A paradigm shift in point-of-care imaging in low-income and middle-income countries


The concept of primary healthcare is now regarded as crucial for enhancing access to healthcare services in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Technological advancements that have made many medical imaging devices smaller, lighter, portable and more affordable, and infrastructure advancements in power supply, Internet connectivity, and artificial intelligence, are all increasing the feasibility of POCI (point-of care imaging) in LMICs. Although providing imaging services at the same time as the clinic visit represents a paradigm shift in the way imaging care is typically provided in high-income countries where patients are typically directed to dedicated imaging centres, a POCI model is often the only way to provide timely access to imaging care for many patients in LIMCs. To address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease, bringing advanced imaging tools to the POCI will be necessary. Strategies tailored to the countries’ specific needs, including training, safety and quality, will be of the utmost importance.