Radiology is capital-hungry and labor-intensive. In this era of healthcare reforms and budget restrictions, long-term planning is required to manage it
Radiology is capital-hungry and labor-intensive. In this era of healthcare reforms and budget restrictions, long-term planning is required to manage it.
Radiology 2020 is a future scenario developed with input from almost 300 German radiologists, referring physi-cians, and industry experts. It has been revised several times since its initial publication in 2004. The project, supported by the radiology services com-pany Curagita, of which I am CEO, was developed with reference to the German healthcare setting. Its approach and several of its findings, however, may be applied to an international context. Radiology 2020 identifies four megatrends: a progressively older, smaller population; the redefinition of health as "well-being," a status enjoyed by those who can afford to pay; increasing healthcare costs at the same time as decreasing healthcare budgets; and the globalization of medical technology. Considering these trends with-in the context of a market economy, 10 key challenges can be identified that will shape radiology services in 2020.
This 10-point scenario does not consider what would happen during a war, global economic crisis, pandemic, or energy shortage. Alternative scenarios have, however, been identified. These include multiclass radiology, centrally planned imaging services, provision of molecular imaging outside radiology, resistance to x-ray examinations and high-tech medicine, and Europe-wide harmonization. Radiologists should prepare for 2020 by taking action in their hospitals and clinics and at the scientific and political level.