In this episode of RSNA history, we discuss the main event that took place during early 1990s.
Digital imaging technology started to appear during early 1990s. While RSNA 1992 meeting took place, infoRAD included, for the first time, a public demonstration of a standard for digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM), which was designed by the American College of Radiology and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Eventually, DICOM became the worldwide standard for diagnostic imaging.
Also in 1992, RSNA provided its “Radiology Update,” on cable TV. Radiology Update was a series addressing radiologists mainly. Lifetime Medical Television produced the series in cooperation with RSNA, few months later and series was cancelled due to low number of subscribers and lack of advertising on the series.
In the following year, 1993, the library of RSNA for educational materials included courses on slides, audiocassettes, in addition to videocassettes. RSNA Board of Directors built a Learning Center, aiming to provide educational material in new format such as CDs and on the internet. RSNA President, Thomas S. Harle, M.D., was the head of the editorial board that choose the contents for the recently-established Learning Center.
The introduction of FutuRAD
RSNA leaders developed a think-tank, which was called FutuRAD, aiming to help radiologists cope in better ways with the increasing advances in radiology technology. FutuRAD discussed the updates in medical imaging technologies and suggested new activities and programs for coming RSNA events.
The 1993 RSNA meeting witnessed the scientific program being provided in an electronic format along with a new fiberoptic communication link. This link was named RSNAnet. It permitted exhibitors to transfer medical images and other related information between the East and North buildings of McCormick Place.
Moreover, infoRAD highlighted a deployable teleradiology unit that was applicable during emergency times such as wars or natural disasters.
During his speech, Dr. Harle mentioned that RSNA was starting an Office of Research Development (ORD), which is now known as the Department of Data Management. The new department aimed “to provide support to members in their development as researchers and investigators.” Dr. Harle also applauded the cooperation between RSNA and other international radiology organizations, including the European Congress of Radiology, the British Institute of Radiology and the Japan Radiological Society.
In 1994, RSNA increased its staff at the Oak Brook headquarters. 100 new employees were hired and the staff members were divided into 4 sections. They were Research and Education, Finance and Administration, Informatics and the Scientific Assembly, and Publications and Education.
The same year witnessed the use of digital images and transferring them via computer networks using DICOM standards. The Learning Center, on the other hand, introduced a new RSNA Website, which was known later as RSNA Link.
While he gave his speech, 1994 RSNA President, O. Wayne Houser, M.D., highlighted the role of neuroradiology. He also described soft-tissue radiology as “one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century.” 1994 RSNA meeting was attended by nearly 55,000 individuals.
The following year, 1995, witnessed the 100-year anniversary of Roentgen’s discovery of the x-ray. The same year also had the first RSNA female president, Helen C. Redman, M.D. Few months later and Stanley S. Siegelman, M.D., mentioned that he was leaving his position as the editor of Radiology for retirement. Moreover, During RSNA 1995 meeting, the Society’s leader choose the meeting theme to be “Architects of the Future,” focusing on looking forward to the future of radiology.
With the number of attendees at RSNA meetings continued to grow, the Society leaders though about moving the 1997 meeting to another city. The reason for this idea was the fact that Chicago’s hotels did not have enough rooms for attendees at reasonable prices.
Therefore, Orlando was chosen to host the meeting. The city had enough hotel rooms in addition to a large convention center. Yet, Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley, realized that moving RSNA meeting outside Chicago meant that the city would lose revenues of nearly $100 million.
Therefore, he had a meeting with hotel managers and city officials. The meeting resulted in solving a lot of issues of hotel rooms in the city. Eventually, RSNA meetings continued to take place in Chicago.