Radiologists today have a growing variety of mobile apps that can aid in decision making throughout the day, says Michael D’Alessandro, M.D., a professor of radiology at University of Iowa College of Medicine and a pediatric radiologist at UI Children’s Hospital.

During a session at RSNA 2014, Nov. 30-Dec. 5 in Chicago, D’Alessandro and two colleagues will demonstrate how mobile phones and tablet computers loaded with the right apps can be used for radiology education anytime during the day. “Nobody questions that mobile has a role all day long, but it also has a role in our professional life all day.”

Every time an imaging exam is being read, the radiologist has questions on whether something being looked at is a normal variance in the patient’s anatomy or a specific disease to be further studied, he explains. If the radiologist uses mobile apps to look up a question while on a case, “that answer will stick with you,” D’Alessandro says, so education is happening all the time.

During the session, attendees will take out their mobile devices and the presenters will walk them through a series of apps that link to reference Web sites and e-books. Goldminer, for instance, is a radiology search engine that can be on your device, presenters will tell their peers. Another example: Medscape offers standalone decision support “that is a textbook of radiology you can download on your device,” D’Alessandro notes. And there are literally thousands of radiology e-books, mostly on Kindle. Twitter also is a great app to keep up with radiology news and follow the societies and journals.

Apps have made D’Alessandro a better physician, he believes. “These apps eliminate the barriers that used to exist to seeking answers.”

The session, “Mobile Computing for Decision Support and Learning While You Work,” is scheduled at 11:00 on Nov. 30.

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