Radiation dose has long been an important industry topic. Recently, attention has broadened from the health field to prominent mainstream/consumer awareness. With more patients becoming sensitized to this topic, imaging professionals are fielding more dose-related questions—including those related to projection radiography.
Given the substantial benefits of medical imaging, it’s important for the imaging community to clearly communicate what we are doing to address this issue. At Carestream Health, we are actively working to help customers minimize and monitor patient dose. Our end goal is to enable our customers to get the best medical image required for diagnosis at the lowest possible exposure to the patient.
One important way we are contributing to dose reduction is by continuously developing better X-ray detectors that enable radiology professionals to reduce the exposure level when taking a digital X-ray—and consequently lessen patient dose—while still maintaining a very high quality image suitable for diagnosis. We also offer software tools that enable customers to track and report each patient X-ray exposure, as well as the number and type of exams that have been rejected or repeated. Use of these monitoring tools can lead to improved patient care through additional training that may help reduce patient dose and the need to repeat X-ray exams.
Equally important, we have also taken a leadership role within the scientific community to help develop a standardized radiation exposure index for digital radiography. This standard, now complete, is currently being implemented in our products and will help customers more accurately measure and track exposure. We are also active supporters of the Image Gently project—a campaign that encourages increased awareness of opportunities to lower radiation dose in pediatric radiology procedures.
What questions are you getting from patients regarding dose? Are you getting the tools you need from imaging suppliers to address this issue?
– Holly Hillberg, Chief Technology Officer, Carestream Health