Radiology-Readiness: A Framework for Implementing Radiology in Resource-Limited Regions

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Radiology-Readiness is the foundation of how RAD-AID programs work

Radiology-Readiness is a data collection and analysis tool developed and trademarked by RAD-AID in 2010, which has been endorsed and used by the World Health Organization since 2012. Radiology-Readiness is an instrument used by our volunteers and outreach teams for evaluating radiology infrastructure and planning an optimized radiology strategy that meets the health care needs of specific communities and facilities in resource-limited regions.  

What is Radiology-Readiness?

Radiology-Readiness collects information on all facets of radiology as well as the health care context for which radiology is going to be used so that limited resources can be best optimized for the best strategy.  Does it make sense to donate a CT scanner if a community does not have the appropriate electrical power grid? Does it make sense to screen for pediatric pneumonias with x-ray radiography if there are no antibiotics available for treating the detected disease. Is it effective to implement mammography for breast cancer screening if there are no surgeons available to biopsy the detected lesions or no oncologists available for treating the diagnosed cancer? Radiology-Readiness analyzes these and numerous other factors involved in or related to imaging so that resources are not wasted and so that a radiology strategy can best fit within the resource constraints and clinical context of a hospital or community.  

If a community needs versatile low cost technology with many prenatal patients, an ultrasound solution may be recommended. If a community lacks women’s health engagement with large marginalized slum populations, a mobile health truck may be recommended. If extensive hardware is present but insufficient training, an educational strategy is implemented. If ancillary resources are necessary for making the radiology more effective, RAD-AID works on making those resources available, such as treatment referral networks, medications, and lab tests. 

Examples of RAD-AID’s Radiology-Readiness components:

  1. Infrastructure of the community, such as roads and telecommunications 

  2. Availability, reliability, and technical parameters of energy for powering imaging equipment 

  3. Staffing availability of clinical care providers, nurses, and technicians with full assessment of referral systems and communication systems among general health care providers and specialists 

  4. Availability of antibiotics for treating diagnosed infections and vaccinations for preventing infections 

  5. Availability of resources for biopsy/surgery or referral to outside institutions for diagnostic pathology and treatment 

  6. Availability of laboratory testing that complements imaging findings

You Can Do A RAD-AID Radiology-Readiness Assessment

We welcome you to do a Radiology-Readiness assessment (downloadable versions below). Many of our volunteers and leadership started off doing this assessment.  We encourage you to volunteer and review the assessment documents below so that you can get started on a Radiology-Readiness project. For more information about this program, please contact the Director of RAD-AID Radiology Readiness, Dr. Michael Reiter, at mreiter@rad-aid.org.

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