Multimodality medical imaging offers a key role in disease diagnosis, while providing accurate staging and defining disease extent in many instances. Recent developments are increasingly leading to quantitative assessment of medical images, allowing both definition of disease extent, giving insight into the phenotypes of diseases and offering capabilities of monitoring response to therapy. Combined with other tools, such as genetic profiling, this is a powerful way of improving diagnosis and treatment of patients, enabling a personalized approach to delivering healthcare. It is highly likely that software tools will become integrated into the routine workflow of radiology reports. This special report describes some of the crucial areas where applications are being introduced and speculate on the potential impact on radiologists and clinicians.