15 top innovators in imaging informatics

Industry experts leading efforts to improve the practice of radiology through IT.

15 top innovators in imaging informatics

Radiology is facing rapid change on many fronts—technology is more complex than ever, more IT tools are being developed to support radiologists and new economic forces are changing the financial dynamics for those working in this important branch of medicine. Despite the challenges, Health Data Management has identified several leaders in the field who are finding ways to exploit new technology to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the radiology department.

Tarik Alkasab, MD

Title: Assistant Professor of Radiology
Organization: Massachusetts General Hospital

Alkasab recently was a lead author of a study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology that advocated an open authorizing system for point of care decision support tools. He and his colleagues contend that decreasing unnecessary variation in radiology reporting is a key to success in value-based payment models and also is good for patient care. The goal is to represent radiology clinical guidelines as structured and machine-readable Extensible Markup Language documents. Also advocated is development of new tools that voice recognition vendors can use to extend the commercial tools currently in use.

Leonard Berlin, MD

Title: Professor of radiology
Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago

Berlin has been a radiologist for 57 years. A specialist in malpractice and risk management, Berlin has spent the last several years studying how information systems will impact risk and workflow for the radiological profession. He has served on many committees and task forces for professional associations working on issues to improve the profession. At various organizations in the Chicago area, he has served as an assistant professor, a professor, department chairman, a vice chairman and a member of the emeritus staff. Through it all, he has been an educator, having written about 330 scientific articles and conducted about the same number of lectures.

Paul J. Chang, MD

Title: Professor and vice chairman of radiology informatics
Organization: University of Chicago School of Medicine

Chang is co-founder of Stentor (which was acquired by Philips), and developed one of the world’s first viable enterprise image delivery solutions. In his years of work, Chang has emphasized how IT can be used to answer specific needs. For example, at the University of Iowa, he created a teleradiology network to provide primary interpretation of images. He co-invented an image distribution mechanism called dynamic transfer syntax that was later commercialized by a vendor. And he’s been a long-time advocate for deep and granular IT system interoperability to support data-driven informatics workflow in radiology. He assesses how information technology should be used in healthcare with a unique perspective—that of an engineer. He’s spent his career examining how IT can be used in healthcare, specializing in bringing benefits to radiology.

Tessa Cook, MD

Title: Assistant professor of radiology Perelman School of Medicine
Organization: Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Tessa Cook, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in imaging informatics, workflow optimization, radiation exposure monitoring, advanced image processing, radiology education and patient-centered imaging informatics. She also serves at the Philadelphia Veteran Affairs Medical Center. She is the principal developer of RADIANCE, a free, open-source dose monitoring software for CT. She is the fellowship director for the Penn Radiology Informatics Fellowship, which enables fourth-year residents to complete specialized training in imaging informatics. She is also the director for the Center for Translational Imaging Informatics within the Department of Radiology at Penn. Cook is a thought leader and visionary on future uses of IT in imaging and radiological education.

Don Dennison

Position: Medical Imaging Informatics Consultant

Dennison is a well-known and respected consultant within the imaging industry. He has worked in the medical imaging informatics industry for almost two decades, and is a thought leader on topics ranging from medical imaging record interoperability, integration of imaging data within the EMR, multi-facility integration and others. He’s made his mark by being willing to share his expertise in service to a variety of professional associations—he currently serves on the board of directors of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine and chairs the Connect and Informatics Industry Activities committees for the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Keith Dreyer, DO

Title: Vice Chairman of Radiology
Organization: Massachusetts General Hospital

For most of his career, Dreyer hasn’t just been a radiologist, but a teacher to peers across the industry. He received a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine with high honors in 1983; six years later, he had earned a Masters of Science in computer science and neural networks, and a decade later, he received a Doctorate of Philosophy for computer science and medical informatics. Dreyer has not only embraced artificial intelligence and machine learning, but is working to ease the fears that other colleagues may have about the newer technologies. During the 2017 academic year, for instance, he made 24 presentations on artificial intelligence.

Bradley Erickson, MD

Title: Associate chair for research in radiology
Organization: Mayo Clinic

Erickson is advancing efforts in quantitative imaging networks, which apply quantitative methods to better characterize and treat cancer. He also is leading efforts in computer-aided diagnosis, incorporating computer technologies to extract information from medical images for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic purposes. This involves developing and validating algorithms that can detect the progression or regression of brain cancer or other nonneurologic diseases. He’s also actively developing a system to promote team science, initially concentrating on imaging-focused research, but with connections to genomics, pathology and clinical data.

Christopher Gaskin, MD

Title: Professor and vice chair of operations and informatics
Organization: University of Virginia Health System

Gaskin specializes in musculoskeletal imaging and intervention at the University of Virginia Health System, where he has been involved in helping radiologists improve turnaround times on radiology reports. He additionally is working with his organization to help radiologists maximize their efficiency in reading imaging studies and reporting on results, as well as better interfacing with electronic health records.

Shlomit Goldberg-Stein, MD

Title: Musculoskeletal radiologist and director of imaging report quality
Organization: Montefiore Medical Center

Goldberg-Stein is a musculoskeletal radiologist and director of imaging report quality at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She also serves as an assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Goldberg-Stein recently was a leader in a Montefiore project to implement a structured reporting program. Out of the process, which included radiologists, technical staff, departmental coders and information technologists came 10 lessons for overhauling traditional reporting practices. In the end, the project produced and implemented reporting templates for 95 percent of departmental computed tomography, magnetic resonance and ultrasound examinations.

Marta Heilbrun, MD

Title: Acting associate professor of radiology and imaging science
Organization: Emory University Hospital

Heilbrun is also vice chair for quality at Emory University Hospital. She has served as an assistant professor in the department of radiology at the University of Utah as well, with practice time at the University of Utah Healthcare. Her clinical expertise is in abdominal imaging. In the IT realm, her research has been in developing decision support tools through data mining, natural language processing and analysis of cost-effectiveness. She is also vice chair of the structured reporting subcommittee of the Radiological Society of North America, which promotes structured reporting as a vital tool for radiologists to demonstrate value-based care through data-rich, comprehensive and consistent structured reports.

Kevin McEnery, MD

Title: Director of innovation in imaging informatics
Organization: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

As director of innovation in Imaging Informatics, McEnery collaborates with industry partners as well as internal stakeholders to optimize and improve informatics support for diagnostic imaging technology and related IT. In the MD Anderson transition to Epic, he helped to optimize the system after it was deployed. His research interests include work on informatics applications in support of the value-based transition of diagnostic imaging. He’s also worked on predicative analytics in support of diagnostic imaging operations, including schedule optimization, staffing models and interpretation.

Geraldine McGinty, MD

Title: Assistant professor of radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending radiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Campus
Organization: Weill Cornell Medicine

A recognized expert in healthcare economics, McGinty holds leadership positions in several national organizations including vice chair of the American College of Radiology’s Board of Chancellors. She is also a member of WCM’s digital health strategy team. She is a board-certified radiologist who specializes in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, interpreting a variety of studies including mammography, breast ultrasound and breast MRI.

Paul Nagy

Title: Deputy director, John Hopkins Medicine Technology Innovation Center, and associate professor of radiology and radiological science
Organization: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Nagy is an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology. He also serves as deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Technology Innovation Center with the goal of partnering with clinical inventors to create novel IT solutions that improve the quality of patient care. Among his other positions, Nagy is chair of the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine and serves on the board of the American College of Medical Quality.

Rasu Shrestha, MD

Title: Chief innovation officer
Organization: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Shrestha has been a key architect of an innovative unified approach to image viewing across 20 UPMC hospitals and 30 imaging centers. He also serves as executive vice president of UPMC Enterprises, the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC, and leads a team of more than 200 technology professionals. UPMC Enterprises funds incubators and leads efforts to commercialize technology products and services developed at UPMC. Shrestha says UPMC is looking for ways to commercialize its data governance best practices and information management models.

Eliot Siegel, MD

Title: Professor and vice chair of the department of diagnostic radiology
Organization: University of Maryland School of Medicine

In addition to his role at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Siegel is chief of radiology and nuclear medicine for the Veterans Affairs Maryland Healthcare System and director of the Maryland Imaging Research Technologies Laboratory. Under his leadership, the VA Maryland Healthcare System became the first filmless healthcare enterprise in the world. He has made more than 1,000 presentations internationally on a broad range of topics involving computer applications in imaging and medicine. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Society of Computer Applications in Radiology.

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