November 16, 2021

Health4TheWorld: A Movement of Hope, Innovative Technologies, Humanitarian Aid and Education

Jose Rodriguez, MD

Health4TheWorld is a nonprofit organization established in Silicon Valley, CA, that aims to help the radiology community by providing free of cost, worldwide access to virtual education, innovative technologies and humanitarian aid to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. It was co-founded in 2016 by Bhavya Rehani, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco (USCF); William Dillon, MD, Professor of Radiology, UCSF; and Ankur Bharija, MD, Medical Director at the Inpatient Geriatrics Program, Stanford Hospital.

The four pillars of Health4TheWorld are selfless service, education across the globe, technology innovation and the power of the global medical community to provide humanitarian aid. Its mission is to promote health worldwide in low-resource areas and underprivileged communities using education, innovative technologies and kindness. This is a completely volunteer-driven movement, and I have volunteered to work with attendings of different specialties, medical students and professionals from different media and technology backgrounds.

We have organized Health4TheWorld chapters in all parts of the world. These chapters are the powerhouses for achieving our mission. During each webinar that I moderated, I could see the satisfaction of all our viewers with messages of excitement after watching top-quality lectures on high-yield radiology topics. We also organized insightful panels involving worldwide leaders in radiology who discussed relevant, health-related topics.

Currently, we have arranged a multidisciplinary curriculum involving 19 specialties in 122 countries. Trainees can access all of our lectures on the YouTube channel at their convenience. So far, we have uploaded more than 500 training videos and have provided 250 live workshops worldwide. I was lucky to be a part of our Hispanic curriculum, working together with Hispanic radiologists from prestigious Latin American and U.S. institutions.

We are always trying to find innovative, virtual alternatives for trainee and patient education. Stroke patients with aphasia can use our phone and tablet mobile application to communicate with others. The app has exercises, reminders and a learn section with educational tips in different languages. On our website, patients can also access a diagnostic algorithm chatbox that uses artificial intelligence to guide which questions to ask for common medical complaints.

During the ongoing pandemic, we have been helping with COVID-related radiology issues. At the worst of the pandemic, when education was limited in residency programs, we provided weekly webinars in radiology and medicine. Likewise, we have been constantly donating PPE to countries that are experiencing PPE shortages. We even used 3D printing as an innovative method to create PPE. We started a project called “Letters for Hope,” where radiologists around the world send letters to nursing homes and hospices. We also did research regarding the impact of COVID on radiology departments worldwide.

Health4TheWorld allowed me to be a part of a movement that is increasing access to medical education on a global level. It is hard to put into words the feeling of satisfaction that I have experienced after participating in such a noble cause for radiology.