How Modern Medical Imaging Technology Can Help Mobile Clinics Provide Primary Health Care
Updated: Apr 20
Planning to set up a mobile clinic? Aside from increasing referrals to your healthcare facilities for more serious cases, investing in a mobile clinic expands people’s access to primary health care. In a country like the Philippines, where thousands of communities live far from hospitals, a clinic that goes to their hard-to-reach areas is the only way a number of isolated populations can get the medical care they need.
Mobile clinic equipment basics
Of course, for their mobility, traveling healthcare facilities sacrifice the size and the number of equipment they can bring. Because of its size, mobile clinics can only do so much. But, by offering basic health services like consultations, annual physical exams, and diagnostics, mobile clinics still help monitor a patient’s well-being — an important step in preventing any serious illnesses.
Because the care you’ll be providing will be limited, it’s best to ensure that it’s still the best possible you can give. To maximize the utilization of your travelling clinic, before everything else, you need to consider the tools you’ll be bringing. Before you go on the road treating patients, make sure your vehicle has mobile clinic equipment necessary for you to perform not only your vital sign checks but also your diagnostic services as well.
Aside from your basic medical tools, getting diagnostic equipment for your mobile clinic is equally important.
A stethoscope and other medical tools
Medical imaging technology for mobile clinics
Most mobile clinics also offer digital imaging on top of basic diagnostic services like complete blood count, urinalysis, and so on. Should you commit to also providing these, make it a point to invest in diagnostic equipment like x-ray and ultrasound machines that feature modern medical imaging technology. Unlike traditional systems, these new features enable quick processing and turnover so health professionals are able to assess their patients more efficiently. Ahead, we give you a rundown of technologies to consider acquiring for your mobile clinic.
Fast image processing
We’re in an age where diagnostic equipment need not take hours or even days to provide results to patients. With countless digital solutions widely available, x-ray and ultrasound systems are able to process images quickly and in superb quality.
For one, portable ultrasound units now incorporate built-in image processing features as well as automatic image optimization. Whatever the medical application, such digital imaging technology would allow even mobile clinics to provide accurate results by reducing noise, speckles, and enhancing contrast and resolution in just a short while.
As for x-ray tools, with new technologies being developed in the digital radiography industry, a number of systems are now capable of producing images efficiently by skipping the arduous and costly film processing. For your mobile clinic, the best digital imaging equipment you can opt for are Direct Digital Radiography (DR) systems.
Using a flat panel detector (FPD), this digital imaging technology picks up the x-ray radiation. This is then quickly transferred to a workstation for image processing, shortening the whole conversion to just around 10 seconds. This quick turnaround is especially helpful for small mobile clinics dealing with hundreds of patients in just a day.
To further improve the diagnostic services you plan to offer, it would also be great if you can get a hold of mobile clinic equipment with wireless capability. Equipment with modern digital imaging technology often provide this feature, which can be used in a number of ways in a mobile clinic setting.
Digital radiography systems that make use of FPDs now often send the x-ray radiation data wirelessly to the post-processing workstation right at the same moment. This allows healthcare professionals to view and assess the patient’s situation real-time for faster diagnosis. On another practical note, such wireless capabilities also remove the need for cables that would only serve as a clutter and distraction in a mobile clinic with a reasonably limited space.
Aside from the application of the wireless functions during the process itself, x-ray and ultrasound machines now also take advantage of this function for efficient storage. Units with WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity can allow you to store your data and images over the internet or your storage device. It’s a great way to back up your files in case your equipment runs out of battery on the road.
Speaking of batteries, of course, when you buy mobile clinic equipment, choose those that are energy-saving. Aside from space, another obstacle usually faced by mobile clinics is the limited power supply. Especially when visiting far-away barrios, you can’t expect to always have access to electricity that will power your clinic for long hours even if you have a generator.
As such, it is only natural that you allocate budget for digital imaging equipment that has portable batteries that can last you through your whole trip. Make sure that this long-lasting capability is present, not only with the x-ray and ultrasound systems themselves, but also with the important accessories like FPDs and so on that come with them. We wouldn’t want that only the first few handful of patients are able to avail of your comprehensive diagnostic services they might require.
Choose diagnostic equipment that delivers
At the end of the day, what you choose all boils down to your finances. But if you can find the best possible mobile clinic equipment within your budget, then it’s all the better. Choosing to invest in imaging equipment that delivers efficiency is best in mobile clinic scenarios where you stay in an area or community for just a limited amount of time.
Patients always come first and we can’t have them waiting long hours before they get the results and assessment necessary for their health care. For more help in choosing the right diagnostic equipment, just shoot us a message here and we’re ready to help you out.