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“Secret” Source of Innovation in Medicine: RSNA

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The weekend after Thanksgiving, Radiologists from across the country – and the world – descend on Chicago for the annual RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) conference. This has been one of the world’s largest healthcare conferences for 105 years. Ironically, not even those in Chicago, where the conference will contribute $150M to the city’s economy in a single week, realize the value of Radiology to the future of health care.

For those interested in the origins of innovation in the healthcare industry, this is an important event. Consider following it on Twitter at #RSNA19 to learn about next-generation image storage and sharing, ethical debates surrounding AI, new techniques to “destroy” prostate cancer,  possible treatments for Alzheimer’s disease using focussed ultrasound, and more.



From December 1- December 6, Chicago’s McCormick Center, uniquely suited by  its size to house trade floors lecture halls the size of football fields, becomes the networking hub for the industry. Each day, participants walk miles back and forth to attend lectures, review poster presentations, view new technologies on the trade floor and engage in dynamic in-person and online meetings across academia, industry and other domains. For those interested in the source of true innovation in the health care industry, you quickly realize there is nothing quite like this conference.

When I attended RSNA in 2015 and 2017, I was stunned by the sheer size of the gathering, the breadth of classes, etc. However,  it was on the trade floor, where I believe I witnessed innovation at its best. Here, I witnessed some of the dynamic exchanges between academics, clinicians, operational administrators at vendors that will be shaping the future of medicine. Each party provided evidence regarding the impact of in-person meetings at RSNA RSNA and how those interactions help fuel the next generation of devices that will resolve the next patient/population challenge. As a child of Silicon Valley, I don’t believe it is a coincidence that the interface between technology and medicine is especially powerful in the field of radiology. Many don’t realize that many leaders have dual engineering and medical degrees, making their outlook toward technology and creative problem solving particularly astute. 

For a taste of these break-throughs and a view of what’s on the horizon of Medicine, visit the RSNA 2019 Press Page, as,  releases are made public during press meetings each day in Chicago this week. Following the conference from San Francisco this year, I was fascinated to learn about new solutions to online storage and sharing of medical images, among other developments  that have been announced since the conference opened only a day ago including: 

  1. Building and Implementing a New, Cloud-Native Imaging Database
  2. The Ethical Threat of AI in Medicine
  3. RSNA 2019 Presents Session on Lung Injury from Vaping
  4. Novel MRI-Guided Ultrasound Treatment Destroys Prostate Cancer

In the coming days, the releases below will go live  as well. Visit the RSNA Press Room to learn more here, or, for a taste of being on-site, tune into the conference hashtag #RSNA19 on Twitter.

  1. AI Helps Find Signs of Heart Disease on Lung Cancer Screens
  2. Focused Ultrasound May Open Door to Alzheimer’s Treatment
  3. Concussion Alters How Information Is Transmitted Within the Brain
  4. Imaging Reveals Pathways Behind Depression
  5. New Study Looks at Motorized Scooter Injuries


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RSNA Quick Facts:

  1. 105th Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting
  2. Sunday, December 1 – Friday, December 6, 2019, McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois
  3. 52,985 registrants in 2018
  4. 1,662 scientific papers to be presented
  5. 440 education courses and 6 plenary sessions
  6. 1,905 education exhibits and 904 scientific posters featured in the Lakeside Learning Center

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