News | March 03, 2011

Philips and Imaging the World Collaborate to Improve Healthcare in Africa

March 3, 2011 – Philips has donated two ultrasound systems to Imaging the World (ITW), a non-profit organization, to help improve healthcare in Uganda. In addition to the two CX50 CompactXtreme portable ultrasound systems, Philips will provide technical training and $100,000 in financial support.

The money will be used to support joint research projects investigating a low-cost ultrasound solution in rural areas where ultrasound exams are not routinely available. Initial research is focused on examining the impact of ultrasound diagnosis on rural populations. ITW is initially collecting data on the impact of ultrasound on potentially life-threatening maternal conditions that impact maternal/fetal morbidity and mortality.

ITW, with Philips’ support, is developing and deploying a program to teach people to use ultrasound to scan patients and wirelessly transmit the images for remote reading. An ultrasound expert subsequently sends a reply text message with a preliminary diagnosis so that the patient will know whether to seek clinical care.

ITW has placed the Philips CX50’s in Uganda, which has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. In 2000, the World Health Report ranked Uganda’s Health Profile 186th out of 191 countries. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 11 percent of the world’s population, yet bears 24 percent of the global disease burden and commands less than 1 percent of global health expenditures.

“Grass-roots level studies have demonstrated how severe the combined effects of early motherhood, lack of awareness of basic nutrition and poor pre-natal, postnatal and early childhood care can be on a growing and developing nation like Uganda,” said Alphonsus Matovu, general surgeon, Kamuli Mission Hospital. “While we have made significant strides in recent years to reduce infant mortality and the number of women dying from childbirth, women in Uganda still continue to be vulnerable to serious health issues especially during childbirth. Maternal mortality is often due to relatively minor complications which could be easily addressed if technology was available”

“The contributions made by Imaging the World and Philips have proved to be a turning point in the healthcare for the people of this region. The Philips CX50 Ultrasound provided to our hospital has allowed us to improve workflow and productivity. The small physical format and great flexibility of the CX50 are major benefits that are helpful in making a quicker, more confident diagnosis in critically ill patients.”

The ultrasound system combines the image quality expected of a traditional, full-size system with the convenience of portability. It incorporates features migrated from the Philips iE33 and iU22 cart-based systems. PureWave transducers have been clinically proven to improve image quality across the patient population, especially on technically difficult patients. The system also features SonoCT real-time compounding technology and XRES adaptive image processing for images that are virtually free from artifacts and noise, displaying well-defined anatomy and pathology.

For more information: www.philips.com

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