Radiation Safety and Endoscopy…
The science and technology behind radiation safety during interventional endoscopy procedures are changing. There are new radiation-saving modalities available that dramatically reduce the risk of radiation exposure to the patient and staff. The best practices for radiation safety are still important, but so too is better technology and the benefits it provides.
In a recent paper presented to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), Karl Kwok, MD, FASGE, Nazia Hasan, MD, MPH, et al. examined the issue of radiation and fluoroscopy safety in gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. After a thorough review of the key concepts of fluoroscopy and the principles of radiation safety, the doctors argued for the promotion of radiation safety and quality in GI – now and in the future.
This paper directly noted that new technology using artificial intelligence (AI) can further reduce exposure to the patient and staff. A study presented to the American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG) showed radiation exposure was significantly lower (59.4%) using an AI system when compared to a non-AI system. The Doctors saw this as an important development in the field of GI endoscopy and radiation safety. Currently, Omega Medical Imaging is the only such system on the market – delivering AI and ROI-driven radiation safety and protection.
Ionizing radiation – fluoroscopy – is used in interventional endoscopy because it can penetrate tissue and be captured on a device – on a flat panel detector. The image is then available to the endoscopist as a live “video” during an interventional procedure. This advanced imaging comes with a price as the risks associated with radiation are well documented.
The as-low-as-reasonably-achievable (ALARA) principle of radiation safety adopted by healthcare institutions relies mainly on guidelines and training of medical personnel. However, the effectiveness of these efforts varies in practice patterns, the complexity of procedures, and patient characteristics. These factors combine to hinder ALARA effectiveness.
There are three core fundamentals to radiation safety – time, distance, and shielding. Time – simply put – is the amount of time someone is exposed to radiation. Distance refers to the distance from the radiation source – either the X-ray tube or the patient themselves. Shielding is the personal protective equipment worn by the staff as well as any structural shielding used with the equipment.
There are other best practices for radiation protection for patients and staff as well. The positioning of the X-ray beam – with reduced angulation – can greatly reduce exposure. Limiting the use of magnification also works to reduce radiation exposure. And keeping scatter in mind and always maintaining your lead protection are other factors.
Each of these best practices helps to reduce the risk and improve radiation protection. But is there more? At Omega, we think there is. We would include another best practice – the adoption of proven technology that dramatically reduces radiation exposure to not only the patient, but to the physician and staff as well.
In 2019, Omega took the idea of radiation safety to a new level with the introduction of FluoroShieldTM. This advanced FDA-approved technology creates a new modality in interventional imaging and reduces dose by up to ~84% – additional to the standard ALARA practices.
The interventional X-ray systems designed and built by Omega provide an automatic, hands-free solution to radiation reduction – delivering the benefit of consistent and repeatable radiation reduction to patients and staff beyond anything else in use today. Omega systems are also specifically designed with features exclusively developed for ERCP and image-guided endoscopic GI procedures.
AI image-guided ROI systems are proven to be safer than non-AI systems and are quickly becoming the new standard of care for interventional imaging. The publications and science on the advantages of AI are clear and proven in a study that compares an Omega AI image-guided ROI system to a competitor’s non-ROI system.
Omega systems allow physicians and hospitals to provide the best care and radiation safety to their patients. Omega is the only company in the world to offer this technology and has established a new standard of radiation protection – a new standard of care.