As technology has made its way into more areas of healthcare, no area has seen more advances than radiologic technology. While in years past x-rays were considered to be advanced medicine, in today’s hospitals there are techniques being used that sound as if they came straight from science-fiction. While there have been numerous advances in recent years, some stand out as incredible examples of innovation.
Magnetic Particle Imaging
While many people have heard of MRI, few have heard of MPI. Magnetic Particle Imaging, used in more and more hospitals, is a new medical imaging technology that creates a map of iron oxide nanoparticles that have been injected into a patient’s bloodstream. Some of its advantages include providing more detailed images than other techniques, using no radiation, and producing images quickly to allow doctors to begin treatment in a timelier manner. Many schools and universities are now including this in their online bachelors in radiation science technology degree programs, and it’s expected to be used more extensively in the years ahead.
Becoming more common and flexible in its uses, digital imaging has had several advancements that have changed healthcare. For example, mobile and wireless x-ray systems now allow doctors to conduct imaging at a patient’s bedside, and remote viewing systems now allow doctors to view images from other locations outside the imaging room. In the years ahead, patients are expected to have access to their images through the internet, allowing them to have an even more active role in their healthcare.
While in the past if a patient needed multiple imaging procedures done to them, each would have to be done separately. However, as various imaging techniques have been modified, it has become possible to create multiple systems that can combine two or more procedures into one unit. One of the most common combinations is an MRI-PET hybrid machine, which can offer doctors far more detailed information together than each system could individually. While the concept of combining these two machines at first seemed impossible since PET units contained metal that interfered with MRI scans, engineers were able to use new materials that made the combination possible.
By using these various radiologic techniques, patients everywhere are finding themselves gaining much better healthcare. And along with that, doctors are now able to make a diagnosis and begin treatment much quicker than before. In the years ahead, one can only anticipate even more innovative developments in this field.