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9 February, 2015

NIRS to Optimize Medical Exposure from Diagnostic-imaging Apparatus

On January 30, National Institute of Radiological Science (NIRS) announced that it had begun operation of a system, in cooperation with medical institutions and manufacturers, which can automatically gather information on medical exposure from diagnostic-imaging apparatus, including CT scanners, and compile a database. The purpose is to reduce medical exposure doses from radiation-based diagnoses in an appropriate fashion.

Using information-gathering tools separately developed by NIRS and GE Healthcare Japan, NIRS has already started gathering data from the Tohoku University Hospital and Osaka Police Hospital. With three institutions to be added, the NIRS expects to gather information on 4,000 medical examinations from each facility, hoping to have data on a total of 20,000 cases in half a year.

NIRS’s information-gathering tools can be connected and will respond without depending on the manufacturer or device at the other end. They can convert imaged information on exposure doses into digital numerical information, also gathering and analyzing information as numerical data.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommends the use of diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) as targets to optimize medical exposure by minimizing radiation dose while not affecting diagnoses. With the above actions by NIRS, objective data can now be gathered in large volumes in a unified, centralized manner, which is expected to contribute to establishing DRLs.

With a view to developing the system for use in the management of individual patients’ medical exposure doses, the NIRS will expand the number of institutions involved to 20 or so in FY15, which runs until March 2016.

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