August 10, 2009 – iPhone application estimates patients' cumulative radiation doses as a result of medical exams and then calculates the associated cancer risk.
A fourth-year radiology resident at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, hopes iPhone and iTouch users will use a $2.99 application launched in May that aggregates available research to estimate a patient’s cumulative radiation.
The co-creators of the application, Dr. Mark Otto Baerlocher, and Adrian Baerlocher, a computer programmer, say the point of the application is to raise awareness among patients and physicians about radiation risk associated with some radiology and radiology-related exams. The Radiation Passport program allows users to enter exam histories, medical instructions and appointments. It is similar in principle to a website operated by a group of radiology residents in the United States (www.xrayrisk.com).
According to Dr. Donald Frush, chair of the American College of Radiology Pediatric Imaging Commission and a member of the Image Gently campaign, indicates that while he supports increasing awareness, there is concern because Radiation Passport may not help patients understand the balance between the risks and benefits, and a patient may refuse a CT exam because the program says they’re risk is high.
Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal
For more information: www.cmaj.ca