Kathy Andriole, PhD, acknowledged that she was skewing the age curve in introducing the panel for The Millennial's Vision: The World as It Could Be, opening session at SIIM 2012, in Orlando. Born in the late 70s through the end of the last century and known as generation next, the net generation, or the Echo Boomers, these folk are tech savvy, heavy media users, texters, participatory, and like to do things together (because they grew up on Friends?). They wouldn't be caught dead calling tech support, and instead ask a friend or Google it.
In true millennial fashion, the panelists first presented their views via video. Wyatt Tellis, PhD, UCSF, sees pervasive image sharing in the cloud, cloud computing, and mobile computing.
Matthew Hawkins,MD, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center wonders why it is
easier to share vacation pictures from Vietnam across the world than it is to share images between hospitals across town?
Acknowledging that peer review publishing holds the greatest prestige in the medical community, Hawkins asked, "What if we had a new currency in which YouTube views and Likes were a new measure of success?"
Woojin Kim, MD, predicts we will be interacting with computers a lot more to search all of the data in the hospital, including unstructured data, and for this, we will need to kick the relational database habit.
"You all are still using relational databases like SQL, but people out there are using noSQL, and My SQL in the real world," he says. "We have to see what other people are doing out there, and, honestly, for us taking the next step is catching up with what others are doing."
With the help of big computers, radiologists will nap while computers compute and then report in: "I found three new associations between x and y that we never knew about, I think you should look into it."
Luciano Prevedello, MD, sees a safer radiology, with advances coming from personalized medicine, report standardization, and working efficiently, and working efficiently will not mean working faster.
"We have not yet taken full advantage of patient information we have collected," he believes.
National language processing, business intelligence, predictive modeling, and decision support will be the enablers.
Tessa Cook, MD, PhD, whose RADIANCE open source CT tracking system was recognized as one of the RBJ/SIIM Top 5 Imaging IT Projects of 2012, predicts further advances in radiation dose management through robust decision support, ultra low dose imaging, improved CT dosimetry that "moves beyond CTDI and DLP to a measure that is more representative of dose to patient."
She suggests that this measure will possibly include even patient risk factors throu advances in human radiobiology to more accurately address the patient's question: "How much radiation did I get and how much radiation is too much?"
Marc Kohl, MD, Indiana University, envisions a radiology that is much more responsive to referring physicians and patients. "Referrers are still getting the same text-based report they've been getting for 40 years."
Maybe they would like Flash-based software to scroll through images, with embedded hot links? Perhaps they'd prefer to review the images with the radiologist live at a PACS workstation?
He also envisions a radiology in which the barriers between radiologist and patient evaporates."How can we change workflow in departments so that we are communicating directly to patients?" he asks. "I know it is controversial, but I don't think it's far fetched that patients will want to get their results from the radiologist as they are communicated."
in summary, they see a new radiology that is patient-centered, with drag and drop analytics and added-value for customers, one in which the patient is a partner.
Will the millennials succeed in their radical reengineering of radiology.
A clue lies in Kim 's response to the question, why hire a millennial?:
"If someone tells us you can't do that, our immediate response is, why not?"