I just read an article (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160805115008.htm) about a new technology that has just been developed at the Monash University in Australia, that is set to revolutionize pulmonary imaging. The test, called 4DPIV, (http://www.nature.com/articles/srep29438) essentially combines CT and spirometry to provide a combination of structural and functional imaging that, further gives data specific to individual lung segments and is, therefore, able to detect respiratory conditions early in their evolution, when the involvement of the lung is patchy.
A revolutionary concept indeed … hats off to the researchers behind this!
Such innovations in medical imaging, that combine structural and functional assessment represent the future. I would go so far as to predict that the concept of an imaging study being performed solely for anatomic/structural evaluation or solely for determining function, will in the not too distant future be history.
The imperatives driving such evolution/innovation include
- a)Radiation dose – the ALARA principle dictates that an imaging test should result in the minimum possible radiation dose to the patient. As a corollary if two necessary tests can be fused into one where the cumulative dose of the two is lower than the sum, then that is a potent argument for a fusion
- b)Cost – if two tests can be combined into a single one the cumulative cost of which is lower than the sum, then there is a definite economic argument for this, in these days of soaring healthcare costs.
- c)Time – As our lives become busier, combining diagnostic tests will result in greater patient convenience and imaging center throughput, benefiting.
- d)Radiologist availability- With radiologist staffing challenges showing no sign of abating, the field of medical imaging will perforce need to evolve into a more user-friendly state where physician time becomes a focal point for technology innovation.
- e)Clinical medicine – Most important of course, such fusion tests must show evidence-based results in the form of improved, or equivalent patient outcomes that bolster the argument for their use.
Of additional interest is that a combination of academia and entrepreneurship has led to this particular innovation. At the heart of most successful innovation, especially in healthcare, lies a healthy collaboration between academia and entrepreneurship. Like yin and yang, these two forces produce results that far outstrip what either could individually achieve.Our own humble beginnings at TRS were forged out of our academic relationships. And till date we ensure that such relationships continue, to form the basis for inspiration and innovation.
Our own humble beginnings at TRS were forged out of our academic relationships. And till date we ensure that such relationships continue, to form the basis for inspiration and innovation.