Medical Imaging Workstations: What Is Missing and What Is Coming?
During the past 2 decades, radiology has undergone a transformation from film to digital. Now moving from glass slides to digital imaging, pathology is in an early stage of a similar evolution and may benefit from a report on how radiology made this change in technology. More importantly, where will radiology be in the future? Many of those experiences were not entirely pleasant, and your awareness of the potential pitfalls might prove useful for planning and decision making. To a clinician, the most visible and important components of a digital imaging system are medical imaging workstations and, more recently, image-guided therapy workstations, particularly those used in surgery and radiotherapy. This article explains how workstation applications are evolving in clinical practice. I introduce workflow issues and some key acronyms. My objective is to help you understand the workstations, what motivated their development, and their interfaces to imaging modalities. Knowing this, you can appreciate how radiology, surgery, and radiation oncology can work together productively in a clinical enterprise.