The Radiology Virtual Reading Room: During and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

J Digit Imaging. 2021 Apr;34(2):308-319. doi: 10.1007/s10278-021-00427-4. Epub 2021 Feb 23.


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the radiology reading room with a potentially lasting impact. This disruption could introduce the risk of obviating the need for the reading room, which would be detrimental to many of the roles of radiology that occur in and around the reading room. This disruption could also create the opportunity for accelerated evolution of the reading room to meet the strategic needs of radiology and health care through thoughtful re-design of the virtual reading room. In this article, we overview the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on radiology in our institution and across the country, specifically on the dynamics of the radiology reading room. We introduce the concept of the virtual reading room, which is a redesigned alternative to the physical reading room that can serve the diverse needs of radiology and healthcare during and beyond the pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Imaging 3.0; Reading room; Teleradiology; Virtual consults.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Radiography
  • Radiology*
  • SARS-CoV-2