Dr. Jose Pizarro Explains How Technology Impacts the Future of Radiology
Since its inception in the early 20th century, radiology has consistently been at the forefront of scientific and medical developments. Radiology is continually changing thanks to new technological advancements. Jose Pizarro, a board-certified neuroradiologist from Longboat Key, Florida, describes how technology will impact the future of radiology, examining some new techniques that will help doctors achieve better treatment of their patients.
AI and Radiology
Artificial intelligence or AI helps radiologists analyze a more significant number of images in a shorter time period. This means that time-sensitive decisions can be made promptly, increasing the chances of treatment success for patients with serious, emergent conditions. AI can help doctors target their diagnostic efforts by drawing on the computer system’s aggregated information gained through many different procedures of the same type.
The AI software that radiologists use is called computer-aided detection and diagnosis software, or CADe and CADx. The AI software can analyze radiological images to find areas where clinically relevant findings are likely. This can also help radiologists make diagnostic decisions.
AI can also guide the radiologist in taking the best images. The AI system can calculate where the most valuable sections of the image are located, meaning that the radiologist can zero in on the specific area rather quickly. AI applications in a clinical setting can also help the radiologist position probes more accurately.
AI can also help doctors in daily functions and regular tasks, increasing the amount of time they spend with patients. It can improve the accuracy of dictation and other ordinary time-consuming tasks. It can also help doctors avoid malpractice accusations by making their records better and more detailed.
Nanocrystals and X-Rays
At the National University of Singapore, researchers have developed a type of lead nanocrystal that is 400 times more sensitive to X-ray radiation than current X-ray media. This nanocrystal system will enable radiologists to use far less radiation when taking X-rays, exposing patients to less damage over the long term. The machines used to collect these images will also be faster to use and cost less than present technologies. Repeated exposure to many X-rays over a lifetime can lead to cancer, so this advancement can help many patients live longer and healthier lives.
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Diffusion tensor imaging is a specialized form of MRI scanning that helps neuroradiologists understand the brain’s structure. Neuroradiologists like Dr. Jose Pizarro have begun to use the technology to help neurosurgeons plan their course of action to remove cancerous lesions.
Diffusion tensor imaging works by taking brain images with varying directions of water movement. When water movement is not detected, a dark area is shown on the scan. This dark area can be interpreted as the existing white matter in the brain. Avoiding sensitive areas in the brain is key to giving patients a better chance at a full recovery.
Diffusion tensor imaging is also used to produce fiber tractography. Fiber tractography creates a 3-D model of the brain’s gray matter systems. Previously, this level of information was not possible to find in a living patient. Knowing exactly how the brain is structured leads to safer and more effective surgeries.
Brain Imaging Without Contrast Agents
At Purdue University, scientists have developed a new analytical imaging technology based on functional MRI. This technology can be used to detect vascular injuries and disorders in the head and brain without the use of contrast agents. Using contrast agents, the circulation of the agent can only be timed for a few seconds. The new model will allow for much longer viewing times by tracking a blood-related MRI signal. This biomarker can assess blood flow in the patient.
The method allows the calculation of the cerebral circulation time. Prolonged time delays can indicate a blood flow disturbance in the brain.
The new method can be used with MRI and other imaging systems such as near-infrared spectroscopy. The future applications of the technology include examining football players’ brains for signs of head injuries.
Remote viewing of diagnostic imaging means that a patient can be seen by a doctor physically located elsewhere. This technology is beneficial for patients who live far away from a research hospital where the treatments they need to receive are given. It can also be used in the developing world.
Patients whose images are viewed remotely by outstanding doctors have better outcomes than those limited to the imaging procedures used in their convenient hospital.
Technology’s Impact on Radiology
Radiology has always been a field concerned with the newest advances in technology, and current and future developments bear this out. From treatments that lower the amount of radiation that needs to be used to intricate calculations of water flow among tissues in the brain, technology has a significant impact on the development of radiological science.
Dr. Jose Pizarro, like many neuroradiologists, welcomes the advances that technology is bringing to the field and eagerly looks forward to the better procedures and imaging techniques that will come in the near future.