D I G I TA L
H E A LT H
EXPERTS IN THE ALGORITHMS Vast knowledge bases are being squeezed into algorithms that can detect and characterize pathologies with the accuracy of an expert. In the operating room, image fusion is opening new horizons. Pages 66, 70
MERGING MODALITIES The combination of imaging modalities is bringing us sharper images, better diagnostics and more efficient processes. Page 72
NINE MILLION TRUMP CARDS Thanks to new electronic health cards, doctors throughout the Italian state of Lombardy have more time for their patients. Page 76
CALLING ALL PATIENTS RFID labels in wristbands ensure that patients are reliably identified, thus helping to avoid medication errors. Page 82
ONE FOR THE HEART Two years after opening, the Heart Center of Indiana has become one of the 15 top cardiology treatment cen- ters in the U.S. — thanks in no small part to Siemens. Page 84
A hypothetical medical center in the year 2015. Here, expert knowledge and data integration support physi- cians through every step of the diag- nostic and treatment process. Specifi- cally, a future endovascular mitral valve replacement procedure is visual- ized, illustrating how knowledge- guided systems such as computer- aided detection and characterization may be implemented in coming years.
A first-of-a-kind operation takes place – the product of knowledge-guided systems. The only question is: where was the patient?
i. That’s me, Dr. Victoria Taft on the left with Dr. Elsa Pla, our country’s Minister of Health. We’re touring my hospital’s Inte- grated Diagnostics and Surgical Intervention Center (IDSIC). It’s the first to have a new gen- eration of treatment centers to be designed in a hub-and-spoke configuration. Patient through-put simulations found that this arrangement maximizes utilization of all the new hybrid imaging and information systems.
Pictures of the Future | Fall 2005
For radiologists like me, it’s the coolest thing since frozen margaritas.
In general, IDSIC works like this: A data in- tegration program analyzes each patient’s di- agnostic, medical and therapeutic needs based on tests and physician recommenda- tions and suggests the best combination of imaging and interventional modalities. Then, during treatment, imaging data are automat- ically fused with the patient’s medical history,
and a database of age-matched patients pro- vides probabilistic advice on each patient’s ex- pected outcome as intervention occurs. By the way, IDSIC is part of a larger medical and academic complex that includes the Center for Living Memory, which you may have read about before (Pictures of the Future, Fall 2004, p. 36).
Elsa and I go back a long way – in fact, we roomed together back in med school. But to-