Emerging Trends in Teleradiology

The teleradiology industry has seen dramatic growth in recent years, resulting in the appearance of many notable trends. These trends are changing the way that radiology patients receive care, accelerating customer satisfaction and optimizing treatment. Many of these trends involve the adoption of teleradiology technology, enabling an optimized patient-provider experience. For providers in the radiology field, adopting these six tech trends may help you grow your practice and offer significantly improved patient care.

Close-up image of doctors hand pointing at x-ray results

1. Consolidation & Collaboration

A significant trend that the radiology industry has been facing is consolidation across radiology groups. Both large and small radiology practices are merging with others, which may be common for other specialties, but traditionally is limited in radiology. The primary reason for this trend is that medicine and radiology, in particular, are growing more complex, so providers are seeking economies of scale to keep up. Additionally, as radiology groups grow in size, it is easier to obtain reimbursements from insurance companies, benefiting both practices and patients.

Even without merging practices, radiologists are collaborating more and more through teleradiology. Teleradiology, or remote radiology, enables specialists to collaborate no matter their location or time zone. As a result, radiologists have enhanced access to their peers, allowing them to provide improved care to their patients, easily obtain second opinions, access more tools, and further their own knowledge. The capabilities supplied through teleradiology allow specialists to bring more value to their practice, thus bringing more value to their patients.

2. Increased Study Volume

As is the case with most medical specialties at the moment, the radiology industry is experiencing a significant increase in the volume of imaging studies. This is primarily due to a substantial portion of our population aging and an increase of chronic conditions as a result. For these reasons, radiologists must stay ahead of the curve, and teleradiology is the perfect solution.

By leveraging technology, radiologists can increase the throughput of their practice, meeting the growing demand of patients. This is highly beneficial as with growing demand, radiologists are overworked and facing the risk of burnout. In order to retain talent in your practice and alleviate the stress of overworked physicians, optimizing how they can treat patients is essential.

With teleradiology, studies are delivered at ten times the traditional speed, allowing radiologists to optimize their time with patients and work more efficiently. This technology enables radiologists to have both current and prior studies routed to them simultaneously, enabling a quick and efficient review of relevant studies - no matter how many studies a patient has or how many sites they have been imaged at. As a result, radiologists can work more efficiently, avoiding burnout and being overworked while improving patient care.

 

3. New Training Models

While teleradiology can alleviate overworked radiologists, there is still a need for practices to obtain more specialists. Fortunately, teleradiology can provide radiologists with new training models that enable this. This method of global learning is instrumental in expanding the radiology marker and teaching radiology students.

With flexible and scalable classrooms, prospective and current radiologists can advance their education and skillset, allowing practices to keep up with growing demand and close the gap between patients and providers. The more training available, the more the pool of trained doctors and radiologists will increase.

4. Mobile Device Solutions & Cloud Computing

Remote access to technology is a necessity in an industry - medicine included. An instrumental development in teleradiology is better solutions for mobile devices, enabling providers to access information at any time or place. Whether conducting a virtual consultation, sharing information and studies with patients, or sharing medical opinions with other specialists, mobile teleradiology is drastically optimizing the specialty. As a result, radiologists can quickly engage with patients, ensuring a fast and accurate diagnosis at their convenience.

In addition to mobile device solutions, integrating teleradiology with cloud computing is highly beneficial to radiologists. As a result of the cloud, radiologists can easily store and share important data in a centralized, virtual storage space. The cloud allows for providers to free their offline server space, in addition to reducing the cost of IT infrastructure, removing geographical barriers from their practice, and reducing the need for unnecessary scans as they can be shared and stored easily.

 

5. AI in Teleradiology

Similar to mobile device accessibility, artificial intelligence (AI) is a trend that is growing in nearly every industry. Within teleradiology, AI can automatically examine reports and studies and provide radiologists with a diagnosis. Many radiologists have already adopted AI within their practice to increase the accuracy of analysis and quality levels. AI is also instrumental in creating an improved image-based knowledge base that radiologists can refer to instantly, significantly saving time.

6. 3D Report Viewing

Perhaps the most innovative of the recent trends in teleradiology is 3D report viewing. Through this capability, radiologists can clearly view information on reports without physically holding one. A few years ago, 3D report viewing was a privilege of few high-end radiologists, but now this capability can be utilized more widely. For radiologists and patients to access 3D reports, they only need to download a 3D viewing app.

This is significantly more efficient than traditional means of viewing reports. Now, radiologists can share and view reports virtually at any time without the risk of losing a copy or the inconvenience of carrying and storing them. As workflows are streamlined through the efficiency of report sharing and viewing, patients can receive care faster. As a result, radiologists improve accuracy and patient care while maximizing the value of their time.

Technology is the Key to Optimized Teleradiology

The transition from traditional radiology to teleradiology is remarkable in improving patient care in the radiology industry. The medical industry, particularly radiology, is facing challenges such as talent shortages, increased patient demand, and outdated file-sharing practices - and that's only the tip of the iceberg. By adopting these trends, radiologists can significantly future-proof and improve their practice.

With developments in mobile solutions, AI, 3D report viewing, and more, radiologists can optimize patient care. As a result, providers can improve accuracy and efficiency - making their job as a physician easier while enhancing the patient experience. Telemedicine is the future of medicine. For radiologists adopting teleradiology, these up-and-coming trends are the key to a thriving and long-lasting practice.

Medicai offers radiologists and other physicians a unique tool for collaboration with colleagues and patients. Learn more about how we can help you facilitate more efficient teleradiology. 
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