Expansion through Modernisation

A close interaction between the clinician and the radiologists in planning treatment is becoming vitally important to ensure the most optimum utilisation of resources keeping economies in mind. Says Rakesh Kumar Mathur, Chairman-Radiology & Imaging Radiology, Saket City Hospital. In conversation with Ankush Kumar, ENN

Being the newest hospital in the Indian healthcare ecosystem. What kind of latest machines have been installed at your Radiology and Imaging Department?
Saket City Hospital has a Radiology and Imaging Center which is equipped with ultra-modern technology and delivers exceptional quality images of all parts of the body. The unit is endowed with first of its kind machines like wide bore 3 Tesla MRI scanner providing a wide range of diagnostic options in a patient friendly setting. The 256 slice per second CT scanner (iCT Philips) which forms the mainstay for high quality body imaging, including Angiographies of all  parts of the body especially state of art CT coronary angiography (CTA). This is now a well-established screening procedure for a segment of population at high risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) at one-fourth the radiation dose as compared to other scanners. Other services include digital X-ray, 3D, 4D Ultrasound, Color Doppler, Mammography and Dexa for bone densitometry. A highly qualified and experienced team of radiologists are available 24×7 to support these services.

Where do you think the Indian Imaging and Diagnostics market stand as compared to Global standard?
The Imaging & Diagnostics segment in India generated revenues of USD 645.1 million in 2012. It is projected to reach USD 1000 million by 2018. This compares to worldwide radiology imaging market size of USD 25.43 billion in 2012 which is expected to reach USD 39 billion by 2018. Indias growth of this market is projected to be at 8 percent per annum for the same period which is almost twice the annual growth rate of 4.2 percent in 2012. The increasing growth rate in India can be attributed to the awareness of radiology services playing an integral part in the health care delivery process.

“Current MRI scanners can provide 3D images to the surgeon helping plan the approach to complex tumor surgeries especially in the brain.”

What is the role of radiology in diagnostics?
Over the last decades there have been radical changes in the field of medicine, largely driven by technology. The healthcare delivery process has undergone a change with radiology taking center stage. Accordingly the radiologist plays a central role in patient care & diagnosis. Practically no patient treatment plan can be complete without some aspect of radiology coming into play. This is amply clear when one sees the interest the specialty of radiology is drawing from the young doctors seeking to enter the profession. The radiologist plays an important role in ensuring that medical resources are utilised appropriately and efficiently. A close interaction between the clinician and the radiologists in planning treatment is becoming vitally important to ensure the most optimum utilisation of resources keeping economies in mind. While the primary care physician may be the patients first point of contact, the radiologist is now involved in more ways then one as a link in the health care delivery process by advising the physician the best course of action. It is not uncommon for radiology to reveal completely unsuspected disease entities there by completely altering the course of management.

How important is the role of imaging in planning treatment both for surgery and radiation?
Ultrasound, CT and MRI play a vital role in providing the surgeon information prior to any operative procedure. With the availability of these imaging modalities, the surprise element is completely eliminated. It also helps the surgeon in planning the surgery. The impact is seen directly on the time taken for the surgical procedure thereby reducing morbidity and time spent in the hospital. Current MRI scanners can provide 3D images to the surgeon helping plan the approach to complex tumor surgeries especially in the brain. With the quality of CT Coronary Angiography under going constant refinement it is a very good procedure for guiding the interventional cardiologist and cardiac surgeon about the extent of disease in the arteries. The planning of revascularisation procedures becomes much simpler. The role of imaging does not end at making a diagnosis. Imaging is also widely used for functional study of different organs with PET-CT. Radiation planning software is now an integral part of CT and MRI scanners helping plan accurate delivery of radiation dose. CT and MRI are also routinely used for monitoring of response to treatment by chemotherapy and radiation therapy at appropriate intervals.

What has been the role of Technology in diagnostics?
The primary role of new technology is to improve quality of patient care. Over the past 20 years, there has been rapid growth in the use of innovative diagnostic technologies, such as digital radiography, 3D & 4D ultrasound, MDCT, and high field strength MRI. Information technology including data manipulation storage and transfer between different teams of care givers has improved the speed and efficiency in the decision making process. Instant availability of data and images at multiple stations through out the health care facility eliminates the need for paper and hard copy transfer of information. Patient safety is an important aspect driven by technology especially new systems which are designed to achieve the same or better results at lower radiation doses. There is now a shift towards molecular imaging which goes beyond morphology and addresses function. It is likely that in the foreseeable future the pace of innovation in diagnostic imaging will continue to accelerate to meet the increasing demands of the medical fraternity. The equipment will become smarter, faster and more patient-friendly.


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