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Just How Easy Can Machine QA Be?

Posted: Mar 29th, 2023

The newly released QA StereoChecker™ v2.0 software sets the new standard with just one click.

Standard Imaging, a leader in radiation therapy QA, has a long history of advancing stereotactic quality assurance solutions that include many firsts, QA StereoChecker being one of them. Not only was QA StereoChecker the first filmless solution for performing CyberKnife® machine QA tests, it remains the highest resolution detector available with fully integrated image acquisition and analysis software. High speed and high resolution QA images constitute a solid foundation for CyberKnife QA, but the question we asked clinical physicists and therapists was this: what more is needed to maximize efficiency? The answers are found in QA StereoChecker v2.0.

Minimize Setup Efforts

QA StereoChecker setup is accomplished in just one trip into the vault. Users align the device in clinical mode using the Target Localization System to perform a comprehensive suite of CyberKnife machine QA tests including Iris™ QA in a single batch test, patented PANDA tests that replace film based AQA™ tests, and MLC Garden Fence and Picket Fence tests. The flat panel imager (aSi) built into the device is large enough to capture all 26 InCise™ MLC leaf pairs without special alignment or repositioning required.

Standard Imaging Figure2

Simplify and Automate the Software

Our software engineering team worked with clinical partners to identify workflow-based improvements for streamlining the user experience. The resulting sleek web page design allows users to navigate easily through the software without annoying pop-up windows, manual data input, or excessive clicks to complete assigned tasks. In fact, once the user selects a QA test and clicks the start button, the software automatically acquires, analyzes, reports, saves and trends all test images and metrics.

The initial response from those who have already upgraded to version 2.0 has been extremely positive, with comments like:

“It is a lot easier to analyze results and quickly identify issues using the new version.” – UK

“This version is a MAJOR upgrade to the previous version. It’s very easy and logical to use.” - Finland

Standard Imaging Figure1

Provide More Data

Performing QA tasks regularly helps ensure machine uptime and patient safety, but it isn’t the only factor. Clinicians need comprehensive data over time to have a robust understanding of machine performance and aid in diagnosing mechanical issues before they become clinically relevant. To that end, the updated software now includes a fully trended database of each QA test and all test metrics, not just a select few. Both test images and results are automatically saved to the database for easy retrieval and review.

Several tests have also been enhanced to provide more detailed information. The Iris Batch test, for example, now provides a radial profile comparison at every 5 degrees in addition to the average radial profile comparison. The MLC Garden Fence test has been upgraded to report absolute leaf position using Accuray test criteria. Single Field Analysis (SFA) tests have also been improved to provide full inline and crossline profiles. Note that SFA tests may now be performed on non-CyberKnife systems for field sizes up to 15 x 15 cm, and Manual QA mode allows users to composite up to 10 images and generate DICOM image files for export for both CyberKnife and non-CyberKnife systems.

All that QASC v2.0 offers is summed up nicely by a clinician who stated, “It’s automated and streamlined for daily use, but can also be used as a research tool with advanced controls and freedom of acquisition.”

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This article was published in the Spring 2023 European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics (EFOMP) Newsletter.

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