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Low dose radiation remains our focus area: Raveendran Gandhi

Interview with Senior Director-Radiology at Philips Healthcare

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

Philips Healthcare, a manufacturer of diagnostic machines, says it’s products contain several in-built safety features. Welcoming the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)’s recent move to get states establish a body to make sure that diagnostic centres follow safety norms, Raveendran Gandhi, senior director-radiology at Philips Healthcare, explains to Sanjay Jog the company’s strategy in this segment.

What are your views on AERB’s current MoUs (memoranda of understanding) with Maharashtra and Odisha for setting up a directorate of safety?
Being the apex regulatory control body of all X-ray emitting equipment and its operational facilities, has indeed taken proactive steps to exercise its regulatory power. AERB’s signing of MoUs with Maharashtra, Odisha and other states in this respect is definitely a major step in achieving and executing this objective.

Today, a patient’s access to an X-ray test has become much easier as most hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers have already installed X-ray imaging equipment. Hence, the number of patients undergoing such investigations is increasing year by year. On the other hand, there are growing concerns about limiting the radiation exposure to as low as reasonably achievable (Alara).

What kind of a role do you see for private players like Philips?
There is an immense need for qualified and trained technologists who primarily handle the equipment. There are not enough technologists having adequate technical expertise to ensure radiation safety. Philips has already initiated to fill the gap by training our customers through onsite visits and organising seminars. Also, with its pool of internal experts, should be able to expand its consultative support to public and private institutions on radiation safety.

How much have you invested in creating products with low dose radiation?

It’s difficult to place a financial figure on the investment that Philips has made specifically for dose reduction technology. However, low dose radiation remains one of the most important focus areas for us. Philips calls its dose reduction philosophy ‘DoseWise’.

What are your products/technologies for ensuring radiation safety in health care?
Philips diagnostic products contain several in-built radiation safety features. We have conceived the Alara principle to its true spirit while designing our low-dose diagnostic machines. We strive to excel in this field by extensive research and regularly come up with latest technologies in reducing radiation dose in our new and existing diagnostic devises. Our product, iDose4, has been recognised as the Best New Radiology Software during RSNA (Radiology Society of North America) 2012.

iDose4 is an iterative-based reconstruction technology recently, introduced with Philips CT scanners, through which machine is enabled to reduce radiation dose up to 80 per cent without compromising on the quality of images it delivered. iDose4 is also capable of improving the image quality at low radiation dose.

‘Dose-Aware’ is a radiation exposure monitoring devise, which Philips developed for Cathlab operators. This devise will provides live feed about total exposure the operator received during a Cathlab procedure to avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation. The Time of Flight(TOF) technology available with PET/CT scanners reduces radiation dose to less than 50 per cent.

What are your initiatives in health care and on radiation safety?
Philips is running several campaigns to educate the health care workers, clinicians and the public about radiation safety. Our focus is to train and educate technologists and radiologists to use low dose technology and enhance their technical expertise. We intend to invest and focus more on educating technologists and radiologists in the coming years as well. Secondly, Philips is trying to promote the use of newer low dose techniques, which has emerged in the last couple of years such as the iDose4 technology in CT imaging. So, we are trying to promote the awareness among radiologists, clinicians and patients by partnering and conducting low-dose imaging campaigns, clinical studies involving dose calculations, trade shows and seminars where we are able to showcase the proof-points.

First Published: Sat, March 30 2013. 22:06 IST