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Special report: Radiography (and fluoroscopy) keep pace with market demands

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | November 14, 2012
International Day of Radiology 2012
From the November 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Fujifilm introduced dose tracking functionality into its workstations almost two years ago and has recently released enhanced functionality for dose structured reporting.

Fabrizio says it’s no surprise some departments are justifying purchases based on how and how much they will be able to lower dose with technologies such as DR. As a result, more pressure is being placed on manufacturers not only to have lower dose technology, but also to help facilities track and report dose.

“A lot of committees and associations and organizations are setting guidelines and recommendations right now, a lot is in draft form, but it’s coming and managers are all teed up,” says Ybarra. He also believes that dose registries will follow soon.

The Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) and the U.S Food and Drug Administration have been working on an initiative to make sure that necessary dose and patient information, like age and weight, for X-ray imaging procedures are recorded in Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) radiation dose structured reports, which can then be easily transferred to a dose registry.

In line with this, Toshiba introduced DICOM radiation dose structured reporting on all its new Toshiba Infinix-i vascular X-ray systems. Each X-ray event for a patient is recorded from beginning to end and recorded on the PACS system for the providers to manage and evaluate.

Carestream also has dose management software features on its DRX-Evolution DR Suite.

“We have administrative analysis and reporting software that helps a facility get reports on all Carestream equipment in terms of what exam, what technology and what dose was seen,” says Titus. Carestream includes the feature on all its systems but Titus says it’s most critical on mobile units, with the idea that it’s being used for the sickest patients in the intensive care unit.

More recently, the FDA has bolstered its efforts to reduce and control radiation dose for pediatric patients. The FDA is working on final guidance rules for a proposal called Pediatric Information for X-ray Imaging Device Premarket Notifications, which will recommend that new X-ray imaging devices be manufactured with protocols and instructions that address use on pediatric patients.

Based on that FDA guidance, Carestream recently introduced software with pediatric patients in mind. Now, the company’s dose and imaging processing can be tailored to seven different body weights and sizes. “You can fine-tune the dose and get the best image quality based on the size of the patient. We continue to look at ways to help the facility because they are concerned with the overall dose a patient is seeing,” says Titus.

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