Fidelity Diagnostic Services, India’s chain of diagnostic centres for medical imaging and pathology services, offered 20,000 HRCT scans in a span of 2 months.
The company collaborated with 32 hospitals in Pune and 8 hospitals in Goa (including dedicated COVID centres, and multispecialty hospitals) to offer their services in pathology and radiology. Fidelity Diagnostic met the demands arising from government hospitals and rural dispensaries in the two states. Besides this, around 400-500 doctors associated with Fidelity at Pune and 150-200 doctors at Goa referred their COVID patients to Fidelity centres for chest assessment and proper monitoring of response to therapy.
The procedure for the HRCT scans was primarily done through appointments at Fidelity’s standalone and hospital-based centers whilst emergency patients on respiratory support were always given utmost priority. The scans took 7 minutes to complete (including patient shifting time) and the results were promptly shared with patients and referring doctors. The team of radiologists, with their expertise in teleradiology, PACS and AI tools, reported the scans with an average time frame of 30 minutes. In terms of numbers, around 220 and 30 HRCT scans were conducted per day at Pune and Goa centers, which was managed by a 12-person team in Pune and 8-person team in Goa (including technicians, front desk and housekeeping staff).
Commenting on the noble initiative, Dr Pramod Dhembare, Founder of Fidelity Diagnostics, said, “The healthcare system of India was in turmoil after COVID-19 gripped the entire nation. With a lack of equipment and a constant rise in the mortality, we decided to take part and do everything in our capacity and medical capabilities to counter the crises. Providing 20,000 HRCT scans, with the support of our partnered hospitals, helped us in detecting COVID-19 and providing the necessary care to provide more solace”.
HRCT scans have always been in existence but their demand skyrocketed post the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic (more than 30 times the usual) as there was a dearth of RT-PCR tests within the country. Owing to faster output and high sensitivity and specificity medical professionals relied on HRCT scans to detect COVID-19 among people. Maharashtra was the worst-hit Indian state during the second wave of COVID-19 and demanded the highest number of HRCT scans.
The scans proved to be useful in detecting the extent of the illnesses among COVID positive patients like perilobular consolidation, peripheral patchy or diffuse ground-glass densities with or without peripheral dense rim and more. Even COVID negative people were prescribed HRCT scans, as they complained of chest pains, cough and breathing difficulties.