Cell Phones to Bring Imaging to Third World

One of the major disparities that we've seen in the use of imaging procedures is that it's a medical tool used primarily in more afflluent areas. Although the gap has gone down in America (both low-income and high-income Americans now have access to imaging technology), it remains large when looking at the global landscape. However, researchers at UC Berkeley might have found a solution to closing that gap. Most third world countries do not have access to the important medical imaging which could assist them in early diagnosis and prevention of disease. There have been programs implemented in the past to donate medical imaging equipment to these countries. However, the cost of upkeep and repair of the equipment has made those efforts fruitless in the long run. UC Berkeley researchers say that there is an alternative. Cell phones can be used by doctors in these countries to allow them to receive imaging information.

"Cell phones, after collecting data from a data acquisition device, can be used to upload raw data to the hub that will be converted into an image. The cell phone would then act as a display after the server sends the image back to it."

Third world cell phones are increasingly common so it is feasible to think that this technology could work. Learn more about it here. Question of the Day: Does the cell phone as a medical imaging tool sound like it makes sense for bringing preventive care to third world countries?

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