Radiology: Medicine’s Gateway Drug


It seems fitting that the world’s largest annual radiological forum, hosted by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) happens in November.  It’s appropriate because 121 years ago, on November 8, 1895 to be exact; Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the first X-ray.

Röntgen, a German mechanical engineer and physicist, feeling defeated after his plans to become a professor at Columbia University withered with the outbreak of World War I, was toiling away in his lab studying cathode radiation in vacuum tubes (you know, like people do), when, suddenly, an electrostatic charge in one of the tubes displayed a faint shimmering on the other side of his lab bench. That shimmering reflection would change the world of medicine, forever. Six years later, in 1901, Röntgen became the first recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, for the invention of the X-ray.

Now, nearly a century and a quarter after Röntgen first discovered those rays; RSNA will reconvene for the 102nd time. This year, organizers expect more than 55,000 attendees (roughly the population of Charleston, South Carolina) and just about 700 exhibitors.  So, what can you expect ahead of the show? Here are three trends we look forward to hearing more about:

Neurology <3’s Radiology

  • Neurological disorders – Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS)—affect nearly one billion people worldwide. To properly diagnose and treat these conditions, many of which present via biomarkers, highly sensitive diagnostic imaging tools and software must be used in the preclinical setting to show the intense detail of soft tissue. It’s like taking a picture with a flip phone versus an iPhone 7S, when it comes to detail, shadows, dimension and contrast there really is no comparison.

Quantify the Danger

  • Radiology, for good reason, is kinda scary. But new recommendations from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and the American College of Radiology encourage physicians to employ clinical decision support tools to determine the appropriate use of radiology thereby limiting unnecessary, dangerous exposure for patients and streamlining image ordering.

Mobile Matters

To everyone planning to attend the show next week – best of luck! To those watching from the sidelines – can’t wait to see if our trend predictions come true!