They’ve been called the Internet Generation. From shopping to socializing to watching TV, “Millennials” do almost everything online or digitally. This is the generation that will surpass the number of baby boomers by 2015, growing to 83 million.
Having grown up with technology, Millennials view technology, and the Internet, as an extension of themselves. This will fuel the increasing use of electronic and mobile devices, online communities and anytime anywhere access to data.
Here’s what a panel of young radiologists, who presented “The Millennials Vision: The World as It Could Be,” on June 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM), had to say. (Source: HealthImaging)
5 Predictions for What Millennials Will Bring to Medical Imaging
- Tablets and smartphones. Old-fashioned, text-based reports will be supplanted by tablets and smartphones as the preferred platform. The ability to link to images, embed hyperlinks and create teaching videos, will streamline radiology consults and reporting.
- Social networks and messaging. The primary advantages of both platforms are their ability to improve care and connection through one-on-one communication and collaboration. Millennials will be at the forefront of this shape shifting.
- Qualitative improvements in safety, quality and efficiency. “The next decade will bring ubiquitous deployment of natural language processing, business intelligence, predictive modeling and decision support to provide the right information to physicians at the right time,” according to Luciano M.S. Prevedello, MD, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. Highly standardized reports will drive quality improvements. Tessa S. Cook, MD, PhD, of Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, foresees a new era of radiation safety, enabled by multiple factors including rich decision support; ultra, low-dose imaging; improved CT dosimetry and patient-specific dose estimates, she said.
- Anytime anywhere data access. Following Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors on a CPU chip will double every two years, data mining will simulate other advances in medical imaging. “These functions will become real-time and ubiquitous,” said Woojin Kim, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
- Cloud computing. “Cloud computing will replace the CD for exchange of medical images,” said Wyatt M. Tellis, PhD, of University of California, San Francisco. He also expects connected applications to expand into blood pressure cuffs and measurement scales to transmit real-time data to providers.
Bridging the (Tech) Generation Gap
The challenge of any generation is to bridge the gap between old and new and to establish a balance among the “tortoises” and the “hares.” It would be wise to follow the intent of the Hippocratic Oath, the primary principle being to treat the patient to the best of one’s ability.
When it comes to technology, first, know your customer; then, choose the platform.
It’s up to the younger generation to show how technology can humanize the clinical experience and demonstrate why erasing boundaries improves patient care and practice.
What else do you think that the Millennial generation will bring to medical imaging? I encourage you to share your thoughts via a comment below.