Mammographic interpretation training profile in the UK: current difficulties and future outlook

2010-06-03T09:23:10Z (GMT) by Yan Chen Alastair Gale Hazel J. Scott
In the UK, most mammographic interpretation training needs to be undertaken where there is a mammo-alternator or other suitable light box; consequently limiting the time and places where training can take place. However, the gradual introduction of digital mammography is opening up new opportunities of providing such training without the restriction of current viewing devices. Whilst high-resolution monitors in appropriate viewing environments are de rigour for actual reporting; advantages of the digital image over film are in the flexibility of training opportunity afforded, e.g. training whenever, wherever suits the individual. A previous study indicated the possible potential for reporting mammographic cases utilising handheld devices with suitable interaction techniques. In a pilot study, a group of mammographers (n=4) were questioned in semi-structured interviews in order to help establish current UK film-readers’ training profile. On the basis of the pilot study data, 109 Breast Screening Units (601 film readers) were approached to complete a structured questionnaire in order to establish the potential role of smaller computer devices in mammographic interpretation training (given the use of digital mammography). Subsequently, a study of radiologists' visual search behaviour in digital screening has begun. This has highlighted different image manipulations than found in structured experiments in this area and poses new challenges for visualising the inspection process. Overall the results indicate that using different display sizes for training is possible but is also a challenging task requiring novel interaction approaches.