Interactive Radiotherapy Planning for Students (IRPS) Software
Interactive Radiotherapy Planning for Students (IRPS) is an interactive, on-line training system for radiotherapy staff, students and trainee doctors in the uses of radiotherapy.
With current training in Radiotherapy Planning there is a gap between the tracing paper, hand-planning approach, and the current clinical systems which may prevent trainees from getting a good feel for physical dose distribution.
IRPS is a computer-based training programme, designed to teach the fundamental principles which underlie planning techniques. It shows how isodose distributions are produced and tests the user’s grasp of what has been learned with interactive exercises, without users requiring access to expensive clinical planning systems or any peripherals. It also presents patient outlines and guides users towards producing a clinically acceptable dose distribution. Use of IRPS may be tailored to suit newcomers to radiotherapy planning, or experienced staff who wish to hone existing skills.
The development of IRPS has been led by Dr. John Conway and Dr. Stephen Tozer-Loft of the Radiotherapy Physics Department at Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, UK. They have been developing IRPS since 1994 and its simple algorithms have been in use clinically at Weston Park Hospital for over 20 years. IRPS was first made commercially available in January 1998 and it has been bought by individuals, medical physics departments and schools of radiography, both in the UK and internationally.
Benefits to patients and NHS
IRPS is suitable for all staff groups who require an in-depth understanding of computer-based radiotherapy planning including:
- Radiation Oncologists
- Medical Physicists
Its use ensures NHS staff are better trained, resulting in patients receiving a consistently high quality service.
Purchase the software
To purchase a copy of the IRPS software, please email Clare Steele-Childe. Pricing per licence is as follows:
A basic PC running Windows is all that is required. Even 800x600 with 256 colours is adequate graphical performance for IRPS (although better resolution and more colours are recommended). 10 MB of hard disk space is more than enough for a server installation.
There are several ways in which IRPS can be deployed:
- IRPS may be installed on a single PC with no network capability. All users and the Supervisor run IRPS on the same PC.
- By installing ‘an IRPS server’ on a networked PC, many students can run the software from many locations within an institutional network. The client software can be installed on each PC, or run from a network drive or CD-ROM/DVD.
- If the IRPS server is available via a reliable internet connection, users can run IRPS from anywhere in the world, from their home computers, using client software that is locally installed, or run from read-only removable media
Download a demo
A demo version of the IRPS software is also available to download free of charge below. It has the same hardware requirements as the full version.
The demo version allows access to all the networking and supervising features of IRPS, and is not time-limited. The only restrictions are:
- only 3 user slots are available
- only 3 chapters in Part 1 are available (11 in the licensed version)
- only 3 of the 36 patient outlines in part 2 are available to plan on
Installing the demo version
With most web browsers, when you click on the download link above, you can either ‘Run’ the IRPS installation programme, or ‘Save target as…’ and download it. You might prefer to ‘Save target as…’ if you want to try out IRPS on a different computer. When you run the IRPS installation programme, you will be asked for a location on your hard disk where the IRPS software is to be installed, defaulting to C:\Program Files\IRPS\ .If you just want to try IRPS on your local computer, you should choose to install both the IRPS client and the IRPS server software from the next dialog. Follow the remaining pages of the installation dialog, and that's it. You're ready to run IRPS.
Logging on to IRPS for the first time
Initially, you must log in to IRPS with the user name ‘supervisor’, and password ‘irps’ (not case-sensitive – don't include the apostrophes). In supervisor mode, you can allocate the user slots to named IRPS users, and give the users a default password. When you've added a user, log off, and log on to IRPS again, this time with the user name and password you have just allocated.
Refer to the user manual (dowload from the link above), for a brief introduction to IRPS. When a fully licensed version of IRPS is purchased, a ‘Supervisors Manual’ is made available in electronic form which includes detailed instructions about installation, use, and the supervision features of the software.