Feature | April 30, 2007 | Cristen C. Bolan

Vital Signs 2.0 - Nuclear Medicine at the Bedside

The term “2.0” has become the catch phrase for all things next-gen. But is it just meaningless marketing jargon or new conventional wisdom? Or might it simply represent a logical stream of consciousness – making the obvious connections and then harnessing collective intelligence?
If you peruse Web developer O’Reilly Network’s site (www.oreillynet.com), it compares the transition from Web 1.0 to 2.0 to the paradigm leap that transitioned DoubleClick to Google AdSense, personal Web Sites to blogs and content management systems to wikis.
Similarly, medical imaging is poised to take its own rational leap by leveraging the powers of bioinformatics. When I asked SNM 2006-2007 President Martin P. Sandler, M.D., what he thought would be the most significant advancements in nuclear medicine over the next five years, his response bridged the perceived gap between biology and IT – the one which separates conferences like SNM and SIIM.
Dr. Sandler said that while there will be significant advances in translational imaging systems to speed up drug development and nanoparticle technology, he firmly stated, “I think quantification is the next big breakthrough in imaging technology.”
He referred to the use of quantitative analysis in clinical practice, providing medical specialists with hard facts to back visual findings and plan treatments. Dr. Sandler noted that, “in cardiac imaging, for example, these types of tools will allow us to quantify absolute bloodflow.” Which leads us to the next logical step – bringing nuclear medicine bedside.
By employing computational power, nuclear medicine will drive personalized medicine, looking at cell activities and developing specific imaging and therapeutic interventions tailored for individuals. “I think that the biggest advancement will be bringing quantitative measurements to the bedside,” said Dr. Sandler. Could this mean Nuclear Medicine 2.0?

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