Radiology Professionals on the Front Lines of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continues and presents unprecedented clinical and operational challenges for healthcare professionals around the world. One area that turned out to have a vital part in the fight against the pandemic is the field of medical imaging.

 

During the pandemic Radiology has played a key role as in many cases radiologists around the world were asked for clear directions in managing COVID-19 patients and thoroughly understanding the disease and its potential consequences, while keeping up healthcare for all other patients as best as possible.


Research continues into how COVID-19 is best diagnosed and knowledge is rapidly evolving. Viral infections like COVID-19 are primarily diagnosed by viral RNA tests and the evaluation of clinical symptoms. However, chest X-ray and chest computed tomography (CT) imaging play an important role to assess the extent of pulmonary manifestations, detect co-infections, and document either disease progression or treatment response.  
 

Rethinking Radiology Amidst COVID-19

While the race for vaccines and other novel therapeutics intensifies, radiologists will continue playing a major part in the diagnosis as well as the understanding and containment of COVID-19. Well beyond the initial diagnosis phase, they are driving the use of artificial intelligence to expand the role of chest imaging to enable risk stratification, disease monitoring, and the potential discovery of new coronavirus treatment modalities. All the while, they are balancing an increasing workload that involves caring for patients with other serious conditions such as cancer. Many of these patients opted to postpone screenings and other time-sensitive imaging examinations due to fears of COVID-19 infection but are now returning to their healthcare providers’ practices;others remain unsure about rescheduling imaging their exams – which could increase the risk that, for example, cancer or heart disease will progress undetected and necessary treatments will be delayed.

 

Today, many imaging centers and health care facilities have reopened. However, the adoption of more stringent safety measures while ensuring an efficient workflow and the need to remain highly engaged in coronavirus education and screening has perhaps permanently changed the practice of radiology.
 

Radiology at Bayer: Our Commitment

Since the beginning of March, Bayer Radiology has been working at full steam to ensure ongoing support to hospitals, radiology staff and patients during these difficult times. Maintaining supplies of Bayer Radiology products and services to hospitals, radiologists, their teams and their patients has been a top priority, including continuing to offer services for breakdowns and installations of injectors, engineers and clinical teams responding to requests for hospital visits, and providing onsite maintenance as well as remote support of radiologists and their staff. Further, we have conducted webinars to support scientific exchange and consolidated relevant publications to help radiologists in answering questions about the role of imaging in COVID-19 disease characterization and disease management, in addition to providing detailed information on device disinfection.
 

Experiencing the Challenge of a Pandemic from the Healthcare Expert Perspective

We reached out to three healthcare experts and asked them how they experienced the challenging times during the Corona pandemic and what their key learnings are.

 

Dr. Valentina O. Puntmann, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
Dr. Felix Döllinger, Institute of Radiology, Charité Berlin, Germany
Prof. Dr. Joachim E. Wildberger, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Netherlands
Gerd Krüger
In these challenging times, Radiology became even more important as radiologists around the world were asked for clear directions in managing Covid-19 patients and thoroughly understanding the disease and potential consequences while keeping up healthcare for all other patients as best as possible. A big thank you to all radiology staff around the world for what you do for patients every single day.
Gerd Krüger
,
Head of Radiology at Bayer