Written by Richard Chowning
Radiologists in East Africa are now able to read and report on x-rays and scans for many physicians with quicker turn around. They can accomplish their readings and report from their offices, homes, or from anywhere in the world thanks to a new distance radiology application, Teleradiology, developed by Medisoft East Africa Ltd.
Teleradiology was developed by three, young Kenyans. Two are medical doctors, Dr. Emmanuel Mukoya and Dr. Ndii Kanake who are also pursuing Masters of Medicine in radiology at The University of Nairobi. The third is Ruth Wangari a computer science graduate, who is in the midst of studying for her Masters in Business Administration at Africa Nazarene University.
The three entrepreneurs recognised that radiologists who are qualified to correctly interpret x-rays and scans are in very short supply in Africa. Doctors often have to keep their patients waiting for weeks before they can give them a proper diagnosis based on a radiology report. Some doctors are even tempted to do the interpretations themselves, without proper training to do so.
Medisoft's Teleradiology solution erases the boundaries between image acquisition, reporting and referring doctors. It speeds up the process by enabling licensed radiologists to provide reports and consultation services for many doctors and hospitals either from their homes or offices. Doctors can read these reports and view the images from their clinical office or from their homes. The application also gives medical imaging centers and hospitals the freedom to outsource interpretation services to offsite radiologists around the clock, with ease. Patients’ lives have been saved by Teleradiology by cutting down the time from scan to diagnosis.
Doctors and radiologists can access the Teleradiology platform on a web browser or a light desktop program. They can manipulate the images and even download them to a flash drive. The images and reports can be printed from any location.
Teleradiology comes with the added benefit of allowing simultaneous viewing of studies by different users at different locations for collaboration between radiologists or doctors. The platform allows for quick second opinions. It also comes with the capability to automatically route studies from a given imaging facility to a specified radiologist and give off a sound alert for the radiologist to be notified of an incoming study.
The Medisoft East Africa innovation was recently recognised by the Vision 2030 ICT Innovation Awards. The Teleradiology application took the top overall honour with over 400 entries.
The technology stores all of the images and reports on the cloud so it cuts expenses involved in traditional radiology by doing away with the printing and physically storing images. The images and reports can be immediately viewed anywhere on the planet.
There are many realms of medical practice in Africa that are ripe for innovative IT solutions. There is much room for Medisoft East Africa and others to expand and profit while making better service available to doctors and patients.
Richard Chowning is director of Africa Mentor, a full service agency that facilitates the activities of entrepreneurs and non-profits who are initiating or revitalising projects in Africa through orientation to African culture and society as well as logistics. Chowning has over 40 years experience in Africa.