is a quick (and, for radiology professionals, exciting) synopsis of the latest technical advancements:
- PACS. Greater and greater computing power and storage capacity are available at less expensive prices, prompting more healthcare systems to adopt PACS. Combined with the Internet, PACS also enable professionals in different locations to analyze and discuss images without ever having to leave their computers.
- CT Scans. Because of greater processing power, large volumes can be scanned with minimal risk of distortions caused by movement.
- Ultrasound. It’s slowly closing the resolution gap with MRI’s, and developments in elastography – which is a new method of detecting tissue stiffness. This may soon replace invasive techniques like biopsies.
- Virtual Intraluminal Endoscopy. This non-invasive technique allows the medical imaging professional to interact with a computer-generated “fly-through” of a section of the body. It still needs additional development, but results are getting better with increased processing power.
- PET – Positron Emission Tomography. In the last few years, this technology became more widely applied in oncology imaging.
- MRI. Whole-body MRI is one instance of more quantitative imaging technique that has been practiced more in the last few years. MRI is also increasingly being proposed as a desirable means of guiding and monitoring organ and vascular interventions.
- Radiosurgery. This non-invasive, non-surgical treatment of tumors allows doctors to direct beams of radiation with a gamma knife to precise locations in order to focus it directly over a tumor. It is increasingly being used to treat tumors otherwise inaccessible via normal surgical techniques.
- High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. With this new therapy, a doctor directs a high-intensity ultrasound beam directly onto a specific part of a tumor.