Week in Review: Blockchain and radiology | The downside of group consolidation | New Board Review sections

Dear AuntMinnie Member,

Blockchain is a technology that's been gaining increased attention as the technical foundation behind Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that's been making headlines. But it turns out that blockchain has a variety of applications in other industries.

One of those is healthcare -- more specifically, radiology. The growing interest in blockchain is exemplified by the fact that our top story for the week was Senior Editor Erik L. Ridley's article on blockchain's applications in radiology.

Blockchain could have many uses in radiology, from medical records to image sharing. Find out how it works -- and whether it's ready for widespread use.

Other important stories in the Artificial Intelligence Community this week included an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on five ways that artificial intelligence (AI) can benefit clinicians and another story on a new regulatory framework for AI that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is developing. And a scary article published in the lay press a few days ago frightened readers with a vision of AI being used to alter medical images.

The downside of group consolidation

The consolidation of private radiology groups into larger and larger entities has been troubling many radiologists who foresee the end of the independent radiologist. But it turns out that group consolidation could also have an impact on patients.

A new study from a team led by Dr. Andrew Rosenkrantz found that the number of group practices is indeed getting smaller, while the number of radiologists in each practice is growing. The researchers speculated that these larger practices -- often situated in urban areas -- could be pulling radiologists from small practices in rural areas.

New Board Review sections

Finally, we continue adding new questions to Board Review, our new feature designed to help radiology residents study for the upcoming board exam. There are now over 200 questions in Board Review, and we've turned on new sections, including nuclear radiology, ultrasound, and pediatric radiology. Check it out today.

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