Charting the “New Normal”
COVID-19 continues to hold its grip on the world. This rapidly developing pandemic has dominated headlines since it first came to light in early January — only then most of us did not fully understand the grasp it would have on the nation, nor the depth of which it would affect businesses and lives. The U.S. heard about its first confirmed case on Jan. 20. The first recorded death came on Feb. 6. By March 17, most states had implemented some stage of shelter at home. May 7 marked the 100th day of this “new normal.”
But what does the new normal look like? This is something that radiologists have been dedicating their time to finding out. Off-site centers have helped keep critical imaging happening for cancer patients and others whose medical conditions require it. There is a surge in teleradiology, as radiologists look for new ways to achieve the same goal, but from a greater distance. However, for many, life has been put on hold, as elective surgeries and routine office visits dwindle and hospitals and clinics face laying off staff.
ITN is committed to helping the industry maneuver through the coronavirus crisis, and this issue offers several key articles focusing on keeping patients and business in the forefront during this pandemic. Imaging Through the Coronavirus Pandemic discusses how off-site imaging companies are playing a key role in the fight against COVID-19. The Impact of COVID-19 on the PACS Market stresses the need for fast, easily accessible patient images. COVID-19 has put a spotlight on PACS systems, which has helped secure its growth and sustainability in this industry. The Irony of COVID-19 addresses the fact that a delay of the ONC interoperability rule is as necessary now as the rule itself. The coronavirus pandemic demonstrated why the rules were needed long ago. Paradoxically, the coronavirus is helping to fast-track interoperability even as the federal interoperability rules face implementation delay.
In addition, 3 Strategies to Leverage Medical Imaging Data During the Pandemic are highlighted: data-driven management of COVID-19 operations; managing the mounting imaging backlog; and building a foundation for ongoing monitoring and research. And finally, Consulting Editor Greg Freiherr addresses the topic in The Last Read column, Can Artificial Intelligence Help Against Coronavirus?
A series of pandemic-related itnTV videos are available on www.itnonline.com, as is the exclusive Photo Gallery: The Impact of COVID-19, designed to show the global impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2) in healthcare, and the world. The images are from ITN staff members, submitted from readers, and shared from press releases, hospitals and government public relations sources. This page will be updated regularly with new photos and as news breaks regarding the industry.