June 5, 2009 – The World Health Imaging Alliance (WHIA) said yesterday that the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) agreed to support WHIA in its efforts to deliver thousands of sustainable diagnostic digital imaging systems to developing communities across the globe.
SIIM appointed former Board Member George Bowers to serve as the organization’s liaison to WHIA as the two groups identify specific initiatives to work together on. Janice Honeyman-Buck, Ph.D., editor-in-chief of the “Journal of Digital Imaging,” has also agreed to assist WHIA in editing “Diagnostic Imaging in the Community: A Manual for Clinics and Small Hospitals.”
The World Health Organization estimates there is a need for one diagnostic imaging system for every 50,000 people. WHIA will play an important role in coordinating the funding, deployment, training, servicing, and technology research necessary to ensure sustainable, appropriate X-ray systems in the areas of greatest need.
Through WHIA, underserved communities can receive a reliable, simple and affordable X-ray system called the WHIS-RAD. This digital system eliminates the need for film and chemicals, and allows the production of high quality images by healthcare professionals with limited imaging experience. Each WHIS-RAD includes an X-ray modality, computed radiography system, workstation with optional viewing stations, as well as next generation functionality through the integration of the WHIA box. This add-on module is the first step in allowing for image and data storage capabilities via hosted PACS, electronic archiving and retrieval; connection to high speed transmission networks enabling teleradioaolgy, consultation and oversight; as well as utilization documentation and tracking.
WHIA currently has pilot sites in South Africa and Guatemala and is seeking to identify new qualified sites in partnership with NGOs such as Rotary.