Image data beyond radiology: new developments

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Medical imaging is part of a changing medical environment, a changing
patient environment and consequently a new medical world. In the
recent decennium one of the most important changes in radiology is the
conversion from analogue to digital. In no time medical images have
become interchangeable through the digital highway and could be postprocessed
in a different location. Teleradiology has become a reality
since then. We have seen the maturation of commercial international
teleradiology companies offering a wide portfolio of services. Another
aspect is the availability of image data for all medical specialties beyond
radiology and beyond the regular medical disciplines. An increasing
number of surgical or oncological specialties and even pharmaceutical
companies increasingly use image data to prepare a strategy for
operative procedures, to choose the right therapy, to decide which
prosthesis to the best to use, for follow-up or for post-processing
purposes. They are supported by many new techniques and software.
An increasing number of medical computer applications such as complex
navigation and visualisation tools based upon digital images is already
in clinical use or under development. Another trend is the increasing
interest in E-health and telemedicine in Europe, also among European
policy makers. Now we see mobile health that brings care directly into
the patient environment. The purpose of this presentation is to give a
comprehensive overview of and insight into these new developments and
to create awareness among radiologists of the increasing importance of
integration of medical imaging in a multidisciplinary environment.

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