An Alliance develops
Appropriate Diagnostic Imaging
For Developing Countries
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EPFL launches the EssentialTech program which will bring additional support to the GlobalDiagnostiX project
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The alliance gain expertise in local context and X-ray usability
A scientific study on the radiology, sonography, electricity, water and ICT infrastructure in Cameroon district hospitals has been presented to the alliance by Dr. Beat Stoll, chief medical officer at EssentialMed.
The meeting held at the Paul Sherrer Institute was also the opportunity to welcome two new partners: the medical X-ray technologist units of the CHUV and the HEdS (HES-SO Geneva).
The GlobalDiagnostiX project has been kicked off!
Half of the research funding has been raised already.
An Alliance of leading scientific institutes has been created and is developing an appropriate diagnostic imaging system for developing countries.
Basic diagnostic imaging, mainly radiography and ultrasound, are crucial for taking adequate diagnostic decisions for a wide variety of conditions such as pregnancy, road traffic accidents, tuberculosis, complications of infant pneumonia and cardiovascular problems. Yet over two thirds of the world’s population does not have access to these vital medical instruments. Regarding radiography, solutions based on film technology have proven being not adapted to district hospitals in developing countries and modern digital imaging solutions are too expensive, complex and fragile.
An appropriate diagnostic imaging system will be developed, and subsequently deployed, by a coalition of leading technology research laboratories, public and private partners, as well as local actors in developing countries.
The main challenges are the development of a digital radiography machine that includes an ultrasound imaging module, and which:
- targets a tenfold reduction in the Total Cost of Ownership as compared to existing solutions, and
- is adapted to the context of developing countries without compromising on performance and quality.
The device must meet the following criteria:
- Take excellent images for the typical applications (as listed above) of a district hospital in remote and resource-poor areas
- Allow for up to 5 hours of uninterrupted work in case of unreliable or unavailable electrical supply
- Be very robust and require minimum maintenance
- Be resistant to high temperatures, humidity and dust
- Be easy to use, even by partially trained staff
- Be largely language independent (e.g. use of a pictograms and image based user-interface).
- Be compliant with applicable international standards and regulatory directives
The system will include a solution to transfer the images to remote doctors (teleradiology) in order to compensate for the insufficient number of radiologists and specialists in developing countries.