As the tools and technologies of healthcare continue to improve and evolve, both patients and clinicians will continue to reap the rewards of this progress. This recent Forbes article talks about healthcare and diagnostic devices, in the area of radiology in particular, that are becoming “leaner, meaner and even cheaper” – and about the ways in which all of us benefit from this evolution.
In the past, the technology of traditional radiology was relatively bulky, expensive and in many cases far removed from patients (both literally and metaphorically). Today’s environment is one in which patients are reaping the benefits of new technologies that promise information and diagnoses that are more precise, effective and accessible.
What does this trend mean for radiology? Of course, we applaud any and all strides that allow healthcare providers to diagnose more efficiently and effectively, and patients to take more charge of their own healthcare. From the perspective of our patients, we know that an informed and able patient is an empowered patient. The better the technology, the better the diagnoses – and that’s a “win-win” for all of us. As the technology continues to get better each year, more and more patients are taking matters into their own hands, taking advantage of better tools and opting for more readily accessible second opinions.
A new age of “plug-and-play” radiology. In radiology – as with any medical specialty or subspecialty – we look for innovations that benefit patients, improve the accuracy of diagnoses and positively impact the overall efficiency of the process. As the Forbes piece points out, “The ultrasound that used to be as bulky and heavy as a refrigerator is now the size of a handheld ‘phablet’ and yet it does the same job it did before.”
At the most recent Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA 2014), there was a great deal of discussion focused on the use of smaller equipment and the role this technology plays in smarter and safer diagnoses – again, all to the great benefit of the patient. “As simple as plugging an iPod into a speaker,” says Forbes.
Clinicians, and in some cases patients, can now easily upload data – such as medical imaging files or pictures – from any device, from their home, office or even the car. Patients have greater visibility into the process, and their healthcare providers are able to more easily view files on any device and, in turn, diagnose and offer their expertise from anywhere, any time. From reducing errors in diagnosis to increasing the speed of communication, we feel strongly that better technology leads to better patient outcomes all around.
What’s ahead for radiology patients? “These latest radiology innovations help improve efficiency, accuracy and workflow, thereby enhancing the lives of millions of patients,” says Forbes. We certainly agree that the future of technology in radiology can and will lead to shortened treatment times and better diagnostic capabilities all around.
At SecondOpinions.com, we believe that more information and greater access empower patients and, in turn, can lead to more precise and efficient diagnoses and, ultimately, more successful patient outcomes. We invite you to contact us for your second opinion.