As part of the study, radiologists were asked to study the files of patients electronically, through the picture archiving and communication system (PACS). When doctors opened the files, the pictures appeared automatically.
The results showed that radiologists demonstrated a more detailed approach to reading the medical scan reports when a photo of the patient accompanied the file. Further, nearly 80% of the radiologic incidental findings were not mentioned in the report when the radiologists examined the files three months later without the patient's photograph.
The radiologists said they felt additionally empathetic towards the patients when they saw their photos. Further, the photos also revealed vital information about the suffering, which could help radiologists get a clearer picture.
"The photos were very helpful both in terms of improving diagnosis and the physicians own feelings as caregivers," Turner said. "Down the road, we would like to see photos added to all radiology case files."