by @BirgitPower on #FairImaging

Honestly: when I had my first MRI, which was in 2005, I was in a very emotional situation. I, the panic in person, second name claustrophobia, should enter this rattling and loud device. I was alone. Nobody explained anything to me, there was only one assistant who was stressed and who just managed to hand me the emergency button, which was good and I also used it.

In short, we did it. Somehow. We both were stressed and I was intimidated at that time. Today, I would respond and explain to her that I have a right to proper information if I have to sign consent. But that is today and I am well informed and I can respond accordingly if necessary.

Something that lasted, and there are still many people who need examinations, for example in radiology, who just can’t stand up for themselves. Factors include language problems with a migrant background or a lack of health literacy and knowledge of their own patient rights. Many little things can play a role. Sometimes you are intimidated and lack the courage to speak up or ask questions. Understandable, such situations are often perceived as threatening. You are afraid. In addition there are endless waiting times and sometimes you think you will be put in the back. Is that so? Who knows.

How do you know if everything medical is going the way it should be if you are fighting emotionally anyway?

Time to take a closer look. When Prof. Marc Dewey, radiologist at Charité in Berlin, invited me to participate in a study on “social cohesion” and in the #FairImaging project as a patient advocate, I was happy to agree. Because I’m interested and with MS we also have to undergo MRI regularly (or not) to monitor the progress of the MS. To say it in this way: it is very interesting! 

Prof. Dr. Marc Dewey
Prof. Dr. Marc Dewey, Charité Radiology Department

But to explain you more, I invited Prof. Dewey to tell us more about the Initiative #FairImaging:

Why do we do #FairImaging?

An illness is suspected and you get admitted to a hospital: Tests such as medical imaging is often carried out to identify the disease you may have. Will you get the right imaging? Will it be at the right time? Do all patients get what they need medically? Can patient safety be further improved?

What do we do in #FairImaging?

We analyze whether socio-economic factors are associated with medical imaging. In other words: do all patients get the imaging they need in a short time?

How do we do #FairImaging?

FairImaging is a transdisciplinary project. That means working with representatives from society and not just science on these issues. In particular, the experiences and knowledge of patients are essential in order to better understand relationships.

Which scientists are in #FairImaging?

Professors from all three universities in Berlin and Charité from different fields. In this way, we ensure the necessary competence and work in an interdisciplinary manner.

Was could be the result of #FairImaging?

Medical care could be improved by adapting imaging, individually and live, to the background of patients and medical requirements.

#FairImaging is a consortium of more than 20 experts from different scientific areas. We are working in small working groups on different aspects of the project and will come together next on March 6, 2020 to exchange our results and also discuss about the report in May. 

You want to know more? 

On Prof. Dewey`s website you can find more under “Fair Imaging”:

You can follow Prof. Dewey on twitter:

We established already the #FairImaging and send tweets out. 

At the moment we are working on a strategy to deliver more content on twitter to inform you better in the future. 

So: More to come!