Obesity epidemic problematic for radiologists, prosperous for device makers

While the U.S. obesity epidemic--which is spiraling rapidly out of control according to a new report by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation--is presenting challenges to radiology departments, it's also creating business opportunities for medical imaging manufacturers.

If obesity rates continue increasing at their current rate, more than 50 percent of the populations in 39 states could be deemed obese by 2030, according to the report. That poses problems for radiologists who, according to a recent article in RSNA News, still are having trouble dealing with current obesity rates. The problems range from difficulties involved in lifting and positioning patients to improving the image quality in obese patients while limiting radiation dosages.

It also means hospitals need imaging equipment large and powerful enough to handle bigger patients. That need presents business opportunities to medical imaging manufacturers, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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