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01.06.2014 | Minisymposium | Ausgabe 6/2014

Pediatric Radiology 6/2014

World Federation of Pediatric Imaging (WFPI) volunteer outreach through tele-reading: the pilot project in South Africa

Pediatric Radiology > Ausgabe 6/2014
Rachel Griggs, Savvas Andronikou, Raymond Nell, Natasha O’Connell, Amanda Dehaye, Maria Ines Boechat



Shortages in radiology services are estimated to affect 3.5–4.7 billion people worldwide. Teleradiology is a potential means of alleviating this shortage.


This paper examines the practicality and sustainability of a pilot pediatric teleradiology project at the Khayelitsha District Hospital in sub-Saharan Africa. We analyze how this World Federation of Pediatric Imaging (WFPI) program fares against the global challenges described in the current literature facing these practice types.

Materials and methods

A teleradiology pilot was developed to provide coverage to the Khayelitsha District Hospital after the district pediatrician requested assistance in interpreting radiographs. This program utilized a network of WFPI volunteer pediatric radiologists, direct JPEG conversion of digital radiographic images, and an e-mail delivery system of images, referral requests and teleradiology opinion. Data were collected retrospectively from referral cards and JPEG images of radiographs, as well as from the volunteer officer database.


A total of 555 referral cards and 1,106 radiographs were submitted for teleradiology opinion during the course of this pilot program; 74.6% of requests for image interpretation were chest radiographs and 14.2% of those were for the evaluation of tuberculosis. There were 40 volunteer teleradiologists from 17 countries; all spoke English, and 14 were bilingual (8 fluent in Spanish, 5 in Portuguese, and 1 in Italian).


Teleradiology is a viable option to alleviate radiologist shortages in underserved areas, but there are many challenges to designing an adequate teleradiology system. The WFPI pilot teleradiology program can be considered a successful one.

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