5 Trends at Radiology Society of North America Conference
1. Foreign flavor. The international presence seemed to be way up this year — in both attendance and exhibitors. Although RSNA could not provide figures from 2012 to compare with 2013, they said there were 9,551 international attendees at the show this year, out of a total of 48,991 participants. There were pavilions dedicated to Korean, German, and Japanese companies, a “France Presents” area split between two booths focusing on oncologic imaging, and of course a slew of foreign-based stand-alones. RSNA also did its part to support the worldwide presence: this year they expanded the Global Connection booth and offered sessions in Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese and Russian. One OEM representative also told DOTmed News that translation services at the booth was becoming an increasing necessity.
2. Frozen organs. GE Healthcare’s big unveil at the show was a new 256 row/512 slice CT scanner — the 510(k) pending Revolution CT — which was built from the ground up. In addition to spatial resolution and low dose, the new scanner uses SnapShot Freeze motion correction technology to effectively image the heart in one beat.
Siemens Healthcare’s big news this year is a body MRI solution called FREEZEit, which is able to image the entire abdomen in about two seconds — enough time to freeze motion even if there is free breathing. Motion has been a big obstacle with body MRI. Siemens’ FREEZEit technology received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in early November.
3. The cloud has come back. In 2011, talk of the cloud was everywhere. At last year’s show, whether it was because companies were concerned about “cloud fatigue” or because the big updates were still in the works, talk of the cloud was limited. At RSNA 2013, the cloud was back with a vengeance. Nearly every IT Health company we spoke with had updates or brand new products tied into cloud-based solutions.
Interestingly, vendors also see cloud-based solutions and VNAs as another way to reduce dose — still a big concern in imaging. If an imaging procedure is ordered, having the ability to check if a similar procedure was done cuts down on needless exams, thereby reducing additional radiation exposure to the patient. However, a big part of that challenge is being able to grab all similar images for a given patient even though there may be different patient numbers assigned to an individual depending on where they’ve had procedures done. So software providers have started to depend on increasingly unique levels of identification to scrub lists and ultimately provide the needed information. Unique identifiers might start with first and last name, date of birth and then move on to social security number.