Kortrijk, Belgium, 30 September 2014 — Increasing image volumes, the growing complexity of studies, and physical discomfort while reading are the three biggest challenges radiologists face today. That is the conclusion of a recent survey conducted by independent healthcare research agency The MarkeTech Group to gain insight into the challenges and opportunities of modern radiology. The solutions? Improved image quality (91 percent), a more efficient workflow (77 percent), and better display ergonomics (70 percent), as indicated by the radiologists themselves.“What makes a good read?” This question was at the heart of MarkeTech’s research into the wants and needs of radiologists. A sample of 223 respondents, distributed across Europe (France, Germany, and the UK) and North America, gave some remarkable insights into the challenges faced and what imaging features might help overcome them in the future.
For the vast majority of respondents (91 percent), image quality is still the single most important aspect of a medical display. Consequently, 80 percent firmly believe in the merits of higher spatial resolution. According to 68 percent of respondents, higher contrast will enhance clinical practice, while 53 percent say higher brightness and a wider viewing angle will greatly improve reading performance. In addition, improved image quality can play an important role in perceiving subtle cancers and detecting early-phase cancers in breast imaging as well.
Efficiency and productivity
With the number of studies and their complexity rising, the focus on productivity for radiologists sharpens. In MarkeTech’s sample, 60 percent of radiologists routinely use a mix of color and grayscale displays. Of European respondents, 63 percent read both digital mammography and color PACS. In the US, this number is significantly higher (84 percent). To work more efficiently, 92 percent of surveyed radiologists propose faster image loading and manipulation. A larger screen surface (78 percent) and the ability to load both color and grayscale images on one screen (66 percent) are considered important potential improvements as well.
In terms of ergonomics, radiologists indicate a number of opportunities. Today, 85 percent of radiologists use three displays or more, causing increased head and neck movements. Unsurprisingly, no fewer than 87 percent of radiologists experience physical discomfort such as eye fatigue, neck strain, and back pain when reading images. To tackle these issues, respondents propose a number of improvements. The most popular features are an easy-to-adjust stand (83 percent) and increased ambient room lighting (81 percent), followed closely by reduced screen glare (72 percent) and keyboard task lighting (69 percent).