‘Optimisation of image quality and x-radiation dose in medical imaging’ – 9 to 28 August 2015 – Groningen (Netherlands)


Medical imaging is a powerful diagnostic tool. As a consequence, the number of medical images has increased vastly over the past three decades. The most common medical imaging techniques use X-radiation as the primary investigative tool. The limitation of using X-radiation is the increased risk of developing cancers. Alongside this, technology has advanced and more centres now use CT scanners; these can incur significant radiation burdens compared with traditional x-ray imaging systems. The net effect is that the population radiation burden is rising steadily. Risk arising from X-radiation for diagnostic medical purposes needs minimising and one way to achieve this is through optimising radiation dose and image quality. This summer school allows students to experience new ways of optimising dose and image quality. The summer school will have radiation dose limitation and image quality as core themes and it will draw on expertise in medicine, radiography, radiobiology, psychology and medical physics.

Target groups

The target groups from participating institutions and the host will be under- and post-graduate students of diagnostic radiography, nuclear medicine technology, physics and psychology. Indirect target groups include qualified staff (physicists, radiologists, radiographers, nuclear medicine technologists) and potential future students. Through dissemination activities we will reach a broader professional group, for instance radiologists.

Main activities

3 week summer school of learning activities: comprising approximately 3 days of teaching, 11 days of interdisciplinary project work, 1 day of feedback sessions. A key feature of the summer school will be the integration and co-application of psychology and physics principles into dose and image quality optimisation. Key elements of the summer school will be available to participants through the virtual learning environment (VLE) at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences (Blackboard™). Salford will provide novel software for perceptual analysis of medical images.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to:
  • Propose ways in which experiments can be conducted to generate images
  • Analyse images using suitable perceptual and/or physics techniques
  • Draw inferences from the data with respect to identifying fit for purpose images that have low associated doses

Aims and objectives

  • Facilitate a strong international and interdisciplinary experience for future clinical practitioners, teachers and researchers in the medical imaging field
  • Expose under- and post-graduate students and teachers to a range of approaches that might be used to minimise X-radiation dose in the clinical setting whilst preserving medical image quality
  • Consider strategies which can be used to effectively and safely translate dose and clinical image quality optimisation work into the routine clinical setting
  • Share good educational and clinical practice for X-radiation dose limitation whilst preserving medical image quality
  • Examine how the fundamental sciences of physics and psychology can be co-applied to help minimise X-radiation dose
  • Examine theory and regulation of X-radiation dose limitation in the clinical setting
  • Enable engagement with local culture in the host country
  • Enrich participant knowledge of healthcare and medical imaging in other countries
  • Extend the international knowledge and awareness of staff and students