Road to RSNA 2019: Digital Radiography Preview

By Wayne Forrest, staff writer

November 13, 2019 -- While advances in hybrid imaging and other cutting-edge modalities seem to get all the attention, digital radiography (DR) maintains its solid foundation of diagnostic support for imaging centers, emergency departments, outpatient clinics, and mobile operations worldwide.

Based on the myriad of presentations scheduled for RSNA 2019, DR arguably might be the modality that will benefit most from artificial intelligence (AI) and deep-learning algorithms. As DR-specific applications are tested and validated, radiologists could soon turn to AI to generate clinically relevant x-ray reports, diagnose fractures and other ailments throughout the body, visualize motion, and increase the accuracy of their readings.

AI also is expected to significantly reduce the time and effort it takes for some of the tasks that are necessary but tedious and time-consuming with digital radiography, such as double reading and confirming normal results.

Beyond AI, researchers continue to explore hardware improvements in DR systems and develop new technologies to sharpen image quality and shorten exam and procedure times. Attendees will get to see the early stages of a new DR approach called dark-field x-ray, which targets lung imaging. In addition, a proposed reconfiguration of flat-panel detectors could solve current deficiencies in dual-energy DR. Researchers will also present information on some simple adjustments in DR device setup and function that can greatly improve C-arm images.

These upgrades and other strategies can go a long way in further reducing patient exposure to radiation during radiography/fluoroscopy (R/F) exams and fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures, which emit some of the highest doses. Details on how to work with less contrast with no degradation of image quality will be presented as well.

Today's DR also spreads beyond the traditional walls of hospital departments and imaging centers. Several presentations at RSNA 2019 will show how virtual private networks and teleradiology give the modality a critical healthcare presence for patients in need in more remote settings.

With the 105th annual meeting of RSNA just 17 days away, here is a sampling of the hundreds of worthwhile digital radiography and x-ray scientific presentations, posters, refresher courses, and educational exhibits that are available during the conference. A full listing of all the events with their times and locations can be found through the RSNA 2019 meeting program.


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