2023. 7. 13.

Lean and mean: the interventional radiology ecosystem

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Custom medical displays by Barco

Technology has proven a gamechanger for many problems in medical imaging. Tomosynthesis and fluoroscopy, for example, help medical professionals ‘see’ more detail in the human body. And we haven’t touched the surface yet of how artificial intelligence will revolutionize their view on patients’ internal stories. 

A field which has always been inextricably linked with technology is interventional radiology. As a minimally invasive procedure, it relies heavily on indirect information: live-streamed acquisition images supported with additional images and patient data.

Let’s look at three important ways technology makes interventional radiology possible.

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Information visibility: See what you need to see

Interventional radiology is precision work. But radiologists are blind if they don’t have a variety of image and information sources to help them make decisions and guide them through the procedure.

X-rays, ultrasound images, scan results and other patient data should be visible in a central place throughout a procedure. A display with flexible layout customization options helps maintain the overview.

Surgical displays are usually equipped with functionalities to juxtapose multiple information sources at the same time. Of course, a large display often offers more visual comfort, because the information is not crammed together.

System connectivity: Get all information where it should be

In some parts of the world, staff shortages in interventional radiology are pushing the extreme. On top of that, room capacity and possible urgencies have to be taken into account as well. So teams have learned to work with what they have. Interventional procedures performed by not more than two people are not an unusual sight today.

It’s not surprising that technology has adjusted to support these situations. The people in the room must guarantee a safe procedure and an optimal outcome for the patient, whatever the circumstances. This leaves no room for messing with cables, or for having to leave your spot to change what is shown on the screen.

Everything in the interventional room needs to be connected in one system: the video sources, the displays, the control panels. So the radiologists and their assistant(s) can see what they need to see at all times.

Procedure management: Consult the right information at the right time

Every procedure goes through multiple phases, and something unexpected can always happen. So next to showing the necessary information in the right place, technology also needs to be flexible and allow for adjustments.

It must be easy to add an additional pre-op image to the large screen, or to switch to a different layout, for example to enhance the live x-ray images. A small touchscreen display within reach of the interventional radiologist allows them to quickly adjust what they see, with minimal effort.

The lean and mean interventional room

Data, connectivity, management – one doesn’t work without the other. Interventional teams need a flexible and customizable ecosystem of technology that is easy to interact with. No cable clutter, but an agile and lean platform that can concentrate multiple sources – internally or externally, without integration hassle. A large display functions as center piece, on which you can arrange these sources in a multitude of ways.