After a quick stop in the exhibition hall to erect my poster it was off to the Radiation Protection strand of lectures. There was a variety of topics including balancing risk and regulation of ionising radiation, protection for proton therapy, and studies on finger doses in Nuclear Medicine and Monte Carlo assessment of scattered radiation from CT.
The two topics that stood out for me in the morning session were two that I have encountered personally over the last couple of weeks. The first was the problems and issues in Dental Radiation Protection. This highlighted the often conflicting information that is given by various parties during discussion with dentists regarding x-ray equipment including shielding, personal monitoring and doses to patients. The second was defining an uncertainty budget for cross calibration checks of dosemeters. It was suggested that with careful set up and execution that the percentage uncertainty could be almost the same as sending a dosemeter to a secondary standard calibration house, thus saving cost and down-time in the process.
For the afternoon I changed topics slightly to that of ensuring the safe use of medical devices. The lecture of interest for me was the compatibility of MRI and ventricular assist devices used to keep patients alive until a donor heart is found. Methods were demonstrated to show how it may be possible to confirm whether a MRI scan can be undertaken when these types of devices are used. More work is still needed but good ground work has been carried out.
For the last session of the day, talks on the IEC directive 80001, concerning safety and security of networks containing medical devices, were undertaken. A method was laid out for assessing a hospital against the directive and some of the problems that may be encountered. The exciting talk in this session came from HP and how they see the future of hospitals, healthcare information and converged infrastructure. This promised alerting medical teams, halting lifts, and opening doors all at the touch of a smart phone when a medical emergency was occurring. It all seemed a bit sci-fi at present but who knows in 5, 10 or 50 years time where healthcare will be.