Interventional radiology in low- and middle-income countries

With advancements in imaging techniques, interventional radiology (IR) has found an increased utility in multiple diseases such as ischemic stroke, tissue biopsies, oncology, trauma, etc. The benefit has been twofold in being minimally invasive and improved outcomes. IR in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is still in its nascent phase. The many hurdles include poorly structured post-graduate training, cost of procedures, and lack of awareness among referring physicians. There is a significant need to increase the trained specialists’ awareness among the medical community and rationalize the cost of procedures in LMICs with careful consideration, planning, and international economic and technical assistance.

The embodiment of low-field MRI for the diagnosis of infant hydrocephalus in Uganda

Compared to other parts of the world, theincidence of hydrocephalus in children is very high in subSaharan Africa. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would be the
preferred diagnostic method for infant hydrocephaleus. However, in practice, MRI is seldom used in sub-Saharan Africa due to its high prize, low mobility, and high power consumption.
A low-cost MRI technology is under development by reducing the strength of the magnetic field and the use of alternative technologies to create the magnetic field. This paper describes the embodiment design process to match this new MRI technology under development with the specific characteristics of the healthcare system in Uganda.

A context exploration was performed to identify factors that may affect the design and implementation of the low-field MRI in Ugandan hospitals and Ugandan healthcare environment. The key-insights from the technology- and context-exploration were translated into requirements which were the starting point for the design process. The concept development did have a focus on Cost-effective design, Design for durability & reliability, and Design for repairability. The final design was validated by stakeholders from the Ugandan Healthcare context.