Cincinnati Children's Blog

Case of the Day Online Learning System Reaches Radiologists Worldwide

Case of the Day Online Learning System Reaches Radiologists Worldwide

Every five years, the Society for Pediatric Radiology and the European Society of Paediatric Radiology hold a joint congress, the International Pediatric Radiology Congress, alternating between North America and Europe.  This year, the IPR was held two weeks ago in Chicago. This Congress was highly successful and Cincinnati Children’s radiologists contributed many scientific and review sessions at the IPR.

A new feature of IPR was the “Case of the Day” (COD) online learning system. This web-based, online initiative was jointly sponsored by the SPR and the World Federation of Pediatric Imaging (WFPI). This online Case of the Day system was available to pediatric radiology professionals worldwide. On each day of the IPR, six new unknown cases were shown on the COD website, including medical images, history and some other information. Participants registered online on the first day and thereafter, logged in and were able to see the new cases each morning. Professional participants considered the images and information and submitted their answers online.

A small group of behind-the-scenes volunteers judged the entries online by deciding if each entry was “correct” or “incorrect.” At 5 pm each day, the correct answers were revealed, together with additional images, a detailed explanation and references. Each participant had access to their own secure private results page and could see how they performed in relation to all the participants. This initiative was very popular and served to widen access to IPR to pediatricians and radiologists worldwide. Three hundred twenty-nine professionals from 44 countries participated, submitting 1958 answers.

The Case of the Day learning initiative is now over for this year, but will likely be adopted by other medical meetings.  Although the cases are intended for pediatric radiology physicians and other professionals, parents and others are welcome to have a look at the cases and the system at:   https://ipr2016cod.org.

Image: User statistics showing just some of the 44 countries which participated.

This initiative had deep roots at Cincinnati Children’s Radiology Department in that the concept was created by a chance meeting between Dr. Neil Johnson, a radiologist at Cincinnati Children’s, and Dr. Jim Donaldson, who was the co-president of IPR. From the initial discussions, the concept was further developed with the help of a small group of enthusiasts and implemented by Chris Sternal-Johnson, a professional web programmer and chief technology officer of a growing Silicon Valley-based company (https://www.multibrain.net/).

Image: A Typical Case ( Day 1 with only the question visible).

Image: The same case the next day with the answer revealed and additional information for learning.

This father-and-son team has worked together for many years. Dr. Johnson was the foundation chair of the Society for Pediatric Radiology Informatics Committee and developed the first SPR web site in 1999.  That web site was programmed by Chris, then a middle school student.  As the web developed rapidly in the early years, we learned to improve the functionality and scope of the SPR web site.  Chris learned to deal with middle aged, demanding, not very tolerant and not very web savvy doctors, which helped him later land his first job in the web industry.

So it is fitting that the father-and-son team came back together to voluntarily develop the Case of the Day online system together as a contribution to worldwide learning in pediatric radiology and for the promotion of the World Wide Federation of Pediatric Imaging. The system was quite technically complex behind the scenes, and required at times delicate international negotiations, but it resulted in a seamless and effective learning experience for participants.

Contributed by Dr. Neil Johnson and edited by Glenn Miñano, BFA.

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