Medical radiology, which is basically the use of non-invasive imaging techniques such as x-rays, MRI, ultrasound and PET, has certainly come a long way since the first x-rays were taken in the 1900’s.
The modern age, however, with technological advancement increasing on an almost exponential scale, has also swept up the field of radiology. In the last decade, several leaps have been made. One big example is the computed tomography angiography, which allows medical professionals to examine major blood vessels completely non-invasively. Previously, an agent had to be inserted into the blood stream via catheter, given several hours to propagate through the whole body, and then x-rayed. The process was long, invasive and potentially dangerous. Thanks to CT angiography, it’s now also obsolete.
On a broader scale, refinements are being made to current methods of radiology that are enabling doctors to view a patient’s body like never before. New methods, such as combining computed tomography (which shows a physical view of the organs) with positron emission tomography (which can show the level of function of the organs,) allow us to see, almost anything in the body with near-perfect clarity. This ability to observe both the physical anatomy and the level of functionality of the body can give us an almost complete snapshot of a person’s overall health.
Our technological prowess has grown so advanced in the field of radiology that the Director of Radiology at UW Medical Center, Doctor William Shuman, believes we’re approaching science fiction levels. In an interview with Andrew Schorr of patientpower.info, Dr. Shuman stated “. . .we’re actually approaching the capacity of the tricorder that we saw in Star Trek. The machine isn’t that small yet, but it really can do almost all the things that Spock did in the way of diagnosing disease.”
Leading the way in radiological imaging is Imaging Advantage, a company of physicians, for physicians. This market leader’s focus is making radiology ever more efficient and affordable. These efforts have given birth to RadAdvisor, a comprehensive decision support program that “collects and analyzes information from all pertinent data sources” available to it and uses that information to advise medical professionals on all facets of patient-specific radiology: when and where to scan, what to scan with, and how much to scan. This prevents unnecessary expenditures and time wasted by making the process as efficient and streamlined as possible.
As technology continues to progress, especially in the medical field, radiology is increasingly becoming one of the most promising prospects of modern times. Already, we’re able to see dysfunctions within the body, without invasive surgery, before they even happen. Who knows what the future may hold? Find more about Imaging Advantage on their Twitter page.