Radiology is a specialty of medicine in which images of the body’s organs are interpreted in order to diagnose disease. Radiologists are medical doctors (MDs) having the specialized training to interpret medical images for diagnosis while radiologic technologists are the medical imaging professionals that use and manage the equipment for making the images. Radiologists interpret these images and give reports to referring clinical doctors ranging from surgeons, pediatricians, obstetricians, and internists to work as a team in providing medical care.
Radiology is vital for nearly every sector of health care, including surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, cancer-care, trauma-response, emergency medicine, infectious disease and much more. Therefore a gap in radiology resources is a focal point of health care disparity that can break the chain of health care in poor regions. We invite you to support RAD-AID in our efforts to bring radiology to the 3-4 billion people who lack these essential health technologies:
Radiology’s Medical Images include:
- Radiographs: X-rays to image bones, chest, and abdomen
- CT: Stands for “computed tomography” in which multiple angles of X-rays from a doughnut-shaped machine around the patient form an image based on computer calculations
- MRI: Stands for “Magnetic Resonance Imaging” in which magnetic fields and radio waves are used with computer processing to make images
- Ultrasound: using sound waves to make moving images on a monitor, with common examples being fetal ultrasound during pregnancy and ultrasound images of the heart, which are called echocardiograms.
- Mammograms: using X-rays specially powered, aimed, and positioned for breast tissues
- Fluoroscopy: using X rays that produce real-time moving images of the body for doing procedures, such as stents for narrowed vessels and drainage catheters, as well as imaging the gastrointestinal tract
- Nuclear medicine: short acting radioactive substances go to certain parts of the body and emit light from bodily processes that are collected by a camera and processed by computer to form an image.
- Interventional radiology: using image guidance for minimally invasive procedures to treat patients without open surgery
- Teleradiology: transmitting radiology imaging to locations outside of the facility where the images are made, to have a radiology interpretation given electronically.
Radiology services can address many of the growing challenges in improving access to life-saving health care in the developing world. Radiology can aid in the diagnosis of diseases such as tuberculosis and cancers such as breast cancer. With the advent of new technologies that store radiology images electronically, doctors can now analyze these images to detect epidemics more quickly and accurately. Radiology is a vital component of most medical decisions affecting patient care and radiologists work with all clinical specialties to make these important decisions, ranging from surgeons, internists, pediatricians, obstetricians, etc.
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