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Diagnostic imaging at the core of medicine revolution

Article-Diagnostic imaging at the core of medicine revolution

Shutterstock Radiology trend update
Radiology transformed organ imaging in leaps and bounds. Here's how.

Radiology in today’s world has become so vital that doctors cannot manage patients without diagnostic imaging. While the physical exam has not changed much in 300 years, imaging has changed dramatically in just a quarter century. In fact, it can be said that diagnostic imaging has revolutionised medicine and is at its core today.

Doctors often rely on radiology test results to determine patients’ diagnosis and the course of their treatments. It has clearly transformed patient care to the extent that many refer to the CT scanner, or computerised tomography as “truth”. The history of radiology dates back to 1885 with the discovery of X-rays by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. Subsequently, in 1946, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is discovered independently by Edward Purcell and Felix Bloch. The invention of the portable ultrasound machine was made by Ian Donald in 1955 together with Tom Brown that allowed healthcare providers to visualise a foetus in utero and eventually become a routine procedure in pregnancy as a means of monitoring the development and health of the foetus.

The first PET scan is built by James Robertson in 1961, which is a valuable research tool to learn and enhance our knowledge of the normal human brain, heart function and support drug development. In 1972, Godfrey Hounsfield developed the first clinical prototype of CT scanner wherein a rotating X-ray tube and a row of detectors placed in a gantry produces cross-sectional images of a body. The PET-CT scanner, attributed to David Townsend and Ronald Nutt, is named by TIME magazine as the medical invention of the year in 2000. Talking about its uses and applicability, interventional radiology (IR) is a very recent addition to medicine. It relies on the use of radiological image guidance to precisely target therapy.

Most IR treatments are minimally invasive alternatives to open and laparoscopic surgery. Angiography and biopsy are examples of diagnosis IR and balloon angioplasty/stent, embolisation and cholecystectomy are few examples of therapeutic IR. Another crucial use of radiation, which is widely used is for treating and detecting cancer. In many cases, early diagnosis can save lives. At least half of all cancer patients at some point receive radiation therapy to treat their condition.

Radiation therapy may be used to treat both benign and malignant tumours. It uses targeted energy to destroy cancer cells, shrink tumours and/or alleviate certain cancer-related symptoms. Truly, radiology has come a long way since its inception from humbling image production with glass photographic plates to high-resolution digital modalities that harness cutting-edge technologies, medical imaging has transformed medicine and continues to revolutionise patient care delivery.

Thanks to these technological advances, radiology-tailored software solutions like Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), teleradiology, and now Imaging EMRs are the gold standard of 21st-century medicine and healthcare administration.

Knowledge and experiences, showcase and learn about the latest innovation that is changing the way healthcare is perceived, and create partnerships to preserve the welfare of humankind while stabilising economic interests.  Arab Health sets itself apart this year with a focus on key product markets that are expected to gain traction in the months ahead.


This article appears in Omnia Health magazine. Read the full issue online today.

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