The dawn of Teleradiology in the Philippines

Teleradiology  [tel′ĕ-ra′de-ol′ah-je] radiology done through remote transmission and viewing of images. (Mosby’s Medical Dictionary 8th Ed.)

I have been working for more than a year in this KPO Company here in The Fort, Taguig and we are also to be considered as part of Teleradiology. I will try to explain this kind of business the simplest way possible.

Radiologic procedures such as but not limited to X-rays, CTs, and MRIs are much common procedures performed in the USA and of course unlike here, that the most common and definitive procedure is X-ray. With millions of patients from Uncle Sam’s land getting scanned every day, the ratio of Radiologist vs. procedures to read have made favor to the birth of this business – Teleradiology. Images of the studies are being sent to the Radiologist (usually the Rad is reading from his home), and at his own convenient time at his own home, he can read ER/STAT cases and not only from one hospital. This kind of trade started late 90’s as the improvement of internet and different imaging program that could transmit via web (.jpg, .tiff).

This brilliant idea has of course gone out off shore. Where outsourcing is the next best thing in America at early 2000s, where mostly they outsource from India. (So it’s not only customer service that they ask from outsourcing also Knowledge.) With correct IT infrastructure, board-certified Radiologist, Medical Transcriptionist then voila! You can now provide a KPO – Knowledge Processing Outsourcing business. But that was the traditional outsourced KPO/Teleradiology from India offers.

From the definition of Teleradiology, radiology done remotely. Patients who waits 30-45 minutes after the images are ready to be read, are in fact waiting for the Radiologist thousands of miles away to finish reading those images!

How can this be of a great benefit to the Philippine healthcare industry? More jobs. Of course, this is another form of investment where healthcare workers such as: Radiologists, Nurses, Technologists and others could possibly enjoy a healthy and competetive job offers should this kind of business take it’s peak in our country. As of today, I haven’t heard of any other Teleradiology/KPO that is functioning as a whole (radiology group like) here in Manila. Perhaps there could be another Teleradiology out there too. But then again, this helps home grown Rads to get to be exposed to more cases, live emergency cases, complex and unsual cases compared to the ones that are readily available here.

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