QNotes, Vol. 6, Issue 14

The sixth annual International Day of Radiology is celebrated on November 8. Its aim is to build greater awareness of the value that radiology contributes to safe patient care, and improving understanding of the vital role radiologists play in the healthcare continuum. In honor of this recognition, a Qmetrics team radiologist provides his reflections upon the field.

Joshua M. Farber, MD

Joshua M. Farber, MD

Joshua Farber, MD, is a Senior Medical Scientist for Qmetrics Technologies. Dr. Farber received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, and then completed a radiology residency and Musculoskeletal Fellowship, both at New York University. He also completed an MRI Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Farber has practiced clinically, taught at academic institutions and has extensive experience in research and publications in the field of MSK radiology.

When he began his career there was no connectivity in radiology, “We were looking at films on a viewbox,” Dr. Farber says. Since then, he has enjoyed seeing the technological advances in the field. MRI, which has been used clinically only since 1977, and reached widespread use by the end of the century, has become less expensive and easily accessible. “It’s more available, even in small communities, allowing greater patient access to MR.”

Also, “CT (computed tomography) became ubiquitous so quickly. The relative cost has come down and patients most in need have access to it.” CT was invented in 1972 by British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories, England and by South Africa-born physicist Allan Cormack of Tufts University, Massachusetts. Hounsfield and Cormack were later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their contributions to medicine and science. The technology quickly became widely available for medical use.

Accessibility to quality radiological tools and expert radiologists is one aspect that Dr. Farber is glad to see. “With the web the way it is, imaging studies can be read by expert radiologists around the world. This greatly increases patient care, when a radiologist with specialized training can read films from a distance via the internet.”

In addition to accessibility, Dr. Farber describes how imaging modalities are becoming more powerful: “We can now extract functional as well as morphological information from MR scans.

Dr. Farber is excited about 3D modeling and believes it makes imaging more accessible to patients during doctor consultation, but isn’t sure it will have widespread use in clinical radiology. What does Dr. Farber see as the greatest use of radiology in the near future? “More and more functional information can be extracted from imaging. I see imaging being used commonly to identify biomarkers.”

Dr. Farber remains abreast of continuing advances in radiology as Special Advisor to the Editor-in-Chief of RadioGraphics, his work with Qmetrics, and as a reviewer for six peer-reviewed journals.

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