Discussion on Digital Health
Online Roundtable Discussion Among Clinical Doctors 【Part 1】
The first part: About the Ongoing Application of Digital Technology in the Medical Field
In recent years, digital transformation has been expected to advance in various fields, but how much digitalization is taking place in the medical field? How far has digitalization progressed in the medical field, and what are people in the medical field thinking about digital health? The topic of this meeting is “About the Ongoing Digital Technology in the Medical Field.” The content of this roundtable will be divided into three parts.
Facilitator: LSMIP Administrative Staff
Facilitator: We have organized this meeting to ask current clinicians for their opinions on the status of digital health and what they expect in the future. We will ask you what things are being digitized in the clinical field. Please feel free to share your opinions with us.
Digitalization in Diagnostic Imaging and Remote Diagnosis
Facilitator: First of all, I heard that the digitalization of diagnostic imaging has recently progressed quite a bit in the medical field.
Dr. KOTATSU: The digitalization of diagnostic imaging you want to ask about is AI diagnosis or something like that?
MRIs and CTs have been digital from the beginning, and I think I've not seen an X-ray where a film is used. The radiation dose seems low, the processing is quick, and the data retrieval is also fast.
When I was at the university hospital, a network called XX-Net managed the X-ray and image data of the family doctor in a single network and collected the so-called image data on the cloud. Each hospital also had a locked iPad dedicated to that network.
DIO: From the perspective of a non-medical professional, digitalization in diagnostic imaging is probably something like AI diagnosis. However, in reality, it is at the level of remote diagnostic imaging and online medical treatment or not, so there seems to be a big gap between expectations and reality in that area...
Dr. Shinpaku: I have experienced remote diagnostic imaging at several hospitals. For example, a remote radiologist reads the images at home on weekends and evenings.
Facilitator: From home? That enables working from home, doesn’t it? Has this evolved because of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Dr. Shinpaku: I think it is probably from home. It seems to have been done even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Other than that, there was a hospital where we could send a brain MRI to radiologists through a smartphone at night, and neurosurgeons could do image consultation 24 hours a day. I don't know what they are doing for security. But I have the impression that remote image reading by radiologists is quite common.
Dr. KOTATSU: It seems that information leakage is rigorous, but is there already an established system of encryption or something?
DIO: An application like WhatsApp/Telegram maintains anonymity for medical use, and I think it is common for hospitals to use it. As for image reading, I asked a friend in the AI field about two years ago, and he said that it would take a long time to make it practical use. I remember thinking that it was surprisingly tricky. Is the automatic reading of electrocardiograms already at a practical level?
Dr. Shinpaku: Automatic analysis is undoubtedly capable, isn't it?
Dr. KOTATSU: A radiologist I know said that AI imaging diagnosis is still difficult.
Dr. Shinpaku: There is a lot of research going on, but there are still many issues in terms of practical use.
Introduction of AI diagnostic imaging, from the perspective of the medical field
Facilitator: Are there many difficulties in the practical application of AI image diagnosis?
Dr. Shinpaku: As for image diagnosis with AI, the first problem is who will take responsibility for the diagnosis obtained. No matter how capable the diagnostic technology is, it will never be 100%, and one of the issues is how to use it.
DIO: Isn't that the same as with electrocardiography? I think it would be the doctor who ordered it....
(Continue to the next)
*This roundtable discussion was held on November 2021 and conducted in the form of an online chat due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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