Global Health Imaging Goes Beyond Radiology

By Mhatre, P, Omary RA

Three years ago, Applied Radiologyintroduced a new department, “Global Health Imaging,” dedicated to highlighting radiological issues of worldwide importance. Your enthusiastic and sustained engagement with this topic has encouraged us to create an entirely new section of our Editorial Advisory Board focused solely on global imaging.

This section will be based on the same mission that has guided the department since its inception; ie, to bring the international medical imaging community together to share ideas on a multitude of issues affecting imaging professionals and patients worldwide.

Applied Radiology will serve as a dedicated platform for healthcare workers engaged in this important endeavor. Our expansion emphasizes the rising importance of medical imaging around the world, especially at a time when we find ourselves navigating numerous geopolitical conflicts.

We will include global health projects undertaken by a broad array of radiology organizations and individuals working in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). By sharing our insights and experiences, we can collectively learn how to generate greater long-term impact on healthcare and radiology throughout the world.

We will also highlight such diverse facets of radiology as health equity, an important aspect worthy of greater attention as dozens of LMICs rise from centuries of colonialism. We will be mindful of how colonialism intersects with health projects in LMICs, as well as how tools such as global information systems can be used to distribute healthcare resources equitably in these regions.

As it has done so here in the US, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful approach to advance access to radiology in many other countries. Indeed, innovative AI applications can address the shortage of skilled healthcare workers, including imaging professionals, in remote settings.

However, our goal will also be to highlight the need to tailor AI use across different LMICs, in recognition of the fact that no one solution is equally effective in all settings. We will also delve more deeply into the ethical considerations surrounding AI and the data it generates from these regions.

We will also strive to include environmental impacts on medical imaging, and vice versa, in the discussion within these pages. The World Health Organization has identified climate change as the greatest health threat to humanity. We humans are just one of over two million interconnected species on our planet.

The emerging concept of “planetary health” recognizes the links among human health, that of all other living organisms, and the overall condition of Earth. As radiologists, we can play a crucial role in addressing healthcare issues related to climate change. Indeed, we can teach medicine and society that climate care is healthcare.

Ultimately, we believe this new section can play an important role in fostering greater collaboration among policymakers, public-private partnerships, industry, governments, and non-governmental organizations to improve access to high-quality healthcare overall, and to high-quality medical imaging, in particular.

Thank you for helping us achieve this important milestone at Applied Radiology. We look forward to working with all of you to help improve the health of our patients, our communities, and our planet. As radiologists, we believe this is more than just an opportunity.

It is also our responsibility.

Mhatre, P, Omary RA. (Mar 05, 2024). Global Health Imaging Goes Beyond Radiology. Appl Radiol. 2024; 53(2):6.
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