NETRAD CT-Scanner opens at University of Sydney

20 March 2014

The NETRAD imaging facility, located at the University of Sydney’s Cumberland campus, was officially opened on Friday Feb. 21, 2014.

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The project, made possible by $1.6 million in funding from the Health Workforce Australia (HWA), aims to revolutionize medical imaging teaching and learning across Australia by providing 24-hour access to a Computed Tomography (CT) imaging system via an online interface.
Mr Craig Laundy MP, the member for Reid was present to help celebrate this world-first advancement in medical imaging education. Project lead Dr Elaine Ryan gave a live demonstration illustrating how the CT scanner can image human-like phantoms, all monitored using live video techniques. Nick Swaan, the General Manager of Toshiba Australia performed a traditional Japanese sake barrel opening ceremony to bring harmony to the new facility.
The NETRAD CT scanner is identical to the most up-to-date technology available in clinical centres and comes complete with the latest dose reduction technologies such as iterative reconstruction algorithms, 3D dose modulation and a dose management system.
The software console can be accessed via a PC remote connection and custom built software interfaces, which have been designed and built in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney and experts in remote access laboratories from the University of Technology, Sydney.
The NETRAD gives a unique simulated learning experience for students in any discipline that uses medical imaging. Users can remotely input specific imaging parameters, manipulate objects in the scanner, perform live CT scans and view the resultant reconstructed images.
Traditionally this type of facility is too expensive to be housed and run by universities independently so the state-of-the-art scanner housed at Cumberland can now be accessed by students at Central Queensland University, Charles Sturt, Curtin, Monash University, the University of Newcastle, Queensland University of Technology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of South Australia.
Leading academics from each of these universities were present for the opening, and had the opportunity to attend user group workshops in the afternoon, hosted by experts from the University of Sydney. Also present at the event were clinical educators, representatives from professional bodies and the HWA.
One of the many benefits to students of using this facility is gaining basic skills before going out on clinical placements, saving the precious time of clinical educators. A range of phantoms can be used with NETRAD including an adult whole body phantom and a paediatric phantom, modeled on a 7-year-old.

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