Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

World Federation of Pediatric Imaging (WFPI) volunteer outreach through tele-reading: the pilot project in South Africa



Shortages in radiology services are estimated to affect 3.5-4.7 billion people worldwide. Teleradiology is a potential means of alleviating this shortage.


This paper examines the practicality and sustainability of a pilot pediatric teleradiology project at the Khayelitsha District Hospital in sub-Saharan Africa. We analyze how this World Federation of Pediatric Imaging (WFPI) program fares against the global challenges described in the current literature facing these practice types.

Materials and methods

A teleradiology pilot was developed to provide coverage to the Khayelitsha District Hospital after the district pediatrician requested assistance in interpreting radiographs. This program utilized a network of WFPI volunteer pediatric radiologists, direct JPEG conversion of digital radiographic images, and an e-mail delivery system of images, referral requests and teleradiology opinion. Data were collected retrospectively from referral cards and JPEG images of radiographs, as well as from the volunteer officer database.


A total of 555 referral cards and 1,106 radiographs were submitted for teleradiology opinion during the course of this pilot program; 74.6% of requests for image interpretation were chest radiographs and 14.2% of those were for the evaluation of tuberculosis. There were 40 volunteer teleradiologists from 17 countries; all spoke English, and 14 were bilingual (8 fluent in Spanish, 5 in Portuguese, and 1 in Italian).


Teleradiology is a viable option to alleviate radiologist shortages in underserved areas, but there are many challenges to designing an adequate teleradiology system. The WFPI pilot teleradiology program can be considered a successful one.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View