Medicine is heavily dependent on images and health care professionals use medical images for clinical, educational and research purposes. This paper aims to investigate the resources used by health care professionals while searching for medical images.
The research is based on a qualitative study that uses the Straussian version of grounded theory and involved 29 health care professionals from various health and biomedical departments working within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust. Data collection was carried out using semi‐structured interviews and think‐aloud protocols.
The findings show that health care professionals seek medical images in a variety of visual information sources, including those found online and from published medical literature. The research also identified a number of difficulties that health care professionals face when searching for medical images in various image resources.
There have been few studies that investigated the image resources used by health care professionals. Thus, this study contributes to the understanding of medical image resources and information needs of health care professionals. A clear understanding of the medical image information needs of health care professionals is also vital to the design process and development of medical image retrieval systems.
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