Does medical imaging technologies do more harm than good?.

Doctor sees virtual images of the patient on a blue background.

Medical imaging is the technique and process of creating visual representations of the interior of the body for clinical analysis and medical intervention, as well as a visual representation of the function of tissues and organs. The purpose of medical imaging is to reveal internal structures hidden by the skin and bones, as well as to diagnose and treat disease. Medical Imaging additionally establishes a database of normal anatomy and physiology to then go on and identify abnormalities.

Medical Imaging is quite expensive. The mean operating expense and charge per procedure were as follows: computed tomography(CT): $51 and $1565; x-ray and ultrasound: $55 and $410; nuclear medicine (NM): $135 and $1138; and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): $165 and $2048. Some scientists and researchers believe that doctors are relying to heavily on expensive medical imaging technologies. This in turn is causing issues for patients, clinicians and regulators throughout the world. The amount of worried people who pester their doctors about minor ailments or have the money to pay for unnecessary, expensive screenings and tests is only increasing.

On top of this, a key issue for radiologists, radiographers, and the diagnostic imaging industry, is the rise in screening tests. There is a huge demand for all sorts of tests from the group of people that can afford it. While these tests can provide reassurance, they can also make patients unnecessarily worried. 

One concern is that private providers are failing to fully explain to patients the potential benefits, risks, and limitations of such testing. This leads to patients making informed choices. On the other side there are patients that will get many tests and then discount significant symptoms because they believe that they are all clear.

Sanaa Dalvi

Sources:

Cmsadmin. “The Bigger Picture: Do We Rely Too Heavily on Diagnostic Imaging?” Verdict Hospital, 13 Mar. 2011, https://www.hospitalmanagement.net/features/feature112612/.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.