Bringing Radiology to Patient's Home Using Mobile Equipment: A Weapon to Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

Clin Imaging. 2020 Jun 18;68:99-101. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2020.06.031. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Because of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) high contagiousness, it is crucial to identify and promptly isolate COVID-19 patients. In this context, chest imaging examinations, in particular chest x-ray (CXR), can play a pivotal role in different settings, to triage in case of unavailability, delay of or first negative result of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and to stratify disease severity. Considering the need to reduce, as much as possible, hospital admission of patients with suspected or confirmed infection, the use of mobile x-ray equipment could represent a safe approach. We picture a potential sequence of events, involving a team composed by a radiographer and a nurse, going to patient's home to perform CXR, nasopharyngeal swab (and, if needed, also a blood sample), with fast radiologist tele-reporting, and resulting patient management approach (home isolation or emergency room admission, when needed). This approach brings healthcare to patient's home, reducing the risk of infected subjects referring to family doctors' office or emergency departments, and strengthening community medicine while maintaining a strong connection with radiology departments.

Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19 diagnostic testing; Infection control; Mobile radiography; Radiography.