Mobile Strategies for Global Health Radiology
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A significant contributor to health-care disparity is geographic isolation that limits patients’ access to medical facilities. The World Bank estimates that 900 million to 1 billion people live without access to adequate road infrastructure, thereby sustaining poverty and poor health outcomes. Such disparity can also result from natural disasters and crisis zones contributing to physical isolation or arise from long-term sociocultural determinants, including educational gaps, cultural perceptions of medical care, and economic constraints. Mobile health constitutes the effort to bring medical care to those in need via transport vehicles, such as trucks, ships, and aircraft, for overcoming geographic, infrastructural, and sociocultural barriers. For more than a century, radiology has been mobilized on transport vehicles to reach isolated populations. This chapter analyzes the role of radiology in mobile health solutions for addressing health-care disparities. This discussion engages the question of why radiology and medical imaging are vital in mobile health strategies. We present the components that should be addressed in implementing a successful mobile radiology outreach program, including economic modeling, technical planning, clinical workflow, patient-referral networks, and equipment optimization. Transportation and radiologic technologies have been progressing through the advancement of imaging equipment and innovative aircraft, automotive, and computing capabilities, bringing new opportunities to the way mobile radiology can reach medically underserved populations.
KeywordsMobile health Mobile radiology Rural access index Geographic information systems Artificial intelligence Hybrid airship Disaster response Transportation Infrastructure Patient referral Screening Underserved Mobile mammography Mammovan
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