The HERCA WG on Medical Applications (WGMA) is interested in all radiation protection issues concerning medical applications of ionising radiation for diagnosis-, therapy- and research-purposes. This includes medical exposures (patient, carers and comforters, biomedical research), occupational exposure and public exposures. The focus of the WGMA is on developing common understanding and approaches, where possible, regarding the implementation of radiation protection regulations in Europe, including those related to new medical applications and requirements.
The HERCA WGMA shall:
1. Enhance common understanding and approaches, where possible, regarding the implementation of the radiation protection regulations on medical applications, focusing on justification and optimisation by:
- Sharing among regulatory bodies examples of good practice in implementing the radiation protection regulations on medical applications.
- Enhancing the exchange of knowledge on the technical and scientific aspects of radiation protection of new medical applications.
- Preparing position papers and guidance for implementing radiation protection principles and regulations on medical applications.
- Highlighting and reporting through HERCA, needs for developing European guidance and providing advice on implementing and amending existing directives, from the perspective of regulators.
2. Engage in stakeholder involvement on radiation protection issues by:
- Enhancing the exchange of information on best available radiation protection practices between regulatory bodies and other relevant competent authorities, professional bodies and organisations, professionals, manufacturers and suppliers and patient organisations.
- Enhancing the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge and experience, between stakeholder’s representatives and regulatory bodies.
- Coordinating efforts under the umbrella of HERCA to maximize impact in stakeholder involvement.
3. Give advice on radiation protection issues in medical practice by:
- Active participation in EU projects (either as member of the advisory board, steering committee or as participants of these projects).
- Critical evaluation of these projects in order not to duplicate previous work (by WGMA or professional bodies).
Scope and methodology
The HERCA WGMA intends to:
1. Enhance the best available practices of radiation regulatory bodies to support the implementation of justification and optimization and safe practice in the medical field. These activities will be based on international and European initiatives on the one hand, and on field observations, including reported incidents and accidents, on the other. The scope will be:
- Medical radiological imaging: radiography, fluoroscopy, computed tomography, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine (including hybrid imaging like PET-CT) and emerging technologies. Special focus will be on applications characterized by high(er) delivered doses and/or when sensitive patient subgroups are implicated, on the increase of collective dose, on worrisome individual doses to some subgroups of patients and also on exposure of asymptomatic individuals in health care;
- Radiotherapeutic applications: external beam therapy, brachytherapy and metabolic therapy including planning and verification. A special focus will be on prevention of accidents and unintended exposures in modern radiation therapy and radionuclide therapy;
- Research uses of ionizing radiation in medicine;
- Dose limits and dose constraints;
- Other types of practice as appropriate (e.g., non-medical imaging using medical radiological equipment).
2. Engage in stakeholder involvement (relevant organisations and bodies for patients, medical and technical staff, medical physicists, manufacturers of radiological devices etc).
3. Provide advice on radiation protection issues in medical practice by participation in relevant EU projects.
4. As previously, the WGMA will continue to speak and present (when invited) at important international conferences to inform the wider community of its activities.
2018 November 6-8: MedInspector Workshop ‘How to inspect Justification and Optimization in Nuclear Medicine’ (Stockholm, Sweden)
Agenda, presentations and conclusions are available here.
The main areas of interest of the WGMA are:
- Inspection skills
- Nuclear medicine
- Clinical audit
- Radiation therapy
- Optimization of imaging
- Interventional radiology
- Unintended and accidental exposures
- Involvement of medical physics experts