5 Tips for Managing Medical Imaging Data

2011-10-28
 

medical imaging date setsTwenty years ago, very few people talked about the need for terabytes of data. Now, a terabyte seems like a pittance, especially to people in fields like medical imaging, which demand ever-greater data capacity to meet the ever-growing sophistication (and data hungry) imaging technologies.

But the growing volume of data leads to the growing number of data management problems. Information has to be organized to be meaningful, and today’s volume of information is too large for any one person to manage, especially in the high-volume fields of medical imaging.

A recent study published in Radiology, authored by a team headed by Katherine Andriole of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, offered 5 suggestions for dealing with the huge volume of data in radiology work:

  1. Improving the Signal-to-Noise Ratio to more quickly direct a radiologist’s gaze to difficult-to-recognize abnormalities.
  2. Using Motion and Color to Convey Change Over Time. According to Andriole, advances in 3D volumetric rendering and the addition of time and other functional measures can, if used properly, make change over time easier for radiologists to see and analyze.
  3. Time-Saving Interface Devices like joysticks, touch-sensitive screens, voice-activated commands, and other developments (many from the world of gaming).
  4. Easy Access to Multiple Relevant Studies would enable radiologists to consult a wide range of situation-specific literature without leaving their chairs or their medical imaging programs.
  5. Easy Methods for Annotating Images so that radiologists can quickly convey their analyses to other medical professionals. Likewise, incorporating handheld devices, wireless networks, and cloud computing into medical imaging communications will make it easier to convey images and their interpretations to primary caregivers.

In order to keep up with the need to manage ever-larger sets of data, radiologists and other medical imaging professionals have to be somewhat revolutionary. The ongoing revolution in the volume and management of information technology is leading to a revolution in the role of the medical imaging specialist in direct patient care, says Andriole.

Learn how intelligent workflow tools and a system optimized for high volume data sets improves the radiologist experience by viewing McKesson’s Horizon Medical Imaging™ demo .

One Response to “5 Tips for Managing Medical Imaging Data”

  1. Getting to the clearest image and analyzing it correctly should be the highest priority for every lab – these tips along with the PACS should help streamline that process.

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