“IT’S THE NUMBER ONE ACTIVITY OF BEING A RADIOLOGIST -
OUR TIME IN FRONT OF THE MONITOR”
Dr. Michael N. Linver, MD is the Director of Mammography at the Breast Imaging Center, Albuquerque and Adjunct Professor of Radiology at the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Linver has been a mammography specialist since 1986. He described his historic involvement in the development of legislation and regulation in the field of mammography: “I was involved intimately in the creation of the Mammography Quality Standards Act and the FDA’s implementation of that and so I was fortunate enough to be very involved in the legislative process that has, I think, really improved dramatically the quality of mammography in the United States.”
EIZO is excited to present this exclusive interview with Dr. Linver as he shares his medical expertise in the field of mammography and his impressions of EIZO’s medical monitors.
Advantages of Digital
After almost three decades of working in mammography, Dr. Linver has seen many technological advancements, and he acknowledged the pivotal role of Digital Radiology (DR) in the transition away from film: “Well the main advantage is the quality of the image by far. We can see things we have never seen before. So to me the overriding issue, is the quality of the image. The ease of operation, storage – you know with film, if one image were lost, that was it and that happened not infrequently. Now we have all kinds of advantages – storage and duplication of images. Once it’s in place, then going forward there are tremendous cost savings to DR.”
Time in Front of a Monitor
As Digital Radiology has come to dominate mammography, the amount of time spent in front of a screen has also dramatically increased, according to Dr. Linver: “It’s the number one activity of being a radiologist anymore – our time in front of the monitor.”
In describing EIZO’s monitors Dr. Linver said, “I’m just thrilled that they have made this commitment to excellence and that they continue to push the envelope on how good monitors can be, because I’m no better than the images that I see on the screen and the better they are, the better I can be for my patients and for my profession.”
The workload of mammography radiologists continues to grow. According to Dr. Linver, “Most mammography radiologists spend more than 7 hours per day in front of a monitor, while one abnormality may take an hour to diagnose, with a good mix, most radiologists in a breast screening environment can read probably a mix of somewhere around 100 cases in a day.”
Given the need for greater flexibility and efficiency of caseload reporting for mammography radiologists, home reporting is becoming an increasing priority. But as all industry experts know, mammography can’t be done using non-medical grade, standard commercial-off-the-shelf monitors. Dr. Linver shared his view on the benefits of home reporting: “I think it could definitely impact the way we practice in the future. Clearly you can’t show these kinds of images that we see on the EIZO monitors on a regular computer at home, you lose all of the detail. Assuming that we had access to this kind of technology at home which we could, theoretically, then absolutely, screening mammography could be read anywhere.”
EIZO 8MP Color Monitor
After the industry asked for a color mammography monitor, EIZO delivered. When asked about his impression of EIZO’s 8MP color monitor as a viable alternative to traditional 5/10MP grayscale, Dr. Linver responded, “All I can say is wow – it’s pretty impressive. I think it’s a wonderful alternative and another great step forward for the quality of what we can do as breast imagers.”
The Importance of Self-calibration
Given the importance of the monitor's ability to maintain a consistent control environment by using built-in self-calibration technology for diagnosis by radiologists, Dr. Linver provided his view on this key EIZO attribute: “What the equipment can do intrinsically is going to be of tremendous advantage to us – again this is offered through the self-monitoring system that EIZO has.”
When describing the relationship between ambient light in a room and the brightness of the screen, Dr. Linver said, “Light is our enemy, except on the areas we want to see. I read in an entirely black room. The human eye is amazing in its ability to discern small objects when contrast is very good which is why we need high contrast.”
Would you recommend the EIZO RadiForce Series?
Given the increasing choice of mammography monitors, Dr. Linver was asked whether he would recommend the RadiForce Mammo-Series to others and responded, “I definitely recommend it because again I think there is a significant difference in my ability to see small structures which is what I’m after – the smaller, the better. So we are always striving for higher and higher resolution – these new EIZO monitors certainly have given us a huge advantage in that regard. It’s the grayscale, it’s the resolution. All of these things improve my ability to detect lesions that are potentially an early breast cancer.
EIZO and Industry Leadership
When asked about the impact of EIZO’s continued sponsorship of mammography medical education events, Dr. Linver responded, “Now radiologists can see how far we can go to be better at what we do and EIZO offers us another opportunity to take our own profession to a higher level and for me that is a huge, huge benefit and I’m grateful to EIZO for their contributions in that regard.”
“I feel like I’ve been given an incredible gift in the ability to be able to say every day when I go to work, ‘I can save somebody’s life today’.
There aren’t a lot of people that can say that, and have it, and mean it, with sincerity. I am blessed with the opportunity to do that every day. It’s only through the commitment of companies like EIZO that allow me to say that with integrity.
So I am extremely proud and pleased to be able to have the opportunity to work with companies like EIZO.”