Millennials, the generation born between the late 1970s to early 2000s, are expected to number 83 million by 2015 and surpass even the baby boomers. They have already brought incredible changes to our daily lives and will continue to re-shape the world as we know it.
At the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine early this summer, a group of young radiologists discussed how this generation will change medicine in the next five to ten years in a panel called “The Millennials Vision: The World as It Could Be.” As reported in HealthImaging, they described five ways that radiology will change in the near future.
Multimedia radiology reports: The time of the text-based report will soon be over, the panel predicts. Dr. C. Matthew Hawkins of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center says that referring physicians and patients will want to see things like embedded hyperlinks, video consults and links to images. Radiologists will need to cater to the rising number of people with tables and smartphones.
Integrating social media: The benefits of social media have yet to be fully utilized by radiologists, said Dr. Marc D. Kohli of Indiana University School of Medicine. Communication over social media will mean better collaboration between medical professionals and improved care for patients. Social networks offer a whole new medium for peer-reviewed publication – Facebook likes and YouTube views could be the next big measure of success.
Improving safety, quality and efficiency: Tools such as natural language processing, business intelligence, predictive modeling and decision support to provide the right information to doctors at the right time will be seen much more, said Dr. Luciano M.S. Prevedello of Brigham & Women’s Hospital. There will also be a new era of radiation safety, according to Dr. Tessa S. Cook of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Better data mining: As processing power and memory continue to grow exponentially, data mining will no longer be the time-consuming, slow process that it is today. According to Dr. Woojin Kim of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, data mining will become direct, anytime/anywhere interactions with smart computers.
Cloud computing: Say goodbye to the headaches of sharing medical images by CD. Cloud computing will replace this antiquated method as the new standard for medical image exchange, predicts Dr. Wyatt M. Tellis of the University of California. Medical image exchange through the cloud saves doctors time and reduces the need for redundant tests.
DICOM Grid is helping to lead the way into the cloud with its online medical image exchange. With it, radiologists can quickly and securely share medical images with referring physicians and other hospitals. Those images are stored and managed in the cloud and can be easily viewed on any devices from iPads and smartphones to laptops.
What other changes do you believe the Millennials will bring to the medical industry over the next five to ten years? Tell us in the comments section below!