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Exclusive Q&A with Dr. Richard Ehman, President of RSNA

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | November 17, 2017
From the November 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: Are there any presentations or events you’re particularly excited about at this year’s show and conference?
RE: I’m excited about the debut of the crowd-sourced Fast 5 session, a unique opportunity for attendees to share fresh ideas on the Arie Crown stage on Thursday. Five speakers selected by online vote will have five minutes to speak on innovative topics related to the meeting theme of “Explore. Invent. Transform.”

HCB News: Are there any new events or updates to the conference that people should be aware of?

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RE: In addition to the Fast 5 session, RSNA 2017 will offer Hot Topic education sessions on 3-D printing and Alzheimer’s disease.

Plenary speakers will include: Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D.; Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.; Daniel Sodickson, M.D., Ph.D.; Keith Dreyer, DO, Ph.D.; Antonio Criminisi, Ph.D.; Jonathan B. Kruskal, M.D., Ph.D.; Daphne A. Haas-Kogan, M.D.; and Robert Herjavec from “Shark Tank.”

The meeting will also have a designated area with machine learning education, as well as a Machine Learning Showcase where attendees can view new machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies and interact with vendors.

HCB News: Are there any concerns from international attendees about travel issues with entering the U.S.?
RE: RSNA is deeply committed to serving our international members and international meeting attendees. More than 11,000 international attendees participated in RSNA 2016, and I’m pleased to see that RSNA 2017 international registration is holding steady with previous years. While I am not personally aware of any specific concerns voiced by international registrants, RSNA always encourages international travelers to the annual meeting to make travel plans as early as possible and provides online resources and tips to assist attendees traveling to our meeting from abroad.

HCB News: What’s the No. 1 piece of advice you can offer to first-time attendees?
RE: Make the most of your time, but recognize that with such a rich range of options to choose from, you can’t see and do everything. Plan ahead, give yourself some downtime and register for the Virtual Meeting to catch up later on some sessions you may have missed. Interact with your colleagues from around the world, find time to enjoy what the city has to offer, and, of course, have fun!

HCB News: Can you offer some predictions on how you think radiology will have evolved in a decade?
RE: Historically, members of the radiology community have been fierce early adopters of new technology whenever they believe that it can improve patient care. Advances in technology will continue to shape the practice. I expect that radiology reporting will increasingly include quantitative information. This will be aided by machine learning technology that will be unobtrusively integrated “under the hood” in our imaging systems. We may see an expanding cloud-based marketplace for access to “imaging analytics,” which could dramatically accelerate innovation in that area. Approvals for use of new technologies in radiology will often mandate expanded data collection, so that outcomes evaluation and evidence creation will be embedded in the clinical radiology practice, rather than a separate and expensive research process. I also think that innovative streamlined radiology services that are relentlessly focused on value will gain traction. The phenomenon of disruption is going to be an important factor in our future.

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