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September 09, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Benefits of Mobile Imaging

Technology has changed traditional medical methods while introducing new approaches. Mobile imaging is one such addition to the healthcare system that has benefitted many and continues to do so. However, mobile imaging is a relatively new feature that many people are unaware of. This is mainly because people do not know about the significant benefits attached to mobile imaging services. Still, over time, it is getting the attention needed by allowing people to get examined while at home. 

What is mobile imaging?

As the term states, mobile imaging is used to capture images from a mobile unit, which can then be sent to a radiologist or physician for examination. However, mobile imaging does not refer to ordinary pictures but radiographic imaging services such as X-ray, EKG, and ultrasound. It is a portable machine capable of carrying out the required screening tests quickly. Recent additions have been made to imaging services provided to people such as MRI, CT scans, and PET scans. A radiologist or physician only requires a screening area to conduct test diagnostics and find the result. The patients sending in the images need not step out of the house and go to special facilities that provide these services. Not only does mobile imaging save time, but it also proves to be cost-effective for the user.

Is mobile imaging service cheaper?

Normally, for an X-ray or ultrasound, patients choose to go to a hospital, which can be effective but tends to cost more. Mobile imaging is a portable method to conduct screening exams and a cheaper alternative to hospitals or third-party facilities. Moreover, hospitals tend to charge extra to cover for other costs, such as fees for insured patients and other services provided to patients. It is important to keep in mind that the costs of these screening services are not standardized, and prices vary from one location to another. While one hospital might charge $2000 for one imaging, another radiology center might only charge $300 for the same service provided. Those who are insured and have a high deductible have a higher chance of not being reimbursed and bearing the entire burden of the costs themselves. On the other hand, mobile imaging comes with no additional costs attached and provides services at a much lower rate.

Impact of mobile radiography services

Considering the current situation with COVID-19 spreading at a fast pace, it has become necessary to opt for alternatives to traditional medical methods. Radiography services are a common reason for people to head to hospitals or facility centers. Due to the coronavirus, this has become dangerous, which is why shifting to mobile imaging and screening needs to be promoted amongst people. Mobile imaging comes with a list of benefits attached. 

Some patients, especially the elderly, prefer comfortable surroundings that they are familiar with while going through their tests and screenings. Since mobile radiography services are performed with portable machinery, it is now possible to conduct examinations at home. Many service providers are now equipped with mobile imaging machinery and trusted professionals who carry out the imaging and forward it instantly to radiologists. The results can be provided within a few hours, which makes it highly time-effective. 

Such services make it convenient for healthcare facilities and nursing homes to perform necessary tests and diagnose the conditions of serious patients. Mobile imaging uses the latest technology that is fast-paced and provides high-quality results. This prevents the retaking of X-rays and long waiting times for accurate reports. Moreover, there is less exposure to rays while opting for mobile radiography services than in the traditional method.

The overall impact of mobile radiography services is positive since it saves time and money, protects patients from harmful rays, and is more precise. Due to the benefits it presents to the medical industry, much focus is being given to enhance this feature to provide complete mobile radiography solutions to patients.

What are the upfront costs of mobile imaging?

Since mobile imaging is meant to save money, there should be little to no upfront costs attached to the services. Mobile radiography services are meant to lower expenditures and reduce the upfront costs that are usually paid at hospitals and facility centers. The aim should be to provide these services at the lowest possible cost with high-quality care for the patient. Since there are various mobile imaging service providers, it is possible that some charge an upfront fee while others do not. Regardless of the provider you select, the responsibility of the equipment, staff, billing, compliance with HIPAA regulations, and credentialing lies with the provider.

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and a healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.

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