Return from RSNA: Advanced Visualization 2.0

Lisa Fratt, Editor
For those of us who spent last week traversing the halls of McCormick Place and the 96th annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), a few truths became apparent. Advanced visualization solutions have skyrocketed in robustness, features and capabilities. Conversely, they are edging toward an everyman model, with advanced visualization serving as an essential tool for every radiologist and a host of allied clinical stakeholders such as cardiologists and neurosurgeons.

Vendors are adapting to and propelling the rapidly evolving market with a number of strategies. They are moving applications to the cloud, which cuts costs, streamlines management and facilitates dissemination of advanced visualization tools.

Partnerships between advanced visualization providers and PACS vendors echo the same theme and promise new levels of integration, technology diffusion and simplicity.

At the same time, a handful of vendors and developers are untethering users by developing mobile apps that allow users to access tools on the fly via mobile devices, thus ushering in the everyman model.

RSNA 2010 also unveiled new frontiers for advanced visualization. A trip to the quantitative imaging reading room on the lower level of Lakeside Learning showcased a number of next-generation reporting projects that aim to infuse standardization and boost diagnostic confidence.

One researcher shared a multi-media structured reporting tool to further embed historical imaging data in the report, while another showed an image-to-text report method that begins with the image and allows user to bypass the tedious process of switching between text and images.

These projects, and a host of others in the development stage, just begin to scratch the surface of possibilities. Maryellen Giger, PhD, vice chair of radiology for basic science research of the University of Chicago, confided, “There’s a lot of cross-fertilization going on in the quantitative imaging reading room.”

I’ll admit it’s a bit early to begin planning one’s visit to RSNA 2011, but if this year’s quantitative imaging reading room is any indication a trek to the lower level to assess advanced visualization 2.1 is well worth it.
Lisa Fratt, editor