PACS begins to move to other medical specialties

December 3, 2004

You've long figured that PACS and digital management of images would sooner or later begin to move into other medical specialties. That time is now, and we have a feature article on just such a development in our PACS and informatics section of this edition.

You've long figured that PACS and digital management of images would sooner or later begin to move into other medical specialties. That time is now, and we have a feature article on just such a development in our PACS and informatics section of this edition.

Written by Dr. Hirsch Handmaker, a longtime nuclear medicine physician, DI contributor, and medical imaging entrepreneur, and several others with strong PACS credentials, the article explores the rationale and method for bringing PACS to the orthopedic practice. Looking through it, you'll realize that the drivers for an orthopedic PACS are not that different from those that led to PACS in the radiology setting-fundamentally, a need to view and manage larger volumes of medical images more efficiently.

As noted in the article, it creates the opportunity for images acquired in a specialty practice to be more easily shipped out for expert interpretations by radiologists. It also implies that radiologists who want to keep this business will need to refine and sharpen their specialty reading skills.

We've been hearing from vendors for some time that other medical specialties with a heavy reliance on images are primed for a shift to digital storage and management, just as radiology was a few years ago.

We will watch these developments carefully and keep you apprised. Besides the significance for the practice of radiology, we feel it is important that the radiology community be kept aware of the new uses for a technology it originated and nurtured.

John C. Hayes is editor of Diagnostic Imaging