Radiology readings are critical in medical diagnosis, especially in the detection of orthopedic and soft tissue conditions. While hospitals and medical practitioners require patients to undergo procedures like X-rays, CT scans, and MRI tests, there are few experts in the field who can interpret medical images well. This shortage is most apparent in developing countries like the Philippines and Indonesia, where experienced radiologists only make up around 1 percent of total practitioners.
Philippines-based Lifetrack Medical Systems addresses this problem. Today, Lifetrack announced it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from strategic investors, including Kickstart Ventures.
A pool of radiology experts
Lifetrack’s radiology software platform pairs hospital residents with experienced radiologists who help evaluate medical images and send their reports. The senior radiologists can be located anywhere.
The platform also contains “context-sensitive decision support,” making it perfect for continuing medical education courses and subspecialty training offered by institutions. In fact, Duke NUS, a collaboration between Duke University and the National University of Singapore, already uses Lifetrack to provide subspecialty certification and training to radiologists throughout the region. The Duke NUS Medical school uses the platform to train its medical students in interpreting pediatric chest X-rays.
Lifetrack essentially achieves two things: it improves hospital residents’ skillsets and helps them provide better patient care.
“Part of our advocacy is to reverse the brain drain, which we’ve seen far too long in the country’s healthcare industry. Through Lifetrack’s affordable software and professional services, we can bring in radiology studies from around the world to be read by Filipino radiologists based here. This, in turn, can lead to attracting high-income knowledge-based jobs from overseas to local radiologists. In fact, we have already brought in at least 50 medical jobs from abroad,” explains Eric Schulze, Lifetrack’s founder and CEO. Eric earned an MD-PhD from UC San Francisco and completed a radiology residency at Harvard’s Mass General Hospital.
Eric adds, “We do struggle in finding people with domain experience in radiology IT but since we engineered our software to meet the needs of our target market, we end up mentoring more people to develop those skills.”
Eric expressed confidence that with the strong backing from Kickstart, Lifetrack will be closer to its goals. “The people at Kickstart are wonderful mentors and can draw upon a wide range of experience and resources to help us find new clients, as well as build out our infrastructure and human resource needs.”
What’s the radiology industry like in your country? Do you think Lifetrack could help? Share your thoughts with us.
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