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Radiology has a bright future and has been at the forefront of healthcare

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Radiology has a major role to play when it comes to healthcare. Dr Piyush Saxena, Consultant Radiologist and Chief of MR imaging, Vishesh Hospital and Diagnostics, Indore, MP in an exclusive conversation with Express Healthcare disscuses the impact of radiology on healthcare and how newer innovations from GE Healthcare has helped improve healthcare delivery as well as patient comfort

How has modern technology impacted imaging nuances? What are the technological advancements that Vishesh Hospital introduced lately?

Radiology has always been driven by technology and over the years this has improved with faster machines, better images and less radiation. With the latest innovation in imaging, we have been able to get consistent high-quality images, with lesser radiation in CT imaging specifically. Visesh Hospitals recently commissioned a state-of-the-art 300-bed facility in Indore with the latest technology in radiology and cardiology. We have acquired an advanced 3T Signa architect MR scanner with the latest MR coils and a patient experience suite, high-end CT and Ultrasound scanners, a direct radiography system with a capability of full limb and full spine imaging, high definition endoscopy machine and the latest flat panel cath lab with most of the equipment being from GE Healthcare. We have the latest modular operation rooms, with a 24×7 pharmacy with pneumatic chute system. We have set up a state-of-the-art pathology lab along with the latest critical care equipment in our hospitals. We have been awarded the ‘Best Design Award For The Best Healthcare Facility in India’.

Your thoughts on the phenomenal growth of medical imaging in India?

Radiology is the key to modern healthcare and has definitely come of age and advanced to a stage that it has become the basis of modern healthcare. Hence, most systems of medicine require radiology. With advancements in radiology and technology, imaging quality has improved, which has lead to better diagnosis, resulting in better treatments and outcomes. Phenomenal growth is being witnessed in healthcare and radiology in India, which has lead to better imaging facilities in Tier II and Tier III cities. This has increased the demand for low-cost imaging equipment in India and this is pushing equipment providers to innovate and help in bringing affordable healthcare to smaller cities in India and countries alike.

You have been ahead of your peers in technological advancements. One of your most recent additions was the Air Coil from GE Healthcare. How has technology like Air Coil changed the patient experience?

MR is a dreadful experience for patients. The examination is long where patients have to sit in a tunnel. The coils used are usually heavy and uncomfortable. Considering all of this, the Air Coil is very helpful as it is ultra-lightweight, very flexible and is adaptable to the patient’s form or anatomy. This provides the technologists with positioning freedom, which helps in positioning the patients easily, especially patients who dread MR examinations. Thus making patient experience better and comfortable. The technology used in these coils provides better form factor which translates into better images. These are unique and different from other conventional coils. GE has really minimised coil coupling between the elements of the coil giving them better element density due to which there is no or minimum signal drops.

GE Healthcare is your turnkey equipment provider. How has this benefited your hospital?

With the recent commissioning of our hospital, we are looking to provide the best and most comprehensive facilities in this region. For a project of this scale, the acquisition of the latest technological innovation and having a great service team backing us up 24×7 is very critical. Keeping all of the above factors in mind, we made a great decision to go ahead with GE Healthcare as our turnkey equipment provider. With all the latest equipment in place, our management is assured of a great service backup team from GE Healthcare. The service team is located in Indore which makes our task easier. The acquisition of the latest equipment from GE Healthcare has made our work easier and also helps us to go out about having the latest technology in central India. With the help of the equipment from GE Healthcare, our work has become simpler, leading to better productivity, MR scanning has become faster, examinations are done in one go, no rescanning is required, patient movement is very less, the image quality is high even when the patient moves and the patients are co-operative and are happier with the examination.

According to you, where do you foresee the future of radiology? What realistically are the key areas of radiology that you undoubtedly see maximum innovations?

Radiology has a very bright future and has been at the forefront of healthcare for quite some time now. The future will be faced with increasing demand versus limited healthcare professional scenario very soon. Healthcare facilities are going to get ever-increasing requests for radiology exams. More people will be required with system-specific or modality-specific training to cater to this ever-increasing demand. Technology is going to very pivotal in bridging the gap between the increasing demands and limited well-trained professionals in the field of radiology.

New innovations should be able to reduce the dose reduction in CT examinations, making CT exams safer than it already is. Secondly, patient comfort in MR imaging and mammography, with advancements in both these modalities, the image quality is pretty impressive but there is a lot of scope for improvement. Lastly, there are going to many more new transformative technologies backed by AI which will help to reduce errors, provide consistent images and improve and increase productivity.

AI and deep machine learning have the maximum impact on radiology as of now and professionals are deploying this technology to do more number of cases, diagnose better, take better and consistent images over time which makes the job of a radiologist easier and accurate.

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