News Releases

Sectra and Virtual Phantoms are Partners!

Posted on May 16, 2014

Albany, NY – (May 15, 2014) Virtual Phantoms is pleased to announce its partnership with Sectra. This partnership is to integrate the Sectra DoseTrack and VPI VirtualDoseCT products together to give customers the best Dose Management and the most accurate organ dose calculations possible. For more information, please visit Sectra online and Virtual Phantoms online. About Sectra DoseTrack Sectra DoseTrack™ is a web-based dose monitoring solution that allows you to monitor patient radiation doses and ensure that they are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Sectra DoseTrack automatically collects, stores and monitors data from all connected modalities saving valuable time and facilitating analysis. Sectra DoseTrack allows you to easily track and compare the radiation levels on modality, examination or patient level. The system can be configured to provide automatic alerts when radiation levels exceed established thresholds. It is also easy to export data for reporting to regulatory authorities or for further analysis in Excel. The system has the ability to be configured using local and national DRL (Dose Reference Levels) to allow the organization to ensure that it is performing within expected thresholds. For more information about Sectra, please visit Sectra online. About VirtualDoseCT VirtualDose™CT is sophisticated radiation dose simulation software for radiologists, radiological technologists, medical physicists, regulators, manufacturers and researchers. Thanks to the use of a well-tested family of anatomically correct phantoms of adults and children, revolutionary GPU-based Monte Carlo simulation, and innovative SaaS programming techniques that were developed from more than one decade of research, it permits radiation health professionals to obtain highly accurate images with much greater patient safety. VirtualDoseCT enables users to compute doses to radiosensitive organs, in addition to non-patient-specific CTDI and DLP data provided by the CT scanner. It is able to differentiate for individuals outside of the “average” population body habitus. It covers the latest CT scanners and methodologies on effective dose. Read more about VirtualDoseCT...

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Aware Integrates Virtual Phantoms VirtualDose™CT software with Aware REM Server

Posted on Aug 1, 2013

Albany, NY – (August 1, 2013) Aware and Virtual Phantoms have successfully integrated their respective software applications to enhance the radiation dose data collection and monitoring capabilities of Aware REM Server with the patient-specific organ dose estimation of VirtualDoseCT. The result is the ability for users of REM Server to include organ dose estimations in their reports. About Aware REM Server Aware REM Server is a centralized software application that runs on a healthcare provider’s network and receives dose data from radiological equipment, including CT scanners and fluoroscopy equipment. It can then distribute the data in standard-compliant form to radiology reporting systems, PACS, and external data registries. It also provides advanced reporting functions through a browser-based user interface that clinicians can use to perform statistical analysis on the data. Aware REM Server is designed to enable healthcare providers to collect radiation exposure data based on the IHE’s Radiation Exposure Monitoring (REM) Integration Profile, generate customized dosage estimation reports for comparison to other results, and then upload the data to the American College of Radiology (ACR) Dose Index Registry (DIR). The reports can be used to help identify opportunities for lowering unnecessary radiation exposure. REM Server also stores and analyzes DICOM-compliant radiation dose information as it becomes available to calculate exposure information near real-time. This allows professionals to produce customized reports that summarize exposure information by physician, modality, time/date, institution or other user-defined queries. REM Server provides a rich user interface that enables direct access to exposure information as well as summary information through interactive analysis tools. Reports can be manually created or automatically run at predetermined intervals. Additional information about radiation exposure monitoring is available in a white paper available on Aware’s website. For additional information about Aware REM Server, visit Aware online. About VirtualDoseCT VirtualDose™CT is sophisticated radiation dose simulation software for radiologists, radiological technologists, medical physicists, regulators, manufacturers and researchers. Thanks to the use of a well-tested family of anatomically correct phantoms of adults and children, revolutionary GPU-based Monte Carlo simulation, and innovative SaaS programming techniques that were developed from more than one decade of research, it permits radiation health professionals to obtain highly accurate images with much greater patient safety. VirtualDoseCT enables users to compute doses to radiosensitive organs, in addition to non-patient-specific CTDI and DLP data provided by the CT scanner. It is able to differentiate for individuals outside of the “average” population body habitus. It covers the latest CT scanners and methodologies on effective dose. Read more about VirtualDoseCT...

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Curbing CT Scans in Kids Could Cut Cancer Risk

Posted on Jun 11, 2013

CBS News – (June 10, 2013)  Computerized tomography, or CT scans, are being given to children and adolescents in increasing rates, according to new research, potentially putting cancer in their futures. The researchers estimate that nearly 5,000 future cancer cases could be caused by the roughly 4 million pediatric CT scans performed each year. “The increased use of CT in pediatrics, combined with the wide variability in radiation doses, has resulted in many children receiving a high-dose examination,” the study authors wrote. Published Jun 10 in JAMA Pediatrics, the new study tracked CT scan rates among children younger than 15 from 1996 to 2005. A CT scan uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body, including the brain, chest, spine and abdomen. Previous research has shown children with a history of frequent CT scans or X-rays may be at an increased risk for cancer due to radiation exposure. A June 2012 study in The Lancet found kids who get two or three CT scans before they turn 15 face three times more risk for brain cancer, and those who get five to 10 scans in the same time frame face triple the risk for leukemia. The overall rates, however, were still low, the researchers pointed out: The risk of leukemia in children is already about 1 in 2,000, so having multiple CT scans might increase that risk to about 1 in 600 cases. CT scans expose people to more radiation than a typical X-ray. Children are more sensitive to radiation-induced cancer than older adults because they have more years for the cancer to develop, according to the researchers, who were led by Dr. Diana L. Miglioretti, a senior investigator at the Group Health Research Institute and the University of California, Davis. Miglioretti’s team looked at a decade’s worth of pediatric CT scans from databases of seven U.S. health care systems that included up to 371,000 children. They also measured radiation exposure from 744 pediatric CT scans of the head, chest, abdomen/pelvis and spine — these tests make up about 95 percent of pediatric CT scans, according to the researchers. The researchers found the number of CT scans given to kids during the study period doubled among children ages 5 and younger and tripled for those between 5 and 14 years old. The rates stabilized between 2006 and 2007, before starting to decline. The risks were higher for patients who underwent abdomen or spine CT scans than those who underwent other types, the researchers discovered. Specifically for girls, who were found to be at a higher radiation risk than boys, the researchers predicted that a radiation-induced cancer might result from every 300 to 390 abdomen/pelvis scans, 330 to 480 chest CTs, and 270 to 800 spine scans, depending on age. Younger patients faced higher risk than older children. Leukemia risk was highest from head CTs for children younger than 5 years of age at a rate of almost two cases per 10,000 CT scans. Reducing the highest 25 percent of doses to the midpoint dose may prevent 43 percent of the cancers, they estimated. They called for more research into whether other imaging methods or no imaging at all could be as effective for kids. In an accompanying editorial published in the same journal issue, Dr. Alan R. Schroeder, a pediatrician at the...

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Multiple CT Scans in Kids Triples Cancer Risk, But Overall Risk is Low

Posted on Jun 11, 2013

CBS News – (June 7, 2013)  Kids who get two or three CT scans before they turn 15 triple their risk of developing brain cancer, new research suggests. The study also found kids who get five to 10 scans triple their risk for developing leukemia. However the researchers behind the new study say the absolute risk of developing cancer is still small and probably outweighed by the reason the child needs the CT scan in the first place. But study adds to a growing amount of research focusing on radiation risk for kids. The use of CT scans has risen rapidly since they were introduced 30 years ago. For children, they’re used to evaluate head, neck or spine injuries or neurological disorders. A study last year found the number of kids who were given CT scans in an emergency room visit has risen five-fold between 1995 and 2008, from about 330,000 annual visits to 1.65 million. For the study, published in the June 6 issue of The Lancet, international researchers studied nearly 180,000 patients under age 22 who had a CT scan in British hospitals between 1985 and 2002. The patients were tracked until 2008, and researchers found 74 of them were diagnosed with leukemia while 135 had brain tumors. The scientists didn’t measure the number of scans, which were mostly of the head, but examined data measuring radiation doses from the scans. That’s because the amount of radiation received by body parts such as the brain and bone marrow depends on the age and size of the patient. The children who later developed leukemia or brain tumors were compared to a group of people who got a very low dose of radiation to the same parts of their bodies. “CT scans are very useful, but they also have relatively high doses of radiation, when compared to X-rays,” said study author Dr. Mark Pearce, an epidemiologist at Newcastle University. He said CT scans were warranted in most situations but more needed to be done to reduce the amount of radiation. Pearce emphasized these were rare diseases and that the higher risk was still small. The risk of leukemia in children is about 1 in 2,000, so having several CT scans would bump that up to about 1 in 600. “What we definitely don’t want is parents saying, ‘No, I don’t want my child to have a CT scan,’ when he absolutely needs it,” Pearce told TIME. “Although there is a tripling of risk, we are talking about a tripling of something small, and three times something small is still something small,” he said. “We just need to look into making sure the scans are justified.” The researchers noted that modern CT scanners give off about 80 percent less radiation than the older machines used in the study. Even at low doses, the radiation can damage genes that may increase the patient’s risk of developing cancer later. The study was paid for by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the U.K. Department of Health. In the U.K., laws already require radiation from medical scans be kept as low as possible. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration is pushing manufacturers to design new scanners to minimize radiation exposure for the youngest patients, HealthPop reported last month. The agency also posted advice on the Internet urging parents...

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Virtual Phantoms Successfully Completes Beta Testing in 10 U.S. Hospitals

Posted on May 15, 2013

Albany, NY – (May 15, 2013) Virtual Phantoms, Inc. today announced the successful conclusion of beta testing for its revolutionary radiation dose exposure software, VirtualDose™CT. The testing was conducted at 10 major U.S. hospitals over the past 6 months as part of a “fast-track” STTR project with The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine whether the product is performing to the level of accuracy and ease-of-use required by medical physicists and radiologists. According to company officials, the reactions to the product were very positive and Virtual Phantoms Inc. will now finalize the software for commercial release in either 2013 or 2014. VirtualDoseCT is a solution to the growing problem of optimizing radiation dosage during CT examinations. The state-of-the art for many years has been to use an “average” human body model to determine radiation exposure doses. But such models do not allow for the dramatic differences in size and shape for children at different ages, for pregnant women at different gestational levels, or for obese individuals of all ages. The new software uses a well-tested family of body 3D models, known as “phantoms,” along with sophisticated simulation software, to get a more precise dose mapping for each organ in a broad range of body types. “American Board of Radiology has called for better ways to manage radiation exposure from CT imaging and to further improve patient safety,” explained Dr. George Xu, professor of nuclear engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a fellow of American Association of Medical Physicists, American Nuclear Society, and Health Physics Society, who served as the principal investigator of the project. “Supported by the NIH as “fast-track” STTR project confirmed our belief that solutions offered by VirtualDoseCT were considered by the NIH as a national priority in addressing the needs for CT dose management because the software is designed to allow radiologists and medical physicists to ultimately optimize CT imaging at the organ dose level, instead of traditional dose indices that unrelated to specific patient.” Although CT imaging has been proven extremely effective as a diagnostic tool, repeated exposure to ionizing radiation is known to associate with a potential risk of adverse effects. In light of rapidly increasing use of CT scanners in recent years, national and international organizations have issued warnings about the consequences of unjustified CT radiation doses and, in the U.S., California and Texas have passed the first laws requiring hospitals to record the CT radiation dose for each patient. To address the growing problem, American Board of Radiology (ABR) has launched two public campaigns called “Image Wisely” and “Image Gently.” “The trend toward increasing regulation in CT exposure is expected to accelerate in the near future. Tools such as VirtualDose are essential,” Dr. Xu explained. “We are now moving rapidly to ready the product for the marketplace.” VirtualDoseCT was developed under a strategic consortium with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the University of Florida (UF) using their “virtual patients” technologies derived from research activities previously funded by NIH and other agencies. The overall goal of this project has been to develop VirtualDoseCT for radiologists, radiological technologists, medical physicists, regulators, manufacturers and researchers who need to calculate and analyze patient radiation doses from x-ray computed tomography (CT) examinations. solves the need for accurate...

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NIH Funded “Virtual Patient” Research Receives Flurry of Media Attention

Posted on Apr 15, 2013

Albany, NY – (April 15, 2012)  VirtualDose™CT, the product of many years of “virtual patient” research funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy, received a flurry of media attention this spring that brought the technology to the attention of the general public for the first time. A Wall Street Journal article and video in December were soon followed by stories in U.S. News and World Reports, MedicalPhysicsWeb, MedicalXpress, DailyRx Relevant Health News, MyhealthNewsDaily, SciGuru, and Science News, as well as foreign journals.  What particularly caught the public’s attention was the idea that obese people are getting exposed to more radiation when they receive CT scans. Thanks to the virtual patient technology embodied in VirtualDoseCT, this long-standing problem can now be addressed. It solves the radiologist’s need for accurate x-ray CT radiation dose tracking and reporting by providing anatomically correct 3D patient modeling. The Web-based solution revolutionizes the way organ doses are calculated for health physics applications. Using a well-tested family of anatomically correct phantoms, revolutionary GPU-based Monte Carlo simulation, and innovative Software as a Service (SaaS) programming techniques, it permits radiation health professionals to obtain highly accurate images with less radiation. VirtualDoseCT was developed under a strategic consortium with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the University of Florida (UF) using their “virtual patients” technologies derived from research activities previously funded by NIH and other agencies. The overall goal of this project has been to develop VirtualDoseCT for radiologists, radiological technologists, medical physicists, regulators, manufacturers and researchers who need to calculate and analyze patient radiation doses from x-ray computed tomography (CT) examinations. solves the need for accurate CT X-ray radiation dose tracking and reporting by providing anatomically correct 3D patient modeling. The Web-based solution will be deployed in beta trials at 10 major U.S. hospitals later this year before being made commercially available in 2013. Virtual Phantoms, Inc. was founded in 2009 by faculty members from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in collaboration with the University of Florida, using the “Virtual Patient technologies developed from nearly 20 years research at RPI and UF in the field of nuclear and radiological engineering. Combining a large collection of anatomically accurate models of patients of various ages and sizes and sophisticated “Monte Carlo” simulation methods originally developed for nuclear weapons research at Los Alamos in the 1940s, VPI is recognized as a world leader in the modeling of ionizing radiation, radiation safety, and medical/occupational radiation...

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