The Generalized Radiation Observation Kit (GROK) is designed to enable radiation exposure benchmarking and the development of diagnostic reference levels, as well as facilitate patient-centric longitudinal dose monitoring. It can also improve CT quality control.
U.S. Air Force Major Dr. Graham Warden, a radiologist and officer-in-charge of medical imaging informatics at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, began developing the software during a medical imaging informatics fellowship. The software tool extracts anatomy-specific CT exposure metrics through optical character recognition of dose report screen captures in combination with DICOM attributes. It uses logic rules based on typical anatomic region scan lengths, relative anatomic positions, and common scanning patterns.
To validate the software, Warden extracted a random sample of 54,548 CT exams from the military hospital's database. Dose screens of 150 exams acquired from a sample of each major CT vendor were randomly selected. The software tool was used to measure the recall of dose report screen captures and the extraction precision of anatomy-specific exposure metrics.
The precision of anatomic assignment was 92%, and the dose event recall by CT encounter was 98.4%. Of the 8% of errors in anatomic assignment, 81% were anatomically incorrect or nonspecific protocol and series descriptions.
"Lack of adoption of standardized terminology for performed procedures remains a major challenge when comparing examinations across scanners, vendors, and institutions," Graham told AuntMinnie.com. Automated body habitus detection is necessary to convert exposure metrics to actual patient dose and is a vital future step to radiation exposure research, he added.
GROK may be accessed, modified, and used free of charge; it is available for download by clicking here.