Feature | September 09, 2011 | David Fisher

MITA Works to Reduce Dose

Manufacturers remain committed to reducing medical radiation

Since the advent of computed tomography (CT) scans in the early 1970s, this technology has become increasingly critical to the standards of care.  Over the same time, manufacturers have continuously delivered innovative advances to CT technology, including reductions in medical radiation, while maintaining crisp, clear images.  

As the technology has become more accessible it has enabled us to detect disease earlier, save more lives and reduce mortality. A study released by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) demonstrates that low-dose CT scans are proven to be effective at saving lives, reducing lung cancer related deaths by as much as 20 percent in high-risk populations and by 7 percent for all mortality.

However, this technology must be carefully managed, monitored, tracked and double-checked.  The members of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) are committed to further reducing medical radiation and working with all parties responsible for patient care to ensure CT technology is used properly and responsibly.

Manufacturers have a long history of reducing radiation dose via new hardware and software innovations.  This past year, manufacturers introduced a new CT Dose Check Initiative, an industry-wide commitment that new CT products will include additional radiation safeguards: a new radiation dose notification and dose alert features that can help reduce radiation dose and medical errors. Additionally, a new dose recording feature will track dose levels to help providers understand how their facility compares to local and national standards.  CT manufacturers have already begun shipping equipment with these new features.

In June 2010 MITA, along with the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), also rolled out the Radiation Therapy Readiness Check Initiative, which further enhances the safety of radiation therapy equipment through the development and implementation of additional patient protection features. These features verify that patient treatment plans are delivered as intended, and that radiation therapy equipment, accessories and patients are properly positioned prior to delivery of therapy.

Such innovations build on a long history of industry efforts to advance patient safety measures — including equipment safety standards, protocol development, quality and safety checks, provider education programs and physician-developed medical guidelines — to minimize radiation dose as much as possible and to provide even greater degrees of coordination, transparency and reporting in the delivery of medical radiation.

MITA members continue to incorporate the radiation dose management and optimization principle, As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA), into all imaging procedures and technologies.  We also collaborate with other stakeholders in the medical community on related initiatives, such as the Image Gently campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the opportunities to lower radiation dose in the imaging of children. Moreover, MITA is also on the record as a staunch supporter of certification of equipment operators, accreditation of imaging facilities, uniform dose recording standards for imaging data and standardized reporting of medical errors associated with imaging and radiation therapy equipment.

Manufacturers’ proactive efforts to reduce radiation dose while continuing to improve image quality and effectiveness are an important medical success story. These innovative and life-saving technologies are allowing doctors to detect, diagnose and treat patients earlier than ever before, saving and improving millions of lives.  A National Bureau of Economic Research study revealed that cancer imaging innovation accounted for 40 percent of the reduction in U.S. cancer deaths between 1996 and 2006, which makes it most likely the largest single contributor to decreased cancer mortality during this decade.

Imaging manufacturers remain true to our pledge to ensure all patients have access to the right scan – with the right radiation dose – at the right time, and will continue to do our part to ensure every imaging procedure is both safe and medically appropriate for the patient’s condition.  We look forward to continuing to work with fellow industry stakeholders, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and patients to further reduce unnecessary radiation exposure from medical imaging.

Dave Fisher is the executive director of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, the Association for Electrical and Medical Imaging Manufacturers, which is the collective voice of medical imaging and therapy equipment manufacturers, innovators and product developers. For more information: www.medicalimaging.org

Related Content

Sponsored Content | Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | July 21, 2017
DAIC and ITN Editor Dave Fornell discusses some of the most innovative new computed tomography (CT) technology and tr
Radiologists Seek Greater Involvement in Patient Care
News | Patient Engagement | July 20, 2017
Despite time and workload constraints, radiologists are looking for ways to become more directly involved in the care...
ACR Updates Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics Guidance With ASTRO and AAPM
News | Radiation Dose Management | July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017 — The American College of Radiology (ACR) recently collaborated with professional medical societies to
SIIM Recognizes Innovators in Medical Imaging Informatics at 2017 Annual Meeting

Accepting the award on behalf of Arterys is Julia Geer shown with SIIM Chair Dr. Paul Nagy (left), and Innovation Challenge Co-Chair Dr. Ram Chadalavada (right)

News | Analytics Software | July 19, 2017
During the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) 2017 general closing session held in Pittsburgh, Fabien...
Sponsored Content | Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | July 19, 2017
Matthew Budoff, M.D., FACC, professor of medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, endowed chair of preventi
Sponsored Content | Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | July 19, 2017
Leslee Shaw, Ph.D., director of clinical research and professor of medicine at Emory University, Atlanta, and past-pr
Low Doses of Radiation Could Harm Cardiovascular Health
News | Radiation Dose Management | July 17, 2017
Ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, has a harmful effect on the cardiovascular system even at doses equivalent to...
Sponsored Content | Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | July 13, 2017
Todd Villines, M.D., FACC, FAHA, FSCCT, director of cardiac CT, Georgetown Medical Center, and president of the Socie
Insurance Coverage for CT Colonography Increases Likelihood of Screening
News | Colonoscopy Systems | July 12, 2017
People with insurance policies that cover computed tomography (CT) colonography for colorectal cancer screening are...
Toshiba Medical and AHRA Open Applications for 10th Annual Putting Patients First Program
News | Business | July 11, 2017
AHRA (the Association for Medical Imaging Management) and Toshiba Medical announced the tenth year of their Putting...
Overlay Init