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Diagnostic imaging

Radiation registry project is first in Canada

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – A new research project will help healthcare professionals track radiation exposure in patients undergoing medical tests such as X-rays, CT scans and other forms of diagnostic imaging, ensuring Canadians receive safe doses of radiation by providing physicians with a snapshot of their patients’ cumulative radiation exposure from medical procedures.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced the signing of this innovative research agreement among the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Agfa HealthCare Inc., Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation and McMaster University.

“Our government supports strategic science and technology partnerships such as this because they improve the quality of life of Canadians, create jobs and strengthen the economy,” said Minister Goodyear. “This radiation-monitoring project will have important healthcare benefits for Canadians and for people around the world.”

The Dose Registry and Radiation Exposure Monitor project will help to create a national radiation-exposure registry. This leading-edge registry will be the first of its kind in Canada. The ultimate goal is to commercialize the technology used to create the registry and market it to healthcare providers worldwide.

“Collaborative research projects such as this increase the competitiveness of a region, creating a dynamic location where companies, government, and universities can network, invest and bring innovative technologies to market.” said NRC President Dr. Pierre Coulombe. “The results: new knowledge, new skills, new partnerships and new business opportunities focused on the priorities of Canadians.”

Meanwhile, Agfa HealthCare will establish a new office at the NRC Industry Partnership Facility in Fredericton, N.B., to carry out its research.

“Agfa HealthCare is committed to helping improve the quality of healthcare in Canada,” said Dave Wilson, Vice-President of Agfa HealthCare in Canada. “We are always looking for partnership opportunities to support further research in healthcare IT. Through this joint project, we are offering innovative solutions to current issues in the healthcare industry, which will help to improve healthcare delivery in Canada.”

The project will also assist in a wide range of scientific studies on the short- and long-term effects of radiation on human health. This will help health-care professionals determine the safest diagnostic-imaging solutions for patients.

“It is critically important to be able to track radiation doses in medical patients,” said Dr. David Koff, Chief of the Department of Diagnostic Imaging for the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation. “We are proud to partner with NRC and Agfa HealthCare to help healthcare professionals find the best solution for their patients.”

Posted November 12, 2009