Report: Medical imaging spurs healthcare change, growth
A new report has put a spotlight on the huge impact that medical imaging has played in enabling such things as the current level of cardiovascular care to coming close to eliminating exploratory surgery, according to a new report from National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

The report finds that advances in medical imaging have "dramatically changed how physicians measure, manage, diagnose, treat, and even think about medical illnesses and conditions."  Imaging has brought about new approaches to diagnosing and treating stroke, heart disease, and cancer, among others, according to the report. Better visualization and information from imaging also have led more types of physicians to use imaging in more clinical situations, for more diseases, and for more patients, NEMA said.

This broad applicability is a prime drive in the up tick in utilization of imaging, according to the report. "To ascribe this growth primarily to financial motives of medical providers ignores these deep, patient-centered changes," said the report.

Among the reports key conclusions:
  • Advances in medical imaging have made major contributions over the past 30 years to significant improvements in mortality and morbidity from heart disease. These improvements are the direct result of enhanced screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up monitoring.
  • Medical imaging has been a boon to stroke therapy because of the earlier and more accurate diagnosis it offers, as well as enabling treatment options. For example, imaging enables physicians to differentiate between the primary types of strokes, thereby guiding treatment decisions ranging from surgery to clot-busting drugs, NEMA said.
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