During a single-shot thoracic scan that takes a few seconds, the CT captures images that can be converted to quantifiable data for lung nodules, breast masses and calcifications, cardiac chamber size, aortic size, coronary artery calcifications, rib fractures, liver texture, lung texture, bone mineral density, loss of height of vertebral bodies, renal function and renal volume.
In an ideal world, the raw data set from this scan would be stored with meta tags and automated mark-up language, making it discoverable for current health policy information or future research.This data could also be shared locally among other support systems in a hospital for treating patients. Instead, once the radiology report is issued, the data is irretrievably lost, ironically the very moment it is sent to cloud storage.
‘We radiologists need to reinvent ourselves,’ Dr Siegel emphasised. ‘If radiology is going to be important, then just as with lab and genomic data, we need to make our data discoverable, indexed and tagged.’