SCAR changes name, expands focus
Today’s opening of the Society for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR) meeting in Austin, Texas, brought the announcement of an expansion and name change for the organization, too. The organization is now called the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) with a broadened mission that reaches into other clinical specialties beyond the field of radiology.
“While we are quite determined to stay true to the Society’s roots in radiology, in reality medical imaging is expanding across the healthcare enterprise,” said SCAR Chair Richard L. Morin, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville.

According to SCAR leadership, the Society has decided to change its name to better describe the diversity of its constituency, to expand research and activities into the entire field of imaging informatics, to include all of the imaging sciences, and to embrace the dynamic changes in the healthcare environment.

“Expanding SCAR’s scope will be responsive to current SCAR members, many of whom practice both within and outside of radiology, while welcoming new imaging constituencies,” Morin said.
The organization said that this change also ties in with an emphasis on various projects that are ongoing such as the research and education efforts associated with the TRIP (Transforming the Radiological Interpretation Process) Initiative. TRIP is a multidisciplinary research effort that includes radiology but also addresses the problem of image and information overload.

The organization also will now offer an Imaging Informatics Certification program which Morin said is important because the administrators that will get certified do work that is “crucial to the entire enterprise.” The certification program will be based on input from a wide array of members that will sit on a committee. Exams towards what will be called CIIP (Certified Imaging Informatics Professionals) will first be given in fall of 2007.

Finally, come August, the organization will move to a new large facility in Leesburg, Va. It will be a functioning enterprise for organization staff, but also house an informatics laboratory which will be used to test upcoming technologies.