The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that two-thirds of the world’s population lack access to basic medical imaging technology, causing preventable and sometimes fatal delays in diagnosis and treatment . What if we could bridge those gaps in care – virtually?
Every day, more than 800 women around the world die from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Although most of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, maternal mortality rates in developed nations such as the US tell an equally sad story, with women in rural areas being affected disproportionately hard [2,3]. Tragically, many of these deaths could be prevented – if only those women had access to a routine ultrasound check-up that would bring complications to light earlier .
And this example doesn’t stand alone.
Having access to medical imaging technology – whether it’s a basic ultrasound or an X-ray exam, or more advanced modalities like CT and MR – can make the difference between life and death. Just consider the countless lives that have been saved with routine mammography and lung screening exams alone.
Yet today, two-thirds of the world’s population lack access to even basic imaging technology. Even in those underserved regions where the technology is available, what’s often lacking are enough skilled hands to operate it, and experienced eyes to interpret the findings. Patients, on their part, may be deterred by long and expensive trips to the nearest healthcare facility; with safety concerns posing another barrier in times of COVID-19. The result: delayed testing, diagnosis, and treatment, with increased downstream costs for healthcare systems and increased risk of adverse outcomes for patients.