Issue 24 / 17 June 2019

IMAGING plays a central role in precision medicine and population health management, and radiology departments are critical to diagnosing and guiding patients to the right treatment plan. As a result, advances in medical imaging technology and radiology protocols hold tremendous potential to reach more consistent, confident diagnoses faster.

True diagnostic confidence requires deep data insights, which can be delivered with preset scan protocols, clinical interpretation tools, holistic patient views, genomics-based decision support and more. When this is implemented, it results in improved patient experience, better health outcomes, improved staff experience and a lower cost of care overall.

Yet today’s radiology departments face many hurdles, including less time and fewer resources, while being assessed in a value-based care world and maintaining the ability to demonstrate return on investment. What can health care providers do to overcome this? How can they deliver the best possible experience and outcomes for patients? Three big trends in imaging will have a significant impact on radiology in 2019 and beyond.

Broader adoption of technology

In radiology, technology is advancing at a rapid pace. However, the demands of the job for radiologists – growing scan volumes, less time spent with patients, complex workflows – can take a toll on the experience of clinicians and patients. As technology advances, it’s essential that health care providers are equipped to uptake technology at a similar pace.

Spectral scanning is one of those significant technological advancements available now; it allows radiologists to make definitive diagnoses using low contrast imaging to get even more insights than conventional computed tomography at a low radiation dose. It benefits patients and health care organisations in eliminating the guesswork in image reading, leading to fast procedures and enhanced diagnostic confidence.

With magnetic resonance scanners being a leading modality for health care organisations, innovative imaging solutions are key in supporting the delivery of seamless care and first time right diagnosis. Pressure on radiology departments is increasing and to meet the rising demand for productivity, a technology break through in acceleration is required. With compressed sensing, examination efficiency is increased with no change in image quality. Adapting such technologies will help radiologists streamline workflow and overcome challenges associated with increased volumes of work.

Greater emphasis on total cost of ownership value

The balancing act of cost and value is playing an increasing role in purchasing decisions for health care departments. From a clinical perspective, diagnostic confidence is paramount. However, imaging staff are under tremendous pressure as patient volumes continue to grow. Ensuring the right technology to enhance workflow is in place is one step, but equally as important is identifying the right partner that can provide long term strategy and total cost of ownership value. With imaging’s central role in value-based care delivery, health care leaders are always looking to balance speed, comfort and confidence with productive cost-effective and sustainable operations.

As organisations become more complex with additional operational layers, radiology administrators are continuously looking at cost management and ways in which they can support better clinical outcomes, departmental operational efficiency and patient satisfaction. As more and more groups influence the purchasing decision, quality of outcomes and patient care need to remain at the heart of these decisions. The value of partners goes beyond the new features of the technology equipment. Health systems and industry must work together to deliver better outcomes for patients, health care professionals and lower the overall cost of health care.

For hospitals, having accurate patient data collection, standardisation and change management is key to ensure an effective workflow. A health care informatics platform that enables health systems to manage the growth and cost of their clinical enterprise with a managed service and pay-per-use model can help to turn value-based care into a dynamic and patient-focused reality.

Expanding use of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is having an impact across all sectors and, in health care, we are already seeing how it can improve operational efficiency and diagnostic confidence as its uptake increases. AI can help improve workflows, which results in savings for the hospital as it enables staff to provide high quality service to more patients more efficiently. Through solutions that combine AI and other technologies with knowledge of the clinical and operational context in which they are used, Philips provides a people-centred approach called adaptive intelligence. This augments the capabilities of clinicians to seamlessly connect people, data and technology to empower radiologists.

Philips’ imaging and informatics technology includes adaptive intelligence that redefines and enhances how radiologists work with medical images. It combines contextual awareness capabilities with advanced data analytics to augment the work of the radiologist. This combination presents a holistic view of the patient and provides diagnostic tools that adapt to physician needs, offering added insights and optimising their workflow based on their own preferences to enhance clinician confidence for every patient. The expanding use of AI in imaging is enabling faster diagnosis to drive well informed care decisions and improved patient care.

Focusing on empowering the people behind the image is essential in radiology today. Increasing diagnostic confidence will result in improved patient care. Finding the right partner to solve problems through innovation and expert guidance can significantly improve patient experience and health outcomes while improving staff experience and lowering the cost of care. Philips can be that partner. To find out more about how we can provide you with expert guidance, please get in touch with us. For more imaging thought leadership content, please follow the Philips Imaging Showcase Page on LinkedIn via

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