Radiology Public Health
Public health refers to the management of health issues at the population level, such as vaccination programs, clean air and clean water, with prevention initiatives such as nutrition and cancer screening. Radiology is now entering public health because, as more and more people are imaged with radiology tests and these tests are stored as digital files, these images constiute a large reservoir of health data about the whole population. So, using radiology data, we might know how many individuals in a city have tuberculosis and how many have cancer, etc. The use of radiology for public health intervention is at the early stages, but, RAD-AID believes that this link between medical imaging and public health is vital. Radiology is already becoming a tool for epidemic detection, which an important piece of public health programming. As the World Health Organization refers to medical imaging in important programs such as the STOP TB program, which includes radiology, we need to think of innovative ways to integrate radiology into these global public health plans. RAD-AID in planning initiatives to better bridge public health and medical images, and members of RAD-AID published segments of this work with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR). Working on this link between radiology and public health, Dr. Krit Pongpirul (shown left) of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins presented at the 2010 RAD-AID Conference.