What is the future of radiology?

Molecular imaging

Molecular imaging and genomics

Molecular imaging and genomics are growing areas of radiology. Molecular imaging allows biological processes within the body to be viewed at a cellular and molecular level. These techniques allow doctors to detect diseases at the earliest stages and can be used to diagnose and manage many different diseases and conditions. Genomics is the study of the body’s genes, their functions and their influence on the growth, development and working of the body. These new forms of diagnostics will revolutionise radiology and wider healthcare, allowing doctors to predict and more accurately diagnosis disease and to develop personalised treatments. 

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) will also have an important role to play in the future of radiology. AI will become part of radiologists’ daily practice, helping clinicians improve efficiency and diagnostic capacity. AI has the potential to sift through a huge quantity of imaging data in seconds, assisting radiologists by helping to prioritise worklists and diagnoses. This in turn will give radiologists more time for direct patient care and vital research. As AI develops, its role in radiology will become more widespread and important.

Advancing interventional radiology

Demands for interventional radiology procedures are growing year-on-year across the UK and we will need to train more doctors in interventional techniques. For example, the NHS England Long Term Plan has ambitious aims to expand the provision of stroke thrombectomy and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence now recommends artery embolisation for men with enlarged prostates – both types of procedure depend on hospitals having enough interventional radiologists.