Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Radiol. May 28, 2021; 13(5): 102-121
Published online May 28, 2021. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v13.i5.102
Challenges and optimization strategies in medical imaging service delivery during COVID-19
Yi Xiang Tay, Suchart Kothan, Sundaran Kada, Sihui Cai, Christopher Wai Keung Lai
Yi Xiang Tay, Sihui Cai, Radiography Department, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169608, Singapore
Suchart Kothan, Center of Radiation Research and Medical Imaging, Department of Radiologic Technology, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Sundaran Kada, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen Postbox 7030, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Christopher Wai Keung Lai, Department of Health and Social Sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore 138683, Singapore
Author contributions: Lai CWK contributed to the design of this review; Tay YX contributed to the first draft of this manuscript; all authors contributed to the review of the draft and final version of this manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: No conflict of interest for this work.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Christopher Wai Keung Lai, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Health and Social Sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology, 10 Dover Drive, Singapore 138683, Singapore.
Received: January 10, 2021
Peer-review started: January 10, 2021
First decision: April 6, 2021
Revised: April 10, 2021
Accepted: May 10, 2021
Article in press: May 10, 2021
Published online: May 28, 2021

In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), medical imaging plays an essential role in the diagnosis, management and disease progression surveillance. Chest radiography and computed tomography are commonly used imaging techniques globally during this pandemic. As the pandemic continues to unfold, many healthcare systems worldwide struggle to balance the heavy strain due to overwhelming demand for healthcare resources. Changes are required across the entire healthcare system and medical imaging departments are no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on medical imaging practices. It is now time to pay further attention to the profound challenges of COVID-19 on medical imaging services and develop effective strategies to get ahead of the crisis. Additionally, preparation for operations and survival in the post-pandemic future are necessary considerations. This review aims to comprehensively examine the challenges and optimization of delivering medical imaging services in relation to the current COVID-19 global pandemic, including the role of medical imaging during these challenging times and potential future directions post-COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19, Medical imaging service, Pandemic, Optimization strategies, Radiology department, Radiography

Core Tip: In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, there is a need for quick and accurate diagnosis of the disease. This has affirmed the significance of medical imaging (chest radiography and computed tomography) in the battle against COVID-19. The pandemic and the consequent mitigation measures have had a significant impact on the practices in medical imaging. Despite the large and dynamic challenge presented, patient safety and care are paramount. Necessary precautions must be instituted to ensure the safety of medical imaging professionals, patients and the public. As the pandemic continues to ravage our globe, medical imaging service providers need to exercise flexibility without compromising on patient safety.