In Rwanda, a country of 12 million people, there are only 11 radiologists in the country. As a result, medical diagnosis requiring radiological examination could have an average lag time of several months to receive a radiology report.The impact of this delay on quality of care ranges from benign to complications in disease progression and morbidity.
The hospital was able to leverage access to a diverse pool of local, regional and international radiologists in real time, reducing turnaround time significantly from an average of 100 days to 24-48 hrs.
Access to a network of on-demand trusted sub-specialist radiologists helped to augment local capacity, thereby minimising risk of diagnostic errors.
Improving diagnosis and treatment, by enhancing health workers clinical performance through real-time assistance with clinical decision-making and diagnosis for appropriate treatment, while bridging the gap in access to diagnosis between rural and urban communities.
The pilot study using Radmol AI demonstrated that using such platform significantly improves the waiting time to access radiological exams and getting results from 30-100 days to 1-3 days. This practice has a potential to improve quality of healthcare as it gives access to specialized radiologists all over the world.
- Dr. Sabine Nyiraneza (Radiologist, CHUK)
Rwanda is a pioneer in universal health access through its national community-based health insurance scheme and is one of the few countries to have achieved near full national coverage. However as communicable disease rates fall the need for more specialist medical care is increasing. The lack of specialist doctors in Rwanda is even more pronounced. The shortage of Radiologists is a prime example. In developed countries an average of 9.0 –11.0 Radiologists per 100,000 population is considered acceptable. However, in Rwanda there is an average of 1.0 Radiologist per 1,500,000 population. This ratio is completely inadequate to meet the country's current challenges let alone the increasing demand for more specialist care.
The severe shortage of specialist Radiologists in Rwanda increases the workload on available personnel and in turn increases time to diagnosis and the likelihood of diagnostic errors for patients.
The average time to reporting on routine scans in Rwanda is approximately 150 days. Despite Radiologists best efforts a delay of this magnitude effectively renders the Radiology service ineffective and prone to serious errors. For Radiology to be of value in clinical decision making it needs to provide timeous, accurate reports. Without timeous reporting there is a serious question as to the valueof accessing the Radiology service at all.
Therefore deploying the radmol system demonstrated that it is both possible to optimise access to healthcare resources locally and globally via a cloud platform while also enhancing quality of diagnosis and care.
It was a great experience in terms of quality improvement and best use of resources
- Dr. Sabine Nyiraneza