Assessing the amount of radiation exposure to a patient and the amount of radiation that is really saved by dose-reducing measures is very difficult for the radiologist. DoseWatch, a new software solution by GE Healthcare, tracks and collects dosimetric data of all X-raybased modalities, documents the effects of dose management procedures and warns the user when pre-set thresholds are about to be exceeded. ‘The introduction of new dose reduction technologies in a hospital is often applauded, but quite as often the initial euphoria quickly subsides.
In the beginning, everybody is eager to apply the new solutions but after a while the data flood is unmanageable,’ says Marc Jopek, sales manager for DoseWatch at GE Healthcare. ‘While some RIS show the dose, it is only DoseWatch which allows the user to collect the patient data, to access the dose-length-product (DLP) for each single exam and to react immediately when the reference value is exceeded.’ In such a case an automatic dose alert is triggered. ‘In a combined protocol the values are added in order to determine the thresholds,’ Marc Jopek explains.
‘Moreover, DoseWatch calculates the average value per protocol as well as the double average as a dynamic limit. That means a well-equipped system and a welltrained team will easily be able to stay below the reference value.’ A major advantage: the software tool is manufacturerindependent. Located on a server it integrates into the internal imaging network and connects to the hospital RIS and PACS. This infrastructure offers highest data security. All pertinent details can be accessed with a few mouse clicks such as dose history by patient, anatomical region and modality or acquisition parameters. In addition, DoseWatch analyses whether certain peaks are observed, for example during night shifts or even with certain team members. Thus DoseWatch becomes a virtual radiation protection officer that allows full assessment and control of the internal workflows.