Research radiographer wins ESR award for exploring role of AI in profession

Gemma Walsh has won the European Society of Radiology’s Radiographer Research Presentation Abstract Award

Published: 28 February 2024 People

This year’s European Congress of Radiology Radiographer Research Presentation Abstract Award has gone to a research radiographer for her work with AI.

Gemma Walsh is a CT and MRI lead radiographer working at the NHS Wood Green Community Diagnostic Centre, as well as being a research radiographer herself.

Ahead of this years’ European Congress of Radiology, hosted by the European Society of Radiology, Ms Walsh’s research project, “R-AI-diographers: Exploring the changing professional role and identity of radiographers in Europe in the era of artificial intelligence (AI)”, was selected by the radiographers’ scientific subcommittee.

Shaping the future of radiography

The project centred on a continent-wide survey investigating radiographers’ thoughts and opinions on the impact of AI implementation on radiographer roles, responsibilities, and professional identities, with over 2,200 participants from 37 different countries.

Ms Walsh said: “Helping design the survey and analysing the data was exciting, whilst co-ordinating a large European team of radiographer researchers and translators came with challenges but was ultimately very rewarding.

“I am honoured and excited to have won this award on behalf of this strong multi-disciplinary team. It truly recognises the hard work of the team to make this project a success. The results of this project will help to shape the future of the radiography profession in the era of AI, giving insight into the perceived opportunities and threats of AI implementation on radiographer roles, and the support needed to navigate these.

Research and mentoring

Ms Walsh added that she hopes to continue work in this area, focusing on careers and leadership in AI for radiographers, as a prospective PhD student at City, University of London.

She has applied for more funding at another funder for her AI leadership PhD project, a natural continuation of this one on the impact of AI on radiographer careers.

Ms Walsh was also part of the Formal Radiography Research Mentoring (FoRRM) scheme to increase research capacity and quality of radiographers in the UK.

For more information on FoRRM, click here.

Prestigious award

This is one of only four awards available to radiographers at the biggest European conference in medical imaging.

Charlotte Beardmore, executive director of professional policy at the SoR, said: “It’s fantastic news that Gemma has won this top award which is given to a radiographer submitting an abstract for the ECR congress which is being held in Vienna in March 2024. 

“These are prestigious awards, established with the European Federation of Radiographer Societies for radiographers from across Europe. Over 700 proffered papers were submitted by radiographers from across Europe, and so Gemma’s achievement is fantastic in winning the top prize, and how wonderful that a UK radiographer has achieved this.”

Continent-wide team

The project is SoR and CoR-funded at City, University of London, and was completed in December 2023. It was also endorsed by the European Federation of Radiographer Societies.

The primary investigator – Dr Christina Malameteniou – developed the project in collaboration with Ms Walsh, who accepted the award on behalf of a large, Europe-wide team, alongside co-investigators Professor Mark McEntee from University College Cork in Ireland and Professor Yiannis Kyratsis from Erasmus University in the Netherlands. 

Nikolaos Stogiannos, an honorary research fellow at City, University of London was also heavily involved with this project.

The awards ceremony for this award will take place on 29 February, at ECR in Vienna.

(Image: Gemma Walsh)