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Development of New Affordable Medical Physics Technology for the Developing World

V Tsapaki1*, D Pfeiffer2*, B van Ginneken3*, M Bazalova-Carter4*, (1) International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Vienna, AT, (2) Boulder Community Health, Boulder, CO, (3) University Hospital Utrecht, Utrecht, NL, (4) University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, CA


(Wednesday, 7/15/2020) 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: Track 2

The increasing number of radiology services comes with the increased need for medical physics services and related resources to supervise their safe and effective use. In less resourced countries these resources are frequently not available. IAEA provides numerous education and training activities and facilitates procurement of radiology and QC equipment to meet the needs of these countries. Furthermore, digital technologies combined with communication solutions can be utilized to facilitate close and reliable monitoring of systems in remote areas or with limited access to medical physics services.

The IAEA has created a system allowing for remote and automated quality control of radiographic and mammographic imaging systems. This system comprises two simple, inexpensive phantoms and freely available software for evaluating the images. Images can be evaluated at the facility with data kept in the cloud, or images can be transmitted to the qualified medical physicist for analysis. This system allows for simple, regular quality control of radiographic and mammographic imaging systems and for regions underrepresented by qualified medical physicists to have qualified medical physicist oversight from a distance.

CODE (COnceptus Dose Estimation) is a freely available web-based tool ( for the a) estimation of conceptus radiation dose and risks associated with radiographic, fluoroscopic and CT examinations performed on the expectant mother and b) anticipation of conceptus dose for the pregnant employee who participates in fluoroscopically-guided interventional procedures. An overview of CODE will be provided and the experience of using this tool for the education and training of IAEA fellows and medical physicists from developing countries will be also given.

Systems that use relatively inexpensive imaging such as x-ray and hand-held ultrasound with integrated automated image analysis for diagnosis and risk prediction have enormous potential for countries with a lack of doctors. Two such solutions are presented: CAD4TB and the BabyChecker. With over 4000 deaths per day, tuberculosis (TB) is in the top 10 causes of death worldwide, even though a $10 cocktail of three antibiotics can cure almost every patient. Diagnosing TB patients and putting them on treatment before they infect others is the key to curbing the TB epidemic. CAD4TB automatically assesses the risk of tuberculosis from a frontal chest radiograph. Every day, 800 women die as a direct consequence of complications around pregnancy. The BabyChecker provides a real time deep learning analysis of ultrasound images that can be acquired with a standardized sweep protocol that any midwife can learn in two hours.

Ultrahigh dose-rate "flash" radiotherapy appears to be a new promising way to treat cancer resulting decreased normal tissue complications. Unfortunately, machines capable of such delivery are not readily available and typically expensive. In this talk, the delivery of "flash" with conventional x-ray tubes to shallow depths in tissue will be described.

Learning Objectives:
1. To learn about IAEA activities in less resourced countries related to imaging
2. To learn about a cheap imaging technology for quality control developed within an IAEA project
3. To learn about available free or affordable imaging technology/software for use in imaging



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