Sunday’s sessions for radiographers

ECR2014_ECRToday_Blog_Final

This year’s ECR programme features another great selection of sessions aimed at radiographers. ECR Today spoke to Jonathan McNulty, co-chairman of the ECR 2014 radiographers subcommittee, and Prof. Graciano Paulo, president of the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS), for their views on the sessions taking place on Sunday.

RC 1214: How important are state-of-the-art displays to radiology?
Watch it on ECR Live: Sunday, March 9, 08:30–10:00, room BRA
Tweet #ECR2014BRA #RC1214

Jonathan McNulty: Most of the technology we use now in Europe is digital, so what this session aims to look at is the state-of-the-art displays we are using today in medical imaging. Their quality is essential so that we continue to be able to pick up on the most subtle anatomical and pathological detail in our images, so the resolution and contrast specifications are important, as are design features that help minimise reflection or glare. A lot of research and design goes into the primary class displays that radiologists use to report from, because that report is vital and can change things dramatically for a patient if a pathology is picked up or missed. There has also been a lot of discussion about handheld devices and the appropriateness of using iPads, other tablets, smartphones or PDAs to view radiology images. Dr. Rachel Toomey, one of the speakers in this session, has done quite a lot of research looking at such devices, which can be very good for reviewing certain types of radiological images but are far from suitable for others.

So this session is going to show what the primary class displays are capable of and why we use them; what the advantages of the more portable devices are and when they can be used appropriately; and then the final presentation will look at quality assurance. Whatever display you use, whether it is a primary class display, a smartphone, or a regular PC monitor, what do we need to keep in mind? What are the quality assurance requirements for clinical use? What do we need to do to on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to make sure that our displays are not dropping below their peak performance level?


Graciano Paulo: To put it simply, displays are the interface between our eyes and our clinical judgement and it is technologically challenging to create a display that guarantees at least the same quality that we had in screen film, if not more. We can look at images on a huge variety of devices now, but it is important that healthcare professionals are aware that if we are not using displays that are appropriate for the image that we are looking at, then the number of errors will increase. In mammography for instance, we need displays with a very high resolution to guarantee to the radiologist that the diagnosis he is making is under the right criteria. The issue of smartphones is obviously a very pertinent one here; is it possible to reach a reliable technical or clinical opinion, if you are looking at a medical image on a smartphone? We will be examining that question closely in this session.

RC 1414: Cutting-edge imaging: translating research into clinical reality
Watch it on ECR Live: Sunday, March 9, 14:00–15:30, room BRA
Tweet #ECR2014BRA #RC1414

Jonathan McNulty: Right across the ECR programme, not just the radiographer Refresher Courses, there’s a big focus on cutting-edge imaging. The ECR is the big opportunity for various countries and research groups to showcase their cutting-edge research, as well as for the vendors and manufacturers to showcase their technology that allows this cutting-edge imaging. But the big question related to all that new research and technology is how do you translate that into the hospital environment and make this state-of-the-art technology a clinical reality? So that is what the focus of this session is. There has been a huge amount of work in the area of neurodegenerative diseases, for example; particularly in MRI. There are a lot of advanced techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy and fMRI that are used widely in research, but they have been slower to find their way into the clinical department. So this session will cover some of those advanced techniques and the benefits they offer, but also some of the steps required to translate that research into the clinical environment, so that clinical patients can actually benefit from these techniques on a daily basis, rather than it just being demonstrated in research. The three speakers will focus on neurodegeneration, oncological and cardiology applications.

Graciano Paulo: There is a lot of medical imaging research being done in research centres throughout Europe, but it is always challenging to understand how the results from this new research can be integrated into clinical reality, especially in these three big areas; the neurodegenerative diseases, oncological imaging, and cardiac imaging. All three have experienced advances that have been slow to transfer to the clinical environment, so this will be a very interesting session, showcasing different imaging modalities and different pathologies. I think it will be a very high-end Refresher Course that will appeal to ECR participants from various backgrounds; not only radiographers. The team approach is very important in this field, and is particularly relevant to the panel discussion, billed as ‘how to bridge the gap between research and clinical reality’. Because in the research centres where the work is being done on translating this kind of research, we have people with backgrounds in various areas, such as pharmaceuticals or radiopharmaceuticals, radiographers, radiologists, biologists, biochemists all working together.

RC 1514: The interventional suite of 2014: responsibilities and challenges
Watch it on ECR Live: Sunday, March 9, 16:00–17:30, room BRA
Tweet #ECR2014BRA #RC1414

Jonathan McNulty: Interventional radiology is an area that has not really been addressed in its own Refresher Course in recent years, so the radiographers subcommittee was very keen to get this onto the programme. The technology and skills we have today mean a lot more patients can now be treated in the interventional suite than would have been possible with more invasive surgical procedures. It is a huge growth area and research has shown that for certain types of conditions you can get far better patient outcomes by taking an interventional approach. The session is going to examine some of the technology we now have within interventional suites, some issues surrounding image quality and radiation protection from the perspective of staff as well as patients, and finally how the technology and the growth in procedures has influenced the changing role of the radiographer. That final point is a crucial one; because it is very important to have clear protocols and guidelines in place, and that regular audits are performed any time we take on new roles or start doing new procedures, to make sure the changes we introduce are benefitting the department and the patients. We really want to showcase that, yes, roles can change and radiographers can take on more responsibilities, but there have to be guidelines and it has to be under clear protocols that have been reviewed and approved by all stakeholders.

Graciano Paulo: Although the title refers specifically to the interventional suite of 2014, I would be tempted to say this discussion is more generally about the interventional suite of the future. This presents a number of challenges because within the interventional suite you could be switching from a medical imaging procedure to surgery, or combining the two, and it will likely be a multi-professional working environment where you have several medical specialties working in the same room. You could also have various combinations of interventional radiologists, with vascular surgeons, radiographers, neurologists, neurosurgeons, etc. There is a whole new concept regarding interventional procedures that is very, very challenging for daily practice, and this is what the session will try to address, so what we can start considering now, what the challenges are and how to optimise and adapt the professional roles for the future.

Refresher Course
Sunday, March 9, 08:30–10:00, Board Room A
RC 1214: How important are state-of-the-art displays to radiology?
Moderators:
E.T. Tali; Ankara/TR
C. Vandulek; Kaposvár/HU
» Chairman’s introduction
C. Vandulek; Kaposvár/HU
A. Primary class displays
W. Hummel; Leeuwarden/NL
B. Is a smartphone all that is required?
R. Toomey; Dublin/IE
C. Clinical requirements for image display
D. Pekarovic; Ljubljana/SI
» Panel discussion:
The pros and cons of cutting-edge display devices

Refresher Course
Sunday, March 9, 14:00–15:30, Board Room A
RC 1414: Cutting-edge imaging: translating research into clinical reality
Moderators:
R.W. Günther; Aachen/DE
C. Malamateniou; London/UK
» Chairman’s introduction
C. Malamateniou; London/UK
A. Advanced imaging of neurodegenerative disease
E. Hughes; London/UK
B. Advanced oncological imaging
L. Martí-Bonmatí; Valencia/ES
C. Advanced cardiac imaging
M.L. Dijkshoorn; Rotterdam/NL
» Panel discussion:
Bridging the gap between research and clinical reality:
a team approach

Refresher Course
Sunday, March 9, 16:00–17:30, Board Room A
RC 1514: The interventional suite of 2014: responsibilities and challenges
Moderators:
K. Haller; Wiener Neustadt/AT
B. Marincek; Cleveland, OH/US
A. Today’s technology: requirements for a cutting-edge interventional suite
D. Catania; Milan/IT
B. Radiation risk and radiation protection considerations
A. Widmark; Osteras/NO
C. Changing professional roles
B. Hallinan; Dublin/IE

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