Patient exposure tracking: the IAEA smart card project.
The existing approach of radiation protection is largely based on the collective dose to the population with provisions for protection at an individual level through justification and optimisation. With the individual patient dose now exceeding the life-long occupational dose to a worker in a typical radiology practice, there is a need to establish approaches based on the protection of an individual patient. Radiation exposure tracking seems a way forward in this respect. Technological advances in recent years have provided opportunities for tracking to becoming a reality. The IAEA project on Smart Card/SmartRadTrack is described in this paper. The tracking is now a reality in a few dozen centres in many countries connected by picture archiving and communication systems, and there is hope that this will extend to cover other countries and continents.
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