Cardiology and Radiation – Is ALARA Enough?

Radiation exposure during interventional cardiology creates a health risk to patients and the medical professionals that care for them. There are basic fundamentals and best practices for radiation safety, but are they enough? Is there more that should be expected? Shouldn’t we – as patients and healthcare providers – expect more?

In a previous editorial, we discussed an article presented to the American College of Cardiology by Dr. Sheila Sahni et al. on radiation safety and the practice of cardiology. Dr. Sahni discussed three basic fundamentals often proposed as the key to radiation safety – time, distance, and shielding.

In addition to these fundamentals, further efforts to limit radiation exposure – to improve radiation protection – include best practices such as using protective equipment and garments and using dosimeters to monitor and limit exposure.

Hospitals follow the principles of ALARA – as low as reasonably achievable. ALARA assumes that no dose of radiation is safe and that every precaution possible should be taken to prevent radiation exposure to patients as well as to the medical staff that treats them. But ALARA relies mainly on guidelines and training. These efforts are not always consistent in practice patterns with varying complexity of procedures and patient characteristics.

Efforts such as ALARA are important steps in providing improved radiation safety to cardiologists, but are they enough? Should the goal really be what’s “reasonably” achievable?

Even when hospitals and doctors follow the best practices of ALARA, it’s not enough. There is more protection available than best practices and what is provided by time, distance, and shielding. There is the protection provided by technology.

At Omega, we think there should be more – that cardiologists should not only expect more, they should demand more. Omega proposes technology as a fourth fundamental. Technology can go beyond best practices and deliver consistent and proven radiation protection over and beyond typical expectations.

Omega recently introduced an innovative new interventional cardiology system, the Soteria.AI. The system uses AI image-guided technology that automatically defines, tracks, and collimates to the Region of Interest (ROI) of the cardiologist. Advanced image processing delivers superior image quality while reducing radiation exposure by up to ~84%. This reduction is in addition to existing best practices – over and beyond ALARA.

AI provides an automatic, hands-free solution to radiation reduction – delivering the benefit of consistent and repeatable radiation reduction beyond what conventional, non-AI systems can provide with no change in existing workflow. ROI technology is proven to provide dramatic results in radiation exposure reduction.

Omega took the best of conventional interventional systems and then made a quantum leap forward in technology. The result is the creation of a new imaging modality – one that dramatically reduces radiation exposure to patients and staff while delivering the superior image quality demanded during interventional procedures.

Omega breaks away from traditional systems with innovative technology – technology that no one else has. As the only company in the world to offer this technology, Omega has created a new standard of radiation safety and imaging excellence – a new standard of care.

Currently, Omega is the only manufacturer of interventional systems that incorporates this advanced technology into their systems. Omega AI-enabled systems go beyond merely managing radiation to provide actual dose reduction – allowing physicians and hospitals to provide the best care and radiation safety to their patients.

Omega shatters the expectation of reasonable.

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