Radiacion medica

Spain will become an international benchmark in the control of medical radiation doses

National Institute of Healthcare Management, through the National Dosimetry Centre, is working on a project that will turn Spanish healthcare into an international benchmark for the collection, management and control of medical radiation doses. It involves the creation of a National Patient Dose Bank (NPDB) for the entire National Health System. This will make it possible to collect, unify and monitor all the information regarding radiological interventions.

The project will allow the creation of a clinical registry containing all relevant data on radiation exposure in medical tests, received by patients from the National Health System. This information will be available to both healthcare professionals and patients, who will be able to consult their historical record. Another of the great advantages is that it will help to establish, compare and apply the reference levels for the different medical tests, teams and territories, which are a fundamental tool to optimize the radiation doses received by patients. Currently, there is no general computerized control of the number and quantity of doses that patients receive.

The NPDB will be a digital platform that will use Machine Learning and Business Intelligence to analyse the data of the radiation sessions that each individual receives throughout their lives. These tools will facilitate the work of professionals in their daily activity. In addition, the anonymized data repository will serve both physicians and the international scientific community, to discover the generation of hidden patterns and complex associations, detect overexposure to radiation, and relate it to derived problems, in an intelligent way.

Under the framework of the European directive EURATOM 2013/59, the creation of this bank of doses to patients for the entire National Health System, which is currently in the design phase, “would have an unprecedented applicability, since that there is no unified radiological information storage and exploitation system in the health field that covers, in a general way, the samples of a country”, has emphasized Juan Catret, coordinator of the project.

The National Patient Dose Bank is being defined and designed by our firm. After winning the tender, some of our best-known technological initiatives have been for organizations such as the World Bank or the European Defence Agency. Together with our company, GE Healthcare will share the deployment of this project, a company with extensive experience in data analysis projects in the international healthcare environment, and especially in dose management and control systems.

The generalization of the use of new imaging modalities in radiology and nuclear medicine (80% of clinical diagnoses in Spain are based on images), the improvement of radiotherapy and interventional radiology techniques, as well as increasing access of the population to these diagnostic and treatment services, have increased exposures to ionizing radiation to the point that more than 90% of the doses received from artificial sources come from medical uses. Among them, the most frequent would be the modalities of CT, Mammography, Interventional Radiology and Conventional Radiology, or Nuclear Medicine, among others.

Interterritorial Challenge

“The challenge of citizen mobility makes it necessary to implement a system that facilitates the territorial extension of these functionalities to the entire National Health System, and allows professionals to have accurate information when health care needs occur outside the Autonomous Community in which this information has been generated”, has pronounced María Gracia, Hospital Radiophysicist responsible for the Medical Physics section of the project..