Scientific article
Open access

How to prepare for a bright future of radiology in Europe

ContributorsBecker, Minervaorcid
Published inInsights into imaging, vol. 14, no. 1, 168
Publication date2023-10-10
First online date2023-10-10

Because artificial intelligence (AI)-powered algorithms allow automated image analysis in a growing number of diagnostic scenarios, some healthcare stakeholders have raised doubts about the future of the entire radiologic profession. Their view disregards not only the role of radiologists in the diagnostic service chain beyond reporting, but also the many multidisciplinary and patient-related consulting tasks for which radiologists are solicited. The time commitment for these non-reporting tasks is considerable but difficult to quantify and often impossible to fulfil considering the current mismatch between workload and workforce in many countries. Nonetheless, multidisciplinary, and patient-centred consulting activities could move up on radiologists’ agendas as soon as AI-based tools can save time in daily routine. Although there are many reasons why AI will assist and not replace radiologists as imaging experts in the future, it is important to position the next generation of European radiologists in view of this expected trend. To ensure radiologists’ personal professional recognition and fulfilment in multidisciplinary environments, the focus of training should go beyond diagnostic reporting, concentrating on clinical backgrounds, specific communication skills with referrers and patients, and integration of imaging findings with those of other disciplines. Close collaboration between the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and European national radiologic societies can help to achieve these goals. Although each adequate treatment begins with a correct diagnosis, many health politicians see radiologic procedures mainly as a cost factor. Radiologic research should, therefore, increasingly investigate the imaging impact on treatment and outcome rather than focusing mainly on technical improvements and diagnostic accuracy alone.

Critical relevance statement Strategies are presented to prepare for a successful future of the radiologic profession in Europe, if AI-powered tools can alleviate the current reporting overload: engaging in multidisciplinary activities (clinical and integrative diagnostics), enhancing the value and recognition of radiologists’ role through clinical expertise, focusing radiological research on the impact on diagnosis and outcome, and promoting patient-centred radiology by enhancing communication skills.

Key points • AI-powered tools will not replace radiologists but hold promise to reduce the current reporting burden, enabling them to reinvest liberated time in multidisciplinary clinical and patient-related tasks.

• The skills and resources for these tasks should be considered when recruiting and teaching the next generation of radiologists, when organising departments and planning staffing.

• Communication skills will play an increasing role in both multidisciplinary activities and patient-centred radiology.

• The value and importance of a correct and integrative diagnosis and the cost of an incorrect imaging diagnosis should be emphasised when discussing with non-medical stakeholders in healthcare.

• The radiologic community in Europe should start now to prepare for a bright future of the profession for the benefit of patients and medical colleagues alike.

  • Artificial intelligence in radiology
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration
  • Patient-centred radiology
  • Radiology beyond reporting
  • Strategic goals for radiology
Citation (ISO format)
BECKER, Minerva. How to prepare for a bright future of radiology in Europe. In: Insights into imaging, 2023, vol. 14, n° 1, p. 168. doi: 10.1186/s13244-023-01525-3
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1869-4101

Technical informations

Creation10/13/2023 11:37:51 AM
First validation11/16/2023 8:21:52 AM
Update time11/16/2023 8:21:52 AM
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