The medical imaging community continues to reach out with progressive ways to improve access to imaging around the world.

It was a long winter for many across the country, and some of us thought spring would never arrive. But by the time this magazine hits your desk, spring will have sprung. It’s an uplifting, energetic season bringing to mind all kinds of good things ranging from flowers to falling in love.

It seems fitting then, that for our first issue of spring, we take time to recognize and reflect on some of the positive and philanthropic activities the medical imaging community is involved in across the globe. New efforts to help underserved populations receive access to imaging exams are taking root—thanks to so many in our community. Consider these recent examples.

The Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE (SHCH) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, not only provides education and training to medical professions, it delivers free, 24-hour medical care to an indigent and disadvantaged patient population. But doing so isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have the latest tools. Carestream Health recently stepped up to the plate to help. The company donated a CARESTREAM DRYVIEW 5850 Laser Imager to the hospital—making SHCH the first facility in the country that is equipped to provide high-resolution printed images, completely free of charge.

SHCH sees more than 300 patients a day, many of whom live on a dollar a day or less. The Carestream gift provides a technological leap from hand developing film and will ultimately improve workflow as well as patient care—for people truly in need.

At least two vendors that I am aware of (and there may be several more) have partnered with the nonprofit Imaging the World (ITW) to improve access to health care in Uganda. Philips Healthcare is working with the group to implement a program to introduce portable ultrasound to rural areas of the country.

The company has contributed both equipment and money. Specifically, Philips has given ITW two of its CX50 CompactXtreme portable ultrasound systems along with $100,000 to be used to research better ways to provide care in rural, underserved settings. ITW plans to train local providers on how to use the technology, primarily to scan pregnant women—many of whom give birth in their homes. The images will then be transmitted to a clinician for interpretation.

The long-term goal is to improve access to care as well as decrease infant and maternal mortality. Uganda ranks 186th out of 191 countries for infant and maternal mortality.

What’s more, Philips isn’t the only vendor joining forces with ITW. Kyle Lawton, CEO of peerVue, told Axis Imaging News that his company is involved in the project, which is designed to bring radiology imaging services to Uganda to provide otherwise unavailable pre- and post-natal care to mothers and babies in the region. According to Lawton, “?peerVue is the backbone technology that is making it possible for interpreters all around the world to donate their expertise and time to save lives.”

Manufacturers and clinicians who give back should be commended for their forward-thinking, progressive, and charitable work. Their inspired examples are like planting a seed of hope—this spring and beyond.

Marianne Matthews

Marianne Matthews