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What is Imaging the World?

December 12, 2013
From the December 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

We were able to show that ultrasound volume imaging is not only safe, effective, reproducible and repeatable, but that the images obtained could be compressed and decompressed for image transmission over a regular cell phone network for remote interpretation without loss of diagnostic quality. Working together, Dr. Garra and I started an organization to distribute this unique technology worldwide and Imaging the World was founded.

With a newly designed training process, using only external anatomical landmarks, local health providers learn to capture high quality ultrasound scans in less than two days. Through a state-of-the-art data compression and transmission system, the images are sent via the internet to a secure server where they can be accessed and “read” on PACS from anywhere in the world. Within hours, rural health center workers receive potentially lifesaving diagnoses by phone or text message, offering options for treatment.

ITW’s solution can only be as successful as it is adaptable. The ITW platform is designed for maximum flexibility, so it can be adapted to widely divergent cultures and health care systems. Through collaboration with local governments and health care providers and community outreach initiatives, imaging care is seamlessly integrated to improve health and save lives. ITW’s low cost, sustainable and scalable imaging model is possible anywhere cell phone signals are available.

We are very excited about our newest initiative — an interdisciplinary team from Uganda and elsewhere in the world just launched a pilot breast cancer detection program in rural Uganda. Through a Grand Challenges Canada Stars in Global Health grant, awarded to Imaging the World Africa (ITWA) and directed by Ugandan surgeon, Dr. Alphonsus Matovu, Imaging the World is able to help experts to bring high quality and cost-effective breast cancer detection to remote, underserved areas. Breast diagnostic ultrasound can be performed using the same methodology that has been successful for ITW in obstetric ultrasound.

ITW collaborates with ultrasound industry partners and imaging informatics industry experts as well as other radiology and medical organizations, ultrasound education specialists, and academic institutions.

We continue to seek support and volunteers for a number of functions. Visit our website to find out how you can become involved: http://www.imagingtheworld.org

About the author: Dr. Kristen Destigter is the co-founder and president of Imaging the World. She serves as president of the Vermont Radiological Society and is councilor of the Vermont Chapter of the American College of Radiology. She serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology; she is a member of the New England Roentgen Ray Society Executive Committee; she also sits on the American College of Graduate Medical Education Residency Review Committee for Diagnostic Radiology.

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