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Radiology Plays Key Role in Winter Olympics

February 22, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Emergency Radiology
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Folks following the Olympics this month may have noticed a new team player: medical imaging. Radiology is playing a bigger role than ever at the Winter games, including, for the first time, instant ultrasound that can help doctors and coaches determine if an athlete is fit to return to competition.

OVUS—short for on-venue ultrasound—is provided at the cross-country Nordic, speed skating, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and ice hockey venues, explained Olympics imaging director Bruce Forster, MD, in an annoucement by the RSNA. A mobile OR with X-ray and ultrasound allows doctors to perform surgery at the Alpine site.

Working in on-site “polyclinics,”—the Olympics’ term for small hospitals—radiologists use a local area network (LAN) line to send ultrasound videos instantly to imaging centers.

Some 5,000 athletes are competing in the events this year. “These athletes have been training for these events their whole lives,” said Forster.  “Sometimes they injure themselves in a way that makes it uncertain whether they can continue. We wish to help coaches and athletes make that decision with as much data as possible.”

Related seminar: Sports Medicine Imaging

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