Editor's Note: Comparatively Speaking
By Dave Yeager
Radiology Today
Vol. 18 No. 6 P. 3

In economic terms, a comparative advantage occurs when outsourcing some of your work to someone with fewer opportunity costs produces a benefit. In a sense, this is what cloud computing is all about. Rather than spending time and resources maintaining huge databases, many organizations are finding that letting someone else do it allows them to focus on their core business. In this month's cover story, Kathy Hardy reports that a growing number of health care providers are learning that lesson. In addition to easing their IT burden, those providers are reaping the advantages of sharing medical images and other data more efficiently. As consumer preferences become more of a consideration, efficient data sharing will become a business advantage as well.

A different kind of advantage comes from the ability to compare breast images. Hardy's article about synthesized 2D mammography explores how breast imagers can get the comparison images they need while reducing patients' radiation exposure. Recent studies have found that s2D mammography images—derived from 3D digital breast tomosynthesis images—compare favorably with traditional full-field digital mammography images.

Speaking of comparisons, Dan Harvey looks at volumetric MRI software. The software can measure changes in brain volumes with previously unattainable precision, allowing radiologists to identify small but significant changes in the brain by comparing current images with older ones.

Also in this issue, Keith Loria provides an update on the latest technologies and best practices for limiting the imaging team's radiation exposure. Although radiation shielding and effective protocols still figure prominently in this effort, more accurate measurement of clinicians' radiation exposure makes it easier to compare cumulative dose with established benchmarks.

Finally, for those of you who are attending the AHRA meeting in Anaheim, California, we'll be at booth 529. Feel free to stop by and say hello.

Enjoy the issue.