New advances in technology will not wipe out the role of the radiographer and the radiologist, delegates concluded at a UK radiological congress this week.
Participants have voted down a motion suggesting that new technology will make professionals redundant.
Mike Smith, from Sheffield Hallam University, argued that new scientific knowledge and artificially intelligent machines will transform medical imaging beyond recognition.
“These machines are often referred to as decision support systems, a phrase which is preferred to the more accurate ‘expert system’,” said Smith.
“This is because there is a general unwillingness to accept that the computer makes the decision rather than supporting a human in the decision making process.”
But Giles Maskell, from Royal Cornwall Hospital, was supported in his view that machines will always assist humans but not replace them completely.
He pointed out that patients will always feel safer if a human is involved.
His view was endorses by Christine Bloor, also from Royal Cornwall Hospital, who said that machines can create a hostile environment for patients in the absence of human intervention.