RSNA 2021: The best RSNA ever? | The PACSman Awards return | RADCast @ RSNA

Dear AuntMinnie Member,

Well, that was unexpected. RSNA 2021 just concluded, and many attendees are coming away from radiology's annual confab in Chicago feeling like it could have been one of the best RSNA conferences ever.

First, a caveat. Traffic was indeed down significantly compared with past meetings, which took place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. While final attendance numbers are not yet available, before the meeting, the RSNA announced that it expected 19,000 in-person attendees at McCormick Place -- compared with 52,000 or so in a typical year.

The lighter traffic was noticeable. But 19,000 is still a lot of people, and that figure would make even a diminished RSNA one of the larger medical meetings around.

But the talk of the conference wasn't about quantity, it was about quality. RSNA 2021 attendees felt that with fewer appointments and distractions, they were able to have deeper conversations with people who truly wanted to be at the meeting, rather than those who were breezing by for a day or two before seeing the sights in Chicago.

And the reduced attendance had a number of side benefits -- from shorter bus lines to less crowded exhibit booths -- that produced the end result of an RSNA that was more civilized and less frenetic than past conferences.

The question now becomes, what next? RSNA 2021 concluded just as the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 raises the specter of new lockdowns and travel restrictions. But even if you assume that COVID-19 will eventually come under control, will we ever again see an RSNA with attendance over 50,000?

Perhaps not. The rise of new ways of communicating and interacting has been one of the side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many radiology professionals have discovered that activities that once required an in-person presence can be conducted virtually -- even after it's safe to go back to the hospital or office. Perhaps the same will be said of future RSNA conferences -- and those who were at RSNA 2021 will be able to say they were there at the inflection point.

One of the RSNA traditions that still endures is the annual PACSman Awards, given by PACS and artificial intelligence consultant Michael J. Cannavo for hits and misses on the floor of the technical exhibit. Mike is sometimes controversial and always irreverent, and our coverage of RSNA 2021 would not be complete without him.

If you're still catching up on all the news from McCormick Place, be sure to visit our RADCast @ RSNA special section, where you'll find all that's fit to print on research and technology news from this year's meeting.

Page 1 of 55
Next Page