Since 2020, Agfa Radiology Solutions has assembled an advisory board that is composed of senior radiologists and technologists from seven different countries. Together, they are exploring the future role of X-ray as a diagnostic tool, and the potential strategies.

This opinion article discusses six key transformation areas the advisory board has determined to be crucial to the future of X-ray.

Six crucial transformations for the future of X-ray

The future of X-ray modality in Radiology” is the first opinion paper created by the board. It covers six transformation areas that the board considers crucial for the future of X-ray imaging:

1 Empowering patients:
From the Metaverse to communicating about radiation exposure, how can X-ray play a role in delivering correct and understandable information that helps patients feel confident and responsible?

2 The growing role of point-of-care (POC) X-ray:
The goal of POC is to provide diagnosis or treatment closer to the patient. How can the POC strategy be applied for radiology equipment, and specifically for X-ray?

3 Progressing technology beyond X-ray photography:
Over the last decade, technological innovation has accelerated more in other imaging modalities than it has in X-ray. What opportunities exist for X-ray to move beyond simple ‘X-ray photography’, and to redefine its role in clinical practice?

4 AI: from decision support to improvement of overall population health:
AI plays a large role in the field of patient-centricity. Yet the integration of AI algorithms in clinical practice has been very slow. How can this bottleneck be overcome, to enhance the diagnostic value of X-ray images?

5 Augmented operators:
X-ray imaging is one of the most difficult modalities to operate to obtain an image of optimal quality. How can ‘supervised’ automation of radiology tasks open new roles for technologists, while keeping the radiologist in the center of the entire image chain process?

6 Low-cost X-ray equipment for developing countries:
Although X-ray is one of the oldest imaging techniques, it still accounts for the largest number of medical images taken around the world. What is the untapped potential for both the medical industry and consumers to benefit from simple and affordable X-ray equipment?

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