Teleradiology

Background
Chest radiography is the mainstay of imaging for screening pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) and monitoring patient responses to TB treatment. Screening chest X-ray (CXR) examination is a key component for identifying suspected pulmonary TB in IOM migration health assessment programmes (HAP), required by all major resettlement countries for adults and children with indication, and is the main criteria for sputum referral. Digital radiography producing DICOM images and using high resolution diagnostic monitor for radiologist’s chest X-ray reading have become requirements for most resettlement countries.

From 2011 to 2015, IOM has done CXR for over 1.2 million immigrants and refugees globally, screened for TB as part of their health assessment, 81% of HAP. Among those, 5% had abnormal CXR findings suggestive of TB, and out of which, nearly 7% were diagnosed with TB. In 2016, IOM has performed a total of 351,867 CXRs worldwide, among which 15,835 (4.5%) had abnormal CXRs suggestive of TB resulting in further laboratory investigations. To combat the challenges in the radiology services and meet the expectations from resettlement country governments, IOM has established the Global Teleradiology and Quality Control (QC) Centre.

IOM Global Teleradiology and QC Centre
Established in 2012 in Manila, Philippines, the IOM Global Teleradiology and QC Centre works to standardize and optimize the quality of IOM radiology services. It has captured interest from resettlement countries since established, and is expanding steadily. The Centre provides teleradiology primary chest X-ray reading, second opinion chest X-ray reading consultations, teleradiology QC chest X-ray reading and analysis, radiology guidelines and training materials development, and radiology-related technical support and guidance such as in establishing X-ray units, purchasing X-ray machines, hiring radiology staff, and conducting radiology training and research.

The Centre uses innovative teleradiology systems, Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), web-based CXR reporting applications, and live chat for real-time support. Currently, the Centre supports 49 locations for primary and 32 for quality control, both IOM and non-IOM, located in different regions across the globe (Africa, Asia Pacific, and Middle East). Since its launch, the Centre has successfully completed a total of 266,978 (as of May 2017) teleradiology primary chest X-ray readingsfor both refugees and immigrants bound to Canada, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Malaysia, among others. In addition, it has done teleradiology QC reading and kappa agreement analysis for a total of 21,614 cases. The Centre has also produced the first IOM Guidelines on chest X-ray interpretations and radiographic techniques in 2015. It also collaborates with international partners contributing in the global health agenda. 

IOM Regional Teleradiology Centre in Nairobi
To further expand the network of IOM teleradiology support and services, a regional IOM Teleradiology Centre in Nairobi, Kenya has been established. Operational since November 2016, it currently supports 10 IOM locations in Africa through teleradiology primary reading.

For further information, please contact Dr. Sifrash Meseret Gelaw, Global Radiology Coordinator or Dr. Tesfa Semagne Egzertegegne, International Radiologist or Ms. Hazel Martin, Teleradiology Administrative Assistant at IOM Global Teleradiology and QC Centre: Address: IOM, Manila (Global) Administrative Centre, Citibank Tower, 28/24F Paseo De Roxas, Makati City, Philippines, Tel: +632 230 1676/1674/1786, Email: teleradiology@iom.int