RSNA10 shows IT-imaging connection

By Bernie Monegain
09:31 AM

RSNA 10, the 96th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, convenes Nov.30-Dec. 3 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The 2010 theme is “Personalized Medicine: In Pursuit of Excellence.”

The event is over the top in numbers: An estimated 60,000 medical and science professionals from every part of the globe are expected. Among them they will present or display 4,200 scientific papers, posters and education exhibits. On the show floor, there will be more than 700 exhibitors. More than 300 refresher courses will be offered.

The connection between information technology and imaging, radiology, diagnosis and treatment is a thread that runs through educational sessions, demonstrations and exhibits.

For example, an IHE Image Sharing Demonstration will be available throughout the annual meeting in South Building, Hall A, Booth 2852. Care sites and commercial vendors will demonstrate methods for sharing image-enabled electronic health records established by the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative. The demonstration includes a patient-focused model for sharing medical images via personal health record (PHR) systems and showcases standards-based methods for communicating radiation dose information to data registries.

Joyce Sensmeier, vice president, informatics for HIMSS, led the development of Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, or IHE, with co-sponsor RSNA. In testimony Sept. 30 before a congressional committee, Sensmeier called for more streamlined and timely health information technology standards – and warned that without them the government risks creating marketplace confusion.

"Until the recommended transport standards are identified, EHR vendors will be forced to support all available transport methods or risk developing software that may not meet future interoperability needs," Sensmeier told the panel. "This lack of guidance creates marketplace confusion and wastes existing resources, ultimately delaying progress."

"The 2010 Annual Meeting of the RSNA will address and define a number of health issues and many scientific advances in the area of medical imaging and information technology,” said Robert M. Quencer, MD, chairman of the RSNA Scientific Program Committee.

“Methods of reducing the burden of radiation, particularly in children, and means of monitoring radiation exposure across population groups will be of specific interest to all attendees,” Quencer said. “Further discussions on the value of age related mammography along with the effectiveness of evolving techniques in evaluating breast tissue will have a growing importance at the meeting,” he said. 

“In this age of rapid information dissemination, current and future application of imaging informatics to distribute reports and associated data will be explored.” 

Quencer said that while all areas of radiology (medical imaging) are advancing rapidly, interest will be focused also on molecular imaging (that is prying open the micro level biochemistry of various diseases), fast scanning techniques for all regions of the body, and further delineation of the expanding use of functional MR imaging in medicine and in the behavioral sciences."

The event boasts a treasure trove of keynote speakers, among them President Bill Clinton.

Clinton is slated to speak Nov 30 at 1:30 p.m. in the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place. The session is open to professional attendees by ticket. Other badged RSNA 2010 attendees, including technical exhibitors, may see the address as guests in simulcast rooms in McCormick Place. Members of the media are excluded from the address.

Clinton is one of several headliners that include John Mendelsohn, MD, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who will deliver a lecture on personalized cancer treatment.

Christian J. Herold, MD, will deliver the annual oration in diagnostic radiology “Evaluation and Management of Focal Pulmonary Lesions.”

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, head of the nuclear medicine department and director of medical imaging at Stanford University, will lecture on strategies for the earlier detection of cancer.

Atul Gawande, research director for the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Surgery and Public health, a practicing surgeon and a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine will speak about “Real Reform: Facing the Complexity of Health Care.”

Zvi Fuks, MD, author of more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, Dr Alfred P. Sloan Chair in Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a professor of radiation oncology at Cornell University Medical College will talk about “Single Dose Radiotherapy (SDRT): A Changing Paradigm Evolving from IMRT.”