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First Read Initiative


Our mission: To help make diagnostic imaging accessible to patients in unserved and underserved regions around the globe.

Photo Source: RAD-AID International, IV contrast training in Guyana (photo with permission)

Every patient deserves a proper diagnosis.

Over 4 billion people – two-thirds of the global population – do not have access to imaging technology or radiology services. The lack of effective diagnostic tools has dire consequences.



IR procedure symposium Kenya July 2020

Source: RAD-AID International, Interventional Radiology training in Kenya (photo with permission)


First Read Initiative’s support of RAD-AID enabled this first-ever simulator-based interventional radiology training in Vietnam. Simulator training was also performed at sites in Kenya and Tanzania.

Source: RAD-AID International, radiology lecture in Kenya (photo with permission).

Building bridges to better care.

First Read Initiative was founded in 2018 by a vRad radiologist determined to build bridges that give more patients access to life-saving diagnostic tools and insights. His vision is to extend the reach of imaging technology into areas that lack access to it, while simultaneously connecting remote clinics with radiologists willing to donate financial resources and diagnostic expertise.

In its inaugural year, over $114,000 was raised, helping provide:

  • An ultrasound machine to be used to train technologists all over the world
  • Thirteen computers to support the PACS system at the main hospital in Georgetown, Guyana
  • Sponsorships to attend a recent CME conference in Las Vegas for two of the first residency classes ever from Georgetown
  • Radiation reduction education for a children’s hospital in Thailand
  • Efforts to bring mobile ultrasound to rural Appalachia

It’s a start. But the need is still tremendous.

Become part of the solution.

60% of the world’s population does not have access to imaging of any kind. You can be part of the solution, through financial contributions or the gift of radiology expertise.

If you would like to learn more, make a contribution or submit a radiology-centric charity for consideration, please submit the form and we will be in touch.

vRad radiologists – Visit RadHQ to pledge your support.



Source: RAD-AID International, community-based mobile mammography with Breast Care for Washington (photo with permission)

First Read Initiative's impact on COVID-19 support.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our partnership with RAD-AID International supported the following:

  1. Life-saving distributions of Personal Protective Equipment to radiology health workers in Guyana and Malawi, sourced from in-country manufacturers, in order to protect radiology professionals from COVID-19 while giving vital patient care.

  2. ​​​​​​​Rapid acceleration of web-based radiology education to RAD-AID partners in 35 countries, including collaborations with the Bangladesh Society of Radiology and Imaging (BSRI), Mentice (for endovascular procedure simulations in Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria), and Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM).

  3. Sustained education for radiology residencies in Liberia, Tanzania, and Guyana through increased delivery of online instruction. 

  4. Domestic assistance to US hospitals through our education pages on safety and infection control, such as these images of radiology technologists and physicians working in the front lines of healthcare during the pandemic.

"First Read Initiative was formed to bring imaging resources to those who need it most. We may not always be able to travel to remote villages around the world to provide hands-on care, but we can contribute valuable funding and diagnostic expertise to the medical teams onsite from the chairs in our reading rooms."


Joshua Sokol, MD, vRad Radiologist and Founder of First Read Initiative

About vRad

vRad is the leading national teleradiology services and telemedicine company with over 500 U.S. board-certified and eligible physicians, the majority of whom are subspecialty trained. Our clinical expertise and evidence-based insight help clients make better decisions about the health of their patients and their imaging services.

Our physicians interpret and process patient imaging studies on the world’s largest and most advanced radiology PACS for 2,100 client hospital, health system and radiology group facilities in all 50 states. Our practice has 19 issued patents for innovation in telemedicine workflow, and we are a recognized leader in imaging analytics and deep learning-assisted diagnostics.