Continuous advances in imaging technology and interventional procedures have made medical imaging increasingly essential for optimal diagnosis and treatment; at the same time, ever-growing healthcare expenditures have created pressures to restrict access to sophisticated imaging and slow its development. More than two decades ago, a small working group of imaging leaders from academia, industry and government assembled to address this dilemma. While at first they focused solely on cost-effectiveness in imaging, they began to meet regularly and gradually expanded their focus to include the following professional challenges:
• incorporation of IT applications into radiology
• specialty-related turf battles
• work-power shortages in the face of increasing demands for service
• financial and regulatory pressures affecting research
• exploration of new frontiers in the imaging of cellular, molecular and genetic processes
• effects of economic and cultural globalization on radiology
As the list of topics grew, participants recognized the need for a permanent forum for high-level discussions. Thus, they created the IS3R, a professional, international body with a formal structure and mission.