Teleradiology practiced by vast majority of radiologists

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Teleradiology practiced by vast majority of radiologists

Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | February 25, 2020
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: Would you say that teleradiology has become a fundamental part of being a radiologist?
EBF: It’s a statement of fact. The ability to perform readings remotely is just like how we use the internet: buying things or talking to Siri, or applications for AI that we use in our lives without even thinking about it. Any time you have more people who can freely communicate and review information in a collegial collaborative manner, it makes us stronger and enhances our ability to deliver quality care.

HCB News: We often hear that AI may replace radiologists in the near future. We also hear AI is providing an invitation for radiologists to step out from behind the screen and interface more with patients. Does an increase in teleradiology complement that vision or compromise it?

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EBF: There’s an idea that has circulated for a few years now, that AI could replace radiologists. Well, if AI can replace radiologists it will replace paralegals and engineers and many others, it will be so disruptive to our economy and entire economic structure. Things have got to work together.

AI is the capability for software programs to have self learning capabilities and higher levels or processing data that allow for better assisting humans in doing tasks that historically only a human could do, such as troll medical records for salient past medical history and other relevant clinical findings that are pertinent to developing and interpreting information at hand.

Teleradiology and AI complement one another; teleradiology is the ability to transmit data electronically and review it anywhere. For most of us teleradiology is a tool that allows us to review studies and report on those findings with other software packages, such as voice recognition, and you can have different ways of handling the data, the reporting. Having AI running in the background should make everything more efficient.

HCB News: One-third of your respondents noted "technical interpretation standards" as being a key to improving teleradiology. What might those standards look like?
EBF: We need standards just like in other industries. As you come up with a mission critical technology you want the ability for it to be utilized and adapted for different environments and this is what we want for teleradiology. Right now we have all these different platforms and they need to interface, and as folks get out in front they develop proprietary technology. This can lead to certain innovations that some providers can’t utilize due to compatibility issues, and the cost to solving those challenges is prohibitive.

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