New app means safer scans for patients

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Patients in WA are set to become the first in Australia to benefit from the launch of a new app providing information about risks and benefits of CT scans.

The app ‘RaysAware’ is the latest tool to be developed in WA to improve the knowledge of doctors and health professionals who refer patients for diagnostic imaging.

Terry Slevin, Director of Education and Research at Cancer Council WA which has funded the development of the app, said it specifically promotes clearer and more accessible information about the risks and benefits of medical radiation.

“Our overall goal is to ensure that patients are not unnecessarily exposed to ionising radiation and that diagnostic medical radiation use is justified or appropriate for every patient,” he said.

“This new tool will ultimately help deliver consistent and safer imaging for patients in WA,” said Mr Slevin. 

The app has been developed by Professor Richard Fox Emeritus Consultant at Royal Perth Hospital and Adjunct Professor at University of Western Australia (UWA) and Professor Richard Mendelson, Emeritus Consultant Radiologist at Royal Perth Hospital and Clinical Professor at UWA.

Professor Richard Mendelson said the app was designed after recognising there was a gap in the knowledge of some doctors and health professionals about radiation risks, hindering their ability to decide whether or not to request scans for some patients.

“The app is another tool to help ensure each request for diagnostic imaging is now justified by the medical profession, on the basis that the likely benefit outweighs the risk,” said Professor Mendelson. 

“The app is a spin-off of the existing module on the Diagnostic Imaging Pathways website. This module is a mandatory requirement for medical student graduation in WA and also for new doctors to be employed in the WA Health system.

“We believe that this is a first in Australia and as far as we are aware this is a world-first,” said Professor Mendelson.

He said these tools now available to health professionals in WA will give patients confidence that our medical profession will be better informed when requesting scans. 

“WA is leading the way in this field of education for medical professionals and we hope our initiatives will be adopted by other Australian universities and health authorities,” said Professor Mendelson.

The RaysAware app is available to download for free from the Apple Store and Google Play Store.


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