With the publication of this special Intelligence Report on women’s imaging, Agfa continues its commitment to the ongoing education and support of mammography professionals. In this issue, we attempt to predict what lies ahead for mammography and its providers: what will remain the same, what will change due to necessity, what obstacles must be cleared, and what can be gained, under the right circumstances, by choosing to pursue change.

Because its unusual imaging needs have kept mammography in the analog realm far longer than other imaging modalities, many institutions must now describe their operations as “filmless, except for mammography.” Due to advances in digital mammography, however, breast imaging is now poised to enter the digital imaging realm. Digital mammography can harness the power of picture archiving and communications systems to store, retrieve, and distribute images and reports, and computer-aided detection can enhance image interpretation.

It may be that not all facilities can (or should) convert completely to digital mammography, however. For those breast centers that remain undecided, we present several topics for further investigation. Beginning on page 4, the president of a breast imaging consulting group and author of a regulatory compliance guide for mammography weighs the relative merits of film-screen and digital mammography, with particular attention to criteria that facilities can use to determine their best strategies and timing for conversion to digital mammography, if warranted by their circumstances. The breast center of the largest hospital complex in Belgium is profiled beginning on page 12, with particular emphasis on the institution’s initial foray into digital mammography.

A breast-imaging director and professor of radiology shares the benefit of his law degree by providing insight into the medicolegal climate that has discouraged some physicians and facilities from providing breast imaging for fear of malpractice lawsuits. He recommends strategies that will reduce the risk of medical liability and that could help to counteract the disincentives now present in breast imaging, beginning on page 9. A breast-cancer survivor describes the journey of her hospital’s breast-health center, where she is executive director of breast services, from moneylosing community service to profitable center of excellence, beginning on page 15. In particular, she highlights the importance of marketing breast services to payors, patients, and referring physicians and makes enthusiastic recommendations for effective marketing steps. Beginning on page 18, Agfa’s global marketing director for women’s care outlines the company’s dedication to women’s imaging and offers some insight into the differences between mammography trends in Europe and in the United States.

Agfa’s long-standing commitment to improving the quality of breast imaging is continuing. Whether a breast center’s mammography strategy is to remain film-based, is fully digital, or is somewhere on the path between the two, Agfa is in a unique position to offer choices-custom solutions-to each facility. Choices that include an emphasis on education and services that enhance that facility’s services to women, its value to the health care enterprise, and its contribution to the community.