23-08-2021 life sciences & health

AAPM, IHE-RO and Demcon enter into a strategic partnership.


Improving the interoperability within radiation oncology

AAPM, IHE-RO technical committee, and the Demcon’s connectivity team – with a long track record in radiation oncology – have joined forces and entered into a strategic partnership. The collaboration provides the radiation oncology community (professionals and industry) with up-to-date IHE-RO / DICOM-RT verification tooling.

In this digital era, data is all around us. In healthcare, huge amounts of digital data are produced every day. Medical images, test results, and medications are only a fraction of the entire data flow. To collect, store and exchange this data between medical devices correctly and efficiently, it is important to have professionally defined standards. The format and properties of the data that is used for medical devices should be compliant for a correct exchange of information and safe patient treatment.

Today’s radiotherapy is a complex, data-driven clinical endeavor. The escalation of innovative technology in radiotherapy has resulted in a large, diverse array of different computer systems used in concert for a single point of care. Interoperability between the different systems and the intercommunication between them has been identified as one of the key factors to safer and more efficient treatment and where failed communication has been shown to account for the majority of radiotherapy errors (38%). Furthermore, intercommunication and data management loom as two of the biggest impediments in clinical implementation of adaptive radiotherapy (ART).

Integrating Healthcare Enterprise (IHE)
Improving efficiency, reducing costs, and streamlining communication between the large number of medical devices that are used is critical and standardization is required. Integrating Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information. The mission of IHE is to develop international standards to support the workflow needed to achieve the aforementioned challenges.

“The medical physicist is a key individual in recognizing issues in interoperability in radiation oncology” observed Bruce Curran, MS. ME, co-chair of the Working Group on IHE-RO for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and one of the founding individuals of the IHE-RO domain. “As partners in the continuous improvement, quality, and safety of radiation treatment, medical physicists work with other members of the radiation oncology team to identify these issues, develop and test solutions, and implement the results into clinical practice”.

American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)
Within radiotherapy, AAPM is one of the major organizations with the aim to advance medicine through excellence in the science, education, and professional practice of medical physics. The AAPM has over 9,000 members in more than 95 countries. One of the primary goals of AAPM is the identification and implementation of improvements in patient safety for the medical use of radiation in imaging and radiation therapy. AAPM, therefore, has embraced the IHE and specifically the Integrating Healthcare Enterprise – Radiation Oncology (IHE-RO) and is actively powering and supporting IHE-RO with expertise and financial support.

“Medical Physicists from all areas of practice have recognized the need for better solutions to interoperability issues,” said James Dobbins, Ph.D., 2021 President of the AAPM. “As a result, AAPM has become involved in several domains in IHE and taken the leadership role in IHE-RO efforts.”

Demcon is responsible for the development, maintenance, and support of the IHE-RO verification tooling. Demcon is a Dutch company that develops and produces medical devices for companies all over the world and is ISO 13485 certified. They focus on radiation oncology as one of its main domains.

Jan-Willem Doosje, senior business developer: “The Radiation Oncology domain is one of the eight Life Sciences & Health strategic market segments where Demcon is active. With this strategic partnership, Demcon is able to make an impact in the quality of care and treatment of people dealing with cancer.”

About Demcon
Demcon (800 employees) develops, produces, and supplies technology and innovative products. The Demcon group has branches in Best, Delft, Enschede, Groningen, Maastricht (Netherlands), Münster (Germany), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore. The company was created as a result of the passion of its founders for combining creativity and technical skills focused on solving complex issues. These issues are of a technological and social nature and generally have a direct or indirect impact on people and their everyday life. Whether this concerns medical systems, systems that monitor our security, or sustainable solutions relating to themes such as water and energy, Demcon makes a contribution for current and future generations. In addition to developing technical solutions, Demcon also focuses its efforts on promoting entrepreneurship and investing in talent and education.

More information
For more information, please contact Marleen Markvoort, corporate communications specialist at Demcon via +31 (0)88 11 52 000.