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Keywords:

  • computer in radiology;
  • radiation oncology;
  • tele-localisation

Summary

In localisation of radiotherapy treatment field, the oncologist is present at the simulator to approve treatment details produced by the therapist. Problems may arise if the oncologist is not available and the patient requires urgent treatment. The development of a tele-localisation system is a potential solution, where the oncologist uses a personal digital assistant (PDA) to localise the treatment field on the image sent from the simulator through wireless communication and returns the information to the therapist after his or her approval. Our team developed the first tele-localisation prototype, which consisted of a server workstation (simulator) for the administration of digital imaging and communication in medicine localisation images including viewing and communication with the PDA via a Wi-Fi network; a PDA (oncologist's site) installed with the custom-built programme that synchronises with the server workstation and performs treatment field editing. Trial tests on accuracy and speed of the prototype system were conducted on 30 subjects with the treatment regions covering the neck, skull, chest and pelvis. The average time required in performing the localisation using the PDA was less than 1.5 min, with the blocked field longer than the open field. The transmission speed of the four treatment regions was similar. The average physical distortion of the images was within 4.4% and the accuracy of field size indication was within 5.3%. Compared with the manual method, the tele-localisation system presented with an average deviation of 5.5%. The prototype system fulfilled the planned objectives of tele-localisation procedure with reasonable speed and accuracy.