ARRS: Computer system tracks patient-specific CT dose levels

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Researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City have developed a computer-based system, Valkyrie, which may hold the key to tracking patient-specific radiation dose exposure during CT scan, according to a study presented May 3 at the 2010 American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) annual meeting in San Diego.

ARRS said that the system has the capability to track dose according to a patient's size and weight.

“The purpose of the computer-based system, called Valkyrie, is to extract the radiation dose information from CT dose reports so as to eventually perform automated quality control, promote radiation safety awareness, and provide a longitudinal record of patient healthcare-related radiation exposure,” said George Shih, MD, lead author of the study.

Shih and colleagues evaluated 518 CT reports performed by the Valkyrie system and found that the system had accurately detected dose information from all of the 518 CT scan reports.

“Valkyrie will eventually enable patients to keep a digital log of their healthcare-related radiation dose. While the system is functional, it is still in a development phase," said Shih. "We hope that eventually all hospitals will use Valkyrie or something equivalent for all CT studies, so that we can provide more accurate healthcare-related radiation dose information to our patients’ personal health records."

Shih said that the technology can be integrated even into older CT equipment models.