SU-D-BRD-05: Online Framework for Plan Tracking and Automatic Checks in Radiation Therapy




To develop an online framework that tracks a patient's plan from initial simulation to treatment and that helps automate elements of the physics plan checks usually performed in the record and verify (RV) system and treatment planning system.


We have developed PlanTracker, an online plan tracking system that automatically imports new patients tasks and follows it through treatment planning, physics checks, therapy check, and chart rounds. A survey was designed to collect information about the amount of time spent by medical physicists in non-physics related tasks. We then assessed these non-physics tasks for automation. Using these surveys, we directed our PlanTracker software development towards the automation of intra-plan physics review. We then conducted a systematic evaluation of PlanTracker's accuracy by generating test plans in the RV system software designed to mimic real plans, in order to test its efficacy in catching errors both real and theoretical.


PlanTracker has proven to be an effective improvement to the clinical workflow in a radiotherapy clinic. We present data indicating that roughly 1/3 of the physics plan check can be automated, and the workflow optimized, and show the functionality of PlanTracker. When the full system is in clinical use we will present data on improvement of time use in comparison to survey data prior to PlanTracker implementation.


We have developed a framework for plan tracking and automatic checks in radiation therapy. We anticipate using PlanTracker as a basis for further development in clinical/research software. We hope that by eliminating the most simple and time consuming checks, medical physicists may be able to spend their time on plan quality and other physics tasks rather than in arithmetic and logic checks. We see this development as part of a broader initiative to advance the clinical/research informatics infrastructure surrounding the radiotherapy clinic.

This research project has been financially supported by Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA, through a Varian MRA.