RSNA 2019 offers vision of the possible in radiology

By staff writers

November 4, 2019 -- What does the future hold for radiology? There's no better place to find out than at RSNA 2019, the latest edition of radiology's showcase conference. This year's meeting promises to continue the strong emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) found in recent shows, while also touching on important topics such as professional burnout, precision health, and integrating radiologists into patient care.

As always, RSNA week starts with the president's address at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 1, in the Arie Crown Theater. This year's address will be delivered by RSNA 2019 President Dr. Valerie Jackson, who will make the argument that both radiologists and patients benefit when they interact on a human level.

Jackson's talk will be followed by a presentation by Dr. Abraham Verghese of Stanford University, author of three best-selling books who has focused his writing on the humanity of medicine and how physicians can find meaning through their work. Be sure to arrive at the Arie Crown Theater early Sunday morning to catch the awards for outstanding educator and outstanding researcher.

Don't be surprised on your arrival at McCormick Place on Sunday if you hear the sounds of tropical rhythms. The RSNA has booked Latin dance group Latin Rhythms to spice up the conference with a live performance that includes dances from the salsa to mambo to cha-cha.

The New Horizons lectures are always an RSNA highlight, and these kick off at 1:30 p.m. on Monday with an address by Andrew Saykin, PsyD, an expert on neuroimaging from Indiana University. Saykin will focus on Alzheimer's disease and the importance of neuroimaging in its diagnosis and treatment. Following Saykin's talk will be an address by Dr. Robert Pascuzzi, also of the University of Indiana, who will address amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a frightening disease that leads to slow paralysis through motor neuron deficits.

On Tuesday, don't miss a 10:30 a.m. address by Dr. Mitchell Schnall, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania on the path to integrated diagnostics, which combines radiology, pathology, and genomics with the goal of improving outcomes for cancer patients. His talk will be followed by an address by Anant Madabhushi, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University on how information technologies such as artificial intelligence and data science can be leveraged to make integrated diagnostics possible on a wide scale.

Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. will also see Dr. Sanjiv Gambhir, PhD, of Stanford University deliver the annual oration in diagnostic radiology, focusing on precision health. Gambhir will draw a distinction between precision health and precision medicine -- the former focuses on addressing disease at the earliest possible point (assuming it can't be prevented). He will discuss technologies to monitor the development of disease at extremely early stages through devices such as smart toilets and smart mirrors. What role will radiology have to play? You'll have to attend this talk at the Arie Crown Theater to find out.

Finally, the RSNA's series of keynote lectures will be capped on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. by Dr. Lisa Kachnic, former president of the American Board of Radiology. A radiation oncologist, Kachnic will discuss the intersection of radiology and radiation therapy in the form of online adaptive radiation therapy, a form of radiation treatment that uses machine learning in combination with clinical and imaging data to adapt radiation delivery in real-time while the patient is still on the couch.

Can't attend Chicago in person? Then sign up for RSNA's Virtual Meeting, with more than 400 courses and presentations available over live streaming. You can access any of the content on your own time, you can receive continuing medical education (CME) credit, and you can engage with colleagues via the meeting's live chat function.

Want to do RSNA the old school way? There's no better way to get started than by using the RSNA's program planner -- and of course, be sure to visit's preview of the sessions that will have attendees buzzing in our Road to RSNA special section.

See you in Chicago!

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