Rural U.S. populations often suffer poor access to healthcare services. The cracks many patients fall through are not the fault of radiology per se. However, researchers and rural radiologists agree that much imaging ground must be gained if location-based disparities are to be cut down to size.

Notwithstanding the hopes and fears around AI, medical 3D printing is the emerging technology that could help pull radiology into the realm of the indispensable. Thanks to progress toward permanent billing codes, the future of reimbursable 3D printing is taking shape.

Despite authoritative voices reassuring radiologists that artificial intelligence will never seriously cull their workforce, speculation to the contrary continues. In fact, some of the prognosticators most certain about likely job losses are radiologists themselves.

We sought out a handful of radiology executives, directors and managers who started out as radiologic technologists. They share their stories, talk about radiology’s present challenges and offer tips for today’s techs hoping to become tomorrow’s leaders.

A machine able to interpret diagnostic imaging studies better than radiologists has long been foreseen, yet its arrival comes almost as a surprise. We have underestimated the potential of AI to perform the kinds of work we do.

"There’s so much to be excited about going forward," she told Radiology Business Journal Editor Dave Pearson in an exclusive interview. 

A midsize private practice blooms where planted.

A funny thing happened on the way to the printer with this issue of RBJ. In an email exchange, a radiologist who’d spoken with one of our reporters let me know he had more to say on the combustible subject about which he’d been interviewed. 

Two short years after added AI as a standalone beat, it seems the technology has burrowed into radiology like the Burmese python took to the Everglades. At first its presence was novel. Soon it became not uncommon. And now the infiltrator is in everyone’s head. It may as well be everywhere.

This year’s competition brought out the best in a strong field. All entrants developed notably original breakthroughs in various aspects of medical imaging. And the winners never lost sight of the ultimate point of all the extra effort: improving patient care while increasing efficiencies and, wherever possible, cutting or at least containing costs. Now meet the best of the best. 

Given radiology’s development into a subspecialist-rewarding profession, is there pressure on radiology residents to choose a subspecialty or two and, in turn, aim to make generalized practice a side job? Should even established rads concentrate on one area as a way to remain relevant?

Forty years after physicist Allan Cormack and electrical engineer Godfrey Hounsfield jointly won a Nobel Prize for inventing computed tomography as we know it, the modality continues to generate new or improved uses and iterations. RBJ spoke with several trailblazers who are still plumbing the depths of CT applications.

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