An image that is not perceived and interpreted can have no positive impact on health care. In this article, the authors review publicly available data and the published literature concerning the unitary event of the perception and interpretation of medical images. Their review shows that this event occurs as frequently as do major medical, public health, and public safety events in the United States; constitutes a significant economic activity; and makes up a significant portion of hospital-based health care in the United States. Yet despite its central importance to the economy and to health care, the authors' analysis found that research in the perception and interpretation of medical images has been awarded minimal support by National Institutes of Health extramural funding: fewer than 5% of all National Institutes of Health-funded grants related to radiology during the 10-year period from 1994 to 2003 focused on human perception and interpretation. The increased funding of medical image perception and interpretation research could lead to important improvements in overall health care thanks to the pervasive and vital role imaging plays in modern medicine.
- finance of health care
- health care costs
- interpretation of medical images
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging