What advances in the field of radiology do you find most exciting?
To me, the most exciting aspect of radiology is the fact that we, as radiologists, have a tremendous opportunity to improve the experiences of the patients we serve.
Several hundred million imaging exams are performed annually in the United States, and each one of these has several phases that could be modified to take advantage of conveniences that are available in our personal lives, such as Uber, Airbnb, and live chats with customer service representatives.
For example, mobile platforms or chatbots could streamline scheduling or provide instructions before an exam. During an exam, advanced translation digital applications could ensure that we are doing our best to communicate with patients from all backgrounds. Finally, our commitment to the patient continues even after an exam is performed. Providing a timely and relevant report is essential, in addition to making ourselves available to the patient directly. Recent advances in AI could also help facilitate a better patient experience. For example, automated scheduling could allow the patient to choose the exam time and location, subsequently reducing the wait time and improving the overall experience.
Our commitment to the patient continues even after an exam is performed.
Although there are many changes expected for radiologists, new technologies will provide us with more tools to take care of our patients and improve the efficiency of our practices.
Anand M. Prabhakar, MD, MBA, is an assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School