Standards of Indian Radiology and Imaging Services
The standard of radiology in India has significantly improved since the time when I was a medical student. Primarily the access to high end imaging technology has seen rapid development in the past two decades. While in the past, imaging in India was focused on conventional radiology and ultrasound, today it has evolved into sophisticated and advanced imaging technologies including multislice CT, MRI, PET-CT etc. In the 1980s, when I was doing my radiology residency at AIIMS, there were only a few educational programs that gave postgraduates exposure to MRI or even CT. Many of the colleges that taught radiology courses had neither of these equipments.
So the residents had to travel to private centers for hands on experience on CT and MRI. From such a situation, today the latest technologies in radiology are unveiled in India simultaneously with the West. The standards in India today are thus, equally on par with other developed countries.
India is an emerging teleradiology market. How did it enhance the medical practice in India?
The Indian economy has been growing at a fast pace. One of the benefits of this is that investments are pouring into the healthcare market, resulting in deployment of high end diagnostic technologies across the country. The consumers too are more aware of their healthcare and diagnostic needs.
Thus, the need for quality imaging has risen significantly. But, India faces a severe scarcity of radiologists. Our country with a population of over 1 billion people has a radiologist strength of only 10,000, which means the ratio between the doctor and the patients is 1:100,000 which is extremely low. When there is such a huge scarcity of radiologists, the benefits that teleradiology can offer and hence its market potential is high. Hence, teleradiology can not only enhance the level of medical practice in India, but also help to fulfill the radiologist requirement of the industry. Newer hospitals that are coming up in smaller towns are able to receive high quality reports in a short time even if they do not have a radiologist in house at all times. In the coming years, India will witness a rapid market growth in terms of teleradiology.
He has been featured in Who’s Who in the World and in Medicine.
He has also been covered extensively in the media, namely ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times and the New England Journal of Medicine as the path-breaking pioneer of tele-radiology services in Asia.