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5 Ways Radiology is Innovating the Future

Radiology has come a long way since the X-Rays discovery in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen

Here at Amber, if you’re on the market for used radiology systems, we’ll have you covered with our extensive selection in our 25,000 square foot warehouse. Used radiology systems are some of our top sellers here at Amber, and it’s easy to see why. Radiology is rapidly on the rise, constantly coming up with new and progressive ways to spearhead the medical industry.

Radiology has come a long way since the X-Rays discovery in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen. The harmful effects of its radiation were not understood by scientists for years afterward, causing many to become ill due to lack of knowledge. Thomas Edison’s assistant Clarence Dally tested X-Rays on his hands on an almost daily basis, and developed cancer so vicious he had to have both arms amputated. After Dally’s death in 1904, Edison was said to have exclaimed “Do not talk to me about X-Rays. I am afraid of them.”  (We wrote an awesome blog a while back on the full history of X-Rays. You can read it here.)

Over a hundred and twenty years later, the radiology industry has nearly perfected its techniques and is diving headfirst into territory that was previously only possible in science fiction. Always expanding and experimenting with new technology, scientists have developed amazing artificial intelligence, worked with pigeons to detect cancer, and are even using the help of the gaming industry in their endeavors. Here’s a better look at some of the recent technology developed that soon may be used in more than just a Philip K. Dick novel.

AI and Radiology

If you’ve seen movies such as Terminator and Blade Runner, you may be wary of artificial intelligence. The media often paints an unpleasant picture of a future shared with AI. However, we must separate reality from fiction, and according to researchers, AI could be helping with radiology procedures in the very real future. During the past few years, researchers have become more and more interested in artificial intelligence, and more companies including Google, Microsoft Apple, and IBM have started to use AI technologies for data extraction and evaluation. AI would open the door for machines to recognize clinical problems before the radiologists, especially in mammography, since radiologists miss 15% of breast cancer diagnoses. AI is nothing to be wary of, and you can read more about its connection to radiology here.

New Paste Developed to Prevent Radiation Scarring

Conducting a study in mice, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center tested to see if blocking the A2AR site with a topical application of an A2A receptor would prevent fibrosis, which is the scarring many radiation patients suffer from. The results showed that the irradiated mice treated with the paste showed a significant improvement in the structure of collagen. There is a great indicator that the study will hold hope for sufferers of fibrosis. Read more about the study here.

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Pigeons and Radiology

We’ve known that pigeons are smart for a while now. Previously, they’ve been taught to recognize letters of the alphabet, identify human emotions, and differentiate paintings by Monet and Picasso. But now, the University of Iowa has trained eight pigeons to differentiate between images of benign and malignant breast cancer slides at various levels of magnification. After two weeks, the bird’s accuracy rose from 50% to 85%. Even after the birds were presented with brand new images, they still attained the 85% accuracy. Pretty crazy considering how tiny pigeons brains are. Have a look at the full study here.

Gaming Technology Used to Create Better X-Rays

If you’ve ever used a Microsoft Kinect motion sensor device for the Xbox gaming system, you will be interested in learning that that same technology is being used by researchers in conjunction with proprietary software to make life easier for radiologists and their patients by checking for motion and body part thickness before X-Ray imaging. The main goal of this technology is to produce the highest quality X-Ray images available without a ton of radiation or using traditional calipers to measure body part thickness; which can be frustrating to use and be frightening to children. Using Kinect with the software enables the doctor to measure body part thickness automatically without any patient contact. More info on this fascinating technology found here.

Virtual Reality Device in Works for Diagnostic Imaging

A high-resolution Virtual Reality (VR) diagnostic imaging device for radiologists has been developed as a prototype and was presented at the annual RSNA meeting this past year. The VR device is said to enable visualization at 360 degrees, and will allow the wearer to download CT images and view up to 56 at a time. Once the images are downloaded it would take less than a minute to wear the VR device and start scrolling through the CT images. Also, a huge factor is that the wearer would be able to multitask, being on the move while scrolling, and, therefore, using it for remote diagnosis. You can read more about the VR device here.

Do you have any thoughts on where the direction of radiology is going? Do you have any news stories worth mentioning? Let us know!

And as always, if you would like to speak to one of our sales professionals about purchasing one of our used radiology systems, you can contact us here.