“RöKo International”, the English program at the German Röntgen Congress, offers a broad spectrum of topics with speakers from all over Europe, from Asia and the USA. The Bayer AG and Siemens Healthineers as sponsors play a central role in the organization of the program. We asked Dr. Rüdeger Köhler, Country Head Radiology Germany at Bayer AG, and Dr. Christoph Zindel, President Diagnostic Imaging at Siemens Healthineers, about their program recommendations and their outlook on the future of radiology.
|“Digitalization is about meaningful solutions that help patients and radiologists”
Dr. Christoph Zindel, President Diagnostic Imaging, Siemens Healthineers
Dr. Christoph Zindel President Diagnostic Imaging, Siemens HealthineersWhich topics would you like to highlight in this years’ international program?
Dr. Christoph Zindel: Since artificial intelligence plays an important role in healthcare today, I would like to highlight all sessions on AI and digitalization – the current focus topics for our customers as well as for us at Siemens Healthineers. We are delighted that many outstanding experts in this field are represented in this year’s program. And we look forward to talking with our customers about the next steps on our joint way towards a next level of digitalized radiology.
It will be the 100th congress, with Radiology 4.0 as a central topic. Which changes do you expect to happen in the upcoming ten years?
The digitalization of radiology will change the discipline in several ways: Due to the growing workload and the increasing importance of precision medicine, the role of artificial intelligence as a supportive companion to radiologists will become increasingly important. Here, our digital companions are already giving a foretaste of the solutions of the future. However, the radiologist himself will not lose any of his importance as a result. We are convinced that he will take on more and more minimally invasive procedures. And he changes from the role of a highly educated image interpreter to that of a central data and care coordinator at the same time, which brings together the growing amount of data from imaging, laboratory, genome analysis and radiomics to enable the best individual diagnosis for each patient. I see here a wide range of opportunities for the future of the very exciting field of radiology.
How do you celebrate the jubilee with the guests at the German Röntgen Congress?
The main goal of our presence is to exchange ideas on the opportunities of digitalization in healthcare and to show what radiology could look like in a few years’ time. We do not want to drive digitalization for the sake of digitalization. It is about meaningful solutions that help patients and radiologists. These can only be developed in co-creation with our customers. Nevertheless, as one of the first manufacturers of medical devices, we will also be showing some historical systems at the “RöKo-Feier-Abend”. We invite all guests to experience the history of medical technology with us and at the same time gain insights into the role radiology will play in the future.
|“International exchange is an indispensable factor for scientific progress and education”
Dr. Rüdeger Köhler, Country Head Radiology Germany, Bayer AG
The future of radiology will be one of the key topics of this 100th congress– how do you envision it?Dr. Rüdeger Köhler Country Head Radiology Germany, Bayer AG
Dr. Rüdeger Köhler: Radiology will undoubtedly continue to be essential in modern medicine, I would even expect its role to become relevant as demand for precise diagnosis increases and personalized medicine breaks more ground. To this end, I see Radiologists playing an ever stronger role in multi-disciplinary teams as their expertise and insight is invaluable in many treatment decisions. Another important change will come through the proliferating use of AI to support diagnosis. I do not see these applications replacing any human in the near or mid-term, rather I see AI delivering many benefits to radiologists. Such applications could e.g. support radiologists in becoming more efficient in standard tasks as well as in assisting with rarer or more difficult diagnoses.
“Unity in Diversity” – how is the motto of the German Röntgen Congress reflected in its international program? Which sessions would you like to recommend?
The program is indeed highly diverse, with a wide range of topics, and thus reflects well the wide reach that radiology has developed over the past decades. I would advise participants to join sessions with topics that lie outside their core area of expertise, and become inspired by other modalities or specialties for their own work. In addition, such sessions often are the nucleus for future collaborations, an area where we as research-driven company actively support many projects.
Bayer is a regular sponsor of the international RöKo-program. What is the most important aspect of international exchange?
International exchange is an indispensable factor for scientific progress and education and has certainly accelerated the development of radiology to its present level. In an international setting, you are more likely to meet and discuss with peers that share your exact interests and to have highly specialized conversations. Next to the professional interaction, which helps to establish and sustain international cooperation, we also see people benefitting on a personal level from intermingling with other nations and cultures. As Bayer Radiology we are active in more than 100 countries and thereby directly experience the wealth of international exchange both as a company and in the interaction with our customers.