Anniversary Paper: Roles of medical physicists and health care applications of informatics

George C. Kagadis, Paul Nagy, Steve Langer, Michael Flynn, George Starkschall

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Over the past 100 years, both diagnostic radiology and radiation therapy have grown from infancy to maturity. Accompanying this growth, the discipline of medical physics has evolved and advanced accordingly. New diagnostic and therapeutic procedures continue to be developed, for example, multidetector computed tomography, multileaf collimation, magnetic resonance imaging, dual-source computed tomography, and intensity-modulated radiation therapy. These are now incorporated in health care facilities throughout the world. Modern technologies such as these provide information on underlying pathology at increasingly higher resolutions, generating more information; thus requiring complex methods of image recording and storage. The management of the storage and retrieval of accumulated information is a domain of informatics. In this short review, we describe the different roles of medical physicists and the effective contribution of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine in the evolution of informatics. Medical physicists have contributed to the development of informatics in numerous ways, such as designing hospital information systems and infrastructures that better serve radiologists and other physicians. In addition, the positive exploitation of knowledge gathered in medical settings and effective interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists of different backgrounds have increased. These developments provide future medical physicists the opportunity to develop strategic roles in information technology and thus better contribute to health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • EMR
  • HIS
  • IHE
  • Medical physicist
  • PACS
  • RIS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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