Clinical Demands of Advanced Imaging in Rural America

Clinical Demands of Advanced Imaging in Rural America

According to the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM), with increasing urbanization, an older, poorer and sicker population remains in rural America.

This means that Americans residing in rural areas of the country—i.e., nearly 20% of the population— have fewer health resources and far greater health issues.

In fact, many are required to travel 50 or 60 miles to healthcare facilities for specialty care—especially to access advanced medical imaging technology like computed tomography (CT) scanner, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and digital radiography (DR).

The vice chair of the Commission on General, Small, Emergency, and/or Rural Practice claims that the state of radiology in rural America has gone from “very challenged” to “outright crisis.” In fact, experts agree that radiology is one of the greatest needs in rural areas.

The Rural Healthcare Challenges

While there are many reasons behind this rural healthcare crisis, the drastic decline in primary care has been a significant contributing factor; patients don’t have access to primary care physicians whom they can refer to when required. This means that most patients end up in the emergency departments (EDs) for diagnostic exams which are traditionally carried out by primary care providers.

Exploring Opportunities

Experts see opportunities in patient education and preventive care to deal with the ongoing rural healthcare crisis. This includes bringing in a specialty care center, like radiology, to screen patients once a month using  high-tech equipment.

Moreover, there’s a great opportunity to add imaging equipment like digital radiography (DR) systems, which are purpose-built for outpatient clinics.

DR systems can be a game-changer for primary care physicians as they give them the ability to address diagnosis with patients in real-time—that too through high quality medical images and reduced radiation doses per exposure.

Plus, with diagnostic imaging solutions becoming more efficient and portable with flat-panel detectors, medical practices in rural areas with space limitations can start providing advanced imaging services.

xray Although DR systems require aninitial investment, the return on investment is assured due the high patient throughput—especially in rural areas.

What’s more, digital X-ray solutions enable the digital image to be stored and distributed to specialists, allowing for better diagnosis. Plus, compared to standard computed radiography (CR) systems, DR systems offer improved workflow efficiency, enabling the doctors and medical specialists to manage overcrowding in emergency departments.

If you’re looking for state-of-the art medical imaging solutions, head over to ExamVue. We offer advanced digital radiography equipment including flat panel detector, X-ray image viewing software and wireless X-ray detectors.

Get in touch with us today for more information about our products.

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