IRPS - Interactive Radiotherapy Planning for Students 

Medipex develops an e-commerce platform and licencing model for a computer-based software package that teaches the basic principles of planning external beam radiotherapy treatments.

John Conway and Stephen Tozer-Loft in the Radiotherapy Physics Department at Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS FoundationTrust.

Clinical Need

Traditionally, computer-based radiotherapy planning is manually based and is specific to certain equipment. This method is far removed from routine radiotherapy planning and can, therefore, be unrealistic in practical terms. As a result of this, a need was identified for a computer-based training programme that teaches the physical principles of planning techniques: ‘the craft of planning’. This programme would need to be independent of specific equipment suppliers and have the ability to be remotely monitored by a training supervisor or mentor. The software should be able to be used by all clinical staff, from students to more experienced staff who need to enhance their radiology training.

Solution

IRPS (Interactive Radiotherapy Planning for Students) is a computer-based software package that teaches the basic principles of planning external beam radiotherapy treatments. It is an interactive, online training system for radiotherapy staff, students and trainee doctors, about the uses of radiotherapy. IRPS teaches the fundamental principles which underlie planning techniques and includes interactive examples to test the students’ understanding. It also presents patient outlines and guides users towards producing a clinically acceptable dose distribution. IRPS allows a supervisor to remotely monitor students as they work through prepared course content online; with the ability to view the number of attempts, provide valuable feedback and allow progression on to the next course modules. All the course content has been peer-reviewed and is accredited as part of directed undergraduate/postgraduate training within the UK medical training curriculum.

Medipex’s Role 

Medipex were approached to help market IRPS worldwide and to improve the logistics associated with licensing software to multiple users. Medipex developed an e-commerce platform and an appropriate licensing model. As a result of this, Medipex has negotiated a number of multiple user licenses with diverse organisations such as The Open University as well as a number of foreign Medical Schools.

Results 

The training programme results in better-trained staff and safer patients, by improving the confidence of staff to deliver interventions and reducing the likelihood of an incorrect dose being applied to patients. IRPS is a cost-effective way of training healthcare professionals, regardless of initial skill levels, in clinical planning in computer-based radiotherapy planning.

IRPS has now been used clinically at Weston Park Hospital for over 20 years and has been sold to many hundreds of individuals, medical physics departments and schools of radiography, both in the UK and internationally. IRPS was awarded the HBO/InfoRAD prize at Radiology 97 for original IT development.

Contact

For more information

Purchase IRPS (version 4.0.1) from Medipex via the ennovations website.

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