UN agency supports patient radiation tracking program

July 1, 2009

The International Atomic Energy Agency is backing plans to keep track of how much medical radiation patients are exposed to over time by issuing smart cards and modifying electronic medical records.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is backing plans to keep track of how much medical radiation patients are exposed to over time by issuing smart cards and modifying electronic medical records.

The IAEA announced April 29 an initiative that relies on imaging equipment vendors and IT experts to develop a long-term radiation exposure record for patients available whenever and wherever they go for a scan. All modalities would have to display the dose delivered in a standardized format, while hospitals and clinics would also need an EMR system that can store individual dose data and produce a running total of lifetime x-ray exposure. Tangible results from the project, which is being funded jointly by the IAEA and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, can be expected within the next three to five years.