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At a crossroads

“A year ago, I watched with interest, as the UK planned the launch of the mass vaccination programme. From Germany, this looked like the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and an opportunity to reflect on the new challenges that will face radiology in the UK and across Europe,” observed Professor Dr Alexander Huppertz, board-certified diagnostic radiologist and RadioReport founder.

He continues: “Now, as patient throughput begins to ramp up, we find ourselves at a crossroads: do we return to pre-pandemic routines, or define a new culture of reporting that takes into account the additional tasks radiology is burdened with as a direct consequence of COVID-19?”

At this time, NHS England commissioned the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) to assess how radiology services should adapt as a direct response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations were published in October 2020 under the title ‘Diagnostics: Recovery and Renewal’. The paper reiterated the continued increase in demand for CT and MR imaging that was observed in censuses published prior to the pandemic. To face this challenge, there needs to be a shift in both the infrastructure of imaging and reporting. This demand is compounded by a backlog of exams that has grown since COVID restrictions were introduced in March 2020, and the increase in thoracic CT and cardiac MRI examinations projected by the RCR for the growing population of COVID-19 survivors.

The RCR makes a number of proposals to meet these future challenges including the need for more standardisation and digitisation across some processes that remain outdated or require modernisation. Here are two specific recommendations:

  • “NHS England and NHS Improvement should ensure standardised data and information is collected across all diagnostic modalities to drive operational performance, improve business intelligence at a national and local level and inform service improvement.”

  • “Digitisation is also a necessary precursor to large-scale use of artificial intelligence (AI) in diagnostics in the future, for sharing reporting workloads between hospitals and gaining access to specialist opinions.”

Professor Dr Alexander Huppertz comments: “On the face of it, these initiatives are open to broad interpretation, and can thus be daunting to implement. Understandably, many choose to simply wait until paths to success have been tested and documented elsewhere. From my perspective, RadioReport offers the simplest path towards standardised data collection and fully digitalised reporting.

“We started developing RadioReport by examining the thought processes of radiologists — creating the foundations for faster, better and easier reporting. Thanks to anatomy-driven modules, the innovative select and move on working method, inbuilt validation checks, and standardised referenced nomenclature, all reporting staff enjoy significantly reduced reporting time compared to traditional methods, while generating reports of consistent quality. Of course, if RadioReport is to truly spearhead the digital transformation it must be robust, so we obtained CE certification. To guarantee ease to integration to existing system, we designed the product as a simple RIS/PACS add-on. These factors result in a revolutionary product that brings radiology reporting for MRI and CT examinations into the digital age.

“Thinking ahead, reporting with RadioReport generates standardised, machine-readable data, meaning AI is no longer just a talking point. With every report you complete, your reservoir of machine-readable data grows, assuring modernisation that generates value through AI in the future.”

Solutions do not always need to be time-consuming or complex, with RadioReport there is no requirement for major changes to your existing radiology IT infrastructure.

Book your demonstration here and experience the potential of RadioReport, the first guided reporting software.

This news story has been sponsored by the companies concerned and does not represent the views or opinions of RAD Magazine.


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