by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | September 20, 2022
Philips and the Philips Foundation have set to work with nonprofit charity RAD-AID International in creating diagnostic ultrasound service programs in ten countries, as part of a multiyear cross-continental partnership.
Using the virtual care capabilities of Philips’ ultrasound solutions, the three will create a remote "train the trainer" model that allows ultrasound experts, such as radiologists and sonographers, to educate participants on performing ultrasound scans via voice, video and text messages, even when they are thousands of miles away.
The aim is to extend ultrasound services to around 50 million people spanning Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. The ten countries where the program will be deployed are Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Kenya, Laos, Nepal, Malawi, Tanzania and the U.S.
"Through this collaboration with RAD-AID International, who provide a high quality of service delivery, we can offer equipment and enable remote training in ten underserved areas, with a clear focus on increasing the number of patients who benefit from remote access to professional radiologists,” said Margot Cooijmans, director of the Philips Foundation, in a statement.
Experts will be able to view ultrasound images captured in real time and remotely demonstrate equipment settings during guided procedures, if necessary, for those they are training.
RAD-AID International will deploy the model in the first five high-impact regional sites, for the first phase of the project. It and Philips Foundation will use insights gathered from this stage to co-create new education strategies for the second phase.
Philips Foundation and Philips has worked with healthcare experts, non-governmental organizations and social entrepreneurs to create delivery, referral and income models that increase access to ultrasound for prenatal care. Philips recently used a $15.4 million grant
to design an AI-based application for detecting potential problems early in pregnancy.
The purpose was to improve the quality and accessibility of maternal care assessments in low and middle-income countries. The solution can be used by midwives who lack required training and ultrasound experience.