RSNA Blog: Can rad residents outdo Angry Birds?


The halls of RSNA are overflowing with vendors and scientific research making bold claims to drastically change the practice of radiology and medical imaging. Down in the depths of the Lakeside Learning area, there are a group of residents who are probably the only ones in the entire meeting trying to dethrone Angry Birds and change the way people play games on the their cell phones.

In comes the "Radical Radiologist." The term may invoke memories of a radiologist kept in the back corner of the reading room as far away from referring clinicians, but at RSNA this year, it refers to the android app that Drs. Zachary Bercu, Vivek Patil, and Dairon Garcia built with countless hours of programming and $25 out of their own pockets to have it featured in the Android store.  

 - game screen captureThe three residents from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City envision the app as a way for people to continue learning outside of the classroom and compete with others from around the entire world. The background and music is reminiscent of the old 8-bit Nintendo days, close to the heart for many of us. The app flashes high-resolution images and prompts the user for a diagnosis. Points are scored and a leader-board is posted with the highest scores from around the world. Unlike the old days of gaming, this app can't just be unplugged to reset the leader-board to get your own name on top. 

The app is free for download in the Google play store only for Android-based phones, but the creators plan to have it available for Apple phones in the future. Their program is also being featured in RSNA Mobile Connect and is running on five computers in the educational center. Currently, "Azat" from an unnamed country is in the lead, but other radiologists from the U.S., Mumbai, and China are close on his heels. Relive those old Nintendo days, and see if you can take down Azat during your time in Chicago.



Jonathan Flug, MD, is a senior radiology resident at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. Flug provided valuable input into “Who is the Radiologist of the Future,” in the Nov. issue of Health Imaging.