July 29, 2011 – Varian Medical Systems' next release of the Aria oncology information system, newly designed for greater ease of use, will be among the highlights of the company’s exhibit at the 2011 joint meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) here later this week. Varian will also demonstrate SmartConnect for TrueBeam, a utility that enables secure remote servicing of a TrueBeam cancer treatment machine. Varian personnel in the exhibit hall will use SmartConnect to monitor and evaluate a TrueBeam cancer treatment system 1300 miles away in Las Vegas, N.V.
ARIA Oncology Information System – Version 11
The next release of Varian's Aria oncology information system, a software program for managing advanced cancer treatment protocols, has been redesigned for greater ease of use and will also be on display. Aria Version 11 was recently certified as meeting the requirements for use as an electronic medical record (EMR) under the HITECH Act, which means it can be used to qualify for incentive payments under Medicare.
Aria Version 11 incorporates a new icon-oriented interface using easily recognized pictures and symbols rather than words to guide navigation. Users can configure a personalized home screen to serve as a dashboard that aggregates frequently used information and utilities in one place.
Aria Version 11 is also more tightly integrated with Eclipse treatment planning so that users can access tasks in either system from Aria screens without launching different programs. Pre-programmed task sequences offer greater automation and standardization. The system can be configured to present users with tasks in the proper sequence based on a treatment center's approved workflow protocols. Rules and checklists can be attached to tasks and required by the system before a treatment can progress.
The TrueBeam System and SmartConnect
Varian will also showcase the TrueBeam system for image-guided radiotherapy and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), which was designed to treat tumors with unprecedented speed and accuracy — including tumors that move during treatment as the patient breathes. SmartConnect enables remote servicing of TrueBeam, reducing the frequency and duration of onsite service calls and sometimes eliminating them altogether.
"With SmartConnect, Varian's clinical experts can remotely see exactly what our customers see in real time, and deal with any problems faster than would be possible if we were dispatching a service engineer to the site," said Kevin O'Reilly, senior director of customer support services marketing. "We can work with customers as if we were right beside them, identify problems and implement solutions quickly."
Smart Segmentation Knowledge-Based Contouring
Varian's Smart Segmentation knowledge-based contouring tool, which has been fully integrated with Eclipse treatment planning, will also be exhibited. This tool automates and accelerates the most time-consuming portion of the treatment planning process, using "smart" software to automatically identify and outline organs and other structures within diagnostic images so that doctors can specify structures to be irradiated or protected during radiotherapy treatments.
The tool can also perform automatic contouring based on pre-contoured images from a database created by renowned radiation oncologists. This significantly reduces the need for clinicians to manually outline between 10 and 20 organs in each of anywhere from 100 to 200 images of a patient's disease site. Clinicians can start the planning process with images that have important anatomical structures already outlined, and adjust them according to their clinical judgment. "It's similar to building a house from scratch or remodeling," said Jeff Amacker, business manager for treatment planning systems. "Remodeling is generally much faster because you have something to work from."
Varian Users Meeting at AAPM
Varian will conduct a Users Meeting on Saturday, July 30, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., when experts from across North America will cover topics including: user-centric software solutions for patient-centric care; the treatment of lung cancer using RapidArc technology to deliver stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT); enhancing safety through quality assurance techniques; and high-dose-rate brachytherapy for gynecological cancer treatment.
For more information: www.varian.com