Dr Shaafiya Ashraf, Assistant Professor, Radiodiagnosis, Government Medical College, Srinagar shares her thoughts about the technological advancement in the radiological and imaging sector.

What are the factors fuelling the growth of the Radiology and imaging sector in the country?

The last few decades have seen a massive leap in technological advancement in the radiological and imaging sector. This has been fuelled by the overall exponential boom in the technology sector be it software or hardware engineering. Radiology is riding the overall digital wave.

The gap between the research and the clinical setting has been narrowed with the availability of equipment equally in all parts of the world – be it developed or developing like ours. The advent of AI and that too in the backdrop of India being a hub of technological advancement for the rest of the world has allowed more efficient integration of this into our day-to-day Radiology practices.

An equally important factor for the growth of Radiology is the fact that with diagnostic and interventional radiology taking the centre stage in patient management, more of our young budding undergraduates are choosing Radiology as a subject of specialization as well as super specialization. This has vastly improved the quality of the work extended by them in the future.

How do you see the future outlook of the Radiology and imaging sector in the country?

We are going to be at the forefront of the radiology and imaging revolution.

Our radiology and imaging know how of the high standard will translate into consumption and utilisation of the latest equipment and strengthening the clinical branches with the best possible imaging support. The research will see a major boost not only in radiology but in all the other fields with better diagnostic accuracy and non-invasive management. AI will be a key player and game-changer. Interventional Radiology aided by state-of-the-art digital equipment will have enhanced outcomes and cause more displacement of even the minimally invasive procedures. We will be seeing more functional and dynamic imaging as well as radio-genomics.

What are the technological advancements that have enabled the radiology and imaging segment to widen its expanse in the country?

I think the list of technological advancements is never-ending. Just to name a few. Digital radiography with higher throughput and flexibility has become a game-changer. High-end USG equipment in an ever-competitive market is seeing the availability of a wide range of machines from which Radiologists can pick and choose based on their clinical demands. CT and MRI equipment have seen a huge increase in installation rate and use, doing away with the age-old impediment and taboo of not being easily available. Not to speak of the exponential number of newer software and hardware available on both the scanners.

The rapid rise of the global medical imaging equipment market is also due to continuous R&D activity carried out in manufacturing techniques of medical imaging equipment.

Yes, the continuous R&D activity in manufacturing techniques of medical imaging equipment has definitely led to the rapid rise of its global market. I think it forms the backbone of any progress. So is the case with medicine – be it diagnosis, management, or research work. Every new technique comes with further dispelling of the darkness in the black and white world of Radiology with things becoming more and more lucid and clear

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