MedAustron to add health IT to proton and carbon ion treatment facilities

MedAustron is exclusively using RaySearch software for its carbon ion and proton facilities

July 09, 2019
by John R. Fischer , Staff Reporter
Ion therapy center MedAustron has ordered more than $13 million in health IT for its proton and carbon ion treatment facilities.

The Austria-based research firm is set to replace all of its existing equipment with products exclusively by RaySearch, including its RayStation treatment planning system, RayCare oncology information system and RayCommand treatment control system, to provide a single software platform for EBG MedAustron GmbH and MedAustron International GmbH facilities.

"The software will be more integrated and user friendly. The processes can thus be made more efficient and fewer manual steps are necessary," Alfred Zens, CEO of MedAustron, told HCB News. "This allows [for] the administration in only one software platform MedAustron-wide."

An advanced form of radiotherapy, carbon ion therapy targets cancer cells while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue. The treatment utilizes a carbon ion beam to destroy malignant cells and attack cancers resistant to X-rays. Beams are accelerated up to 70 percent of the speed of light and treatment time is shorter than other forms of radiotherapy.

The first of RaySearch’s customers to rely on it for carbon ion therapy treatment planning, MedAustron has been utilizing equipment for such treatment from the Swedish health IT giant since 2012. The aim in exclusively relying on one software vendor is to prevent unnecessary data transfers and to speed up workflow.

One platform it plans to utilize as part of its new order is the RayCare Oncology Information System, to coordinate all complex procedures involved in comprehensive cancer treatment regimes. With it, users can handle diagnostic studies and consultation notes, facilitate tumor board meetings, schedule resources, collect data, perform charge capture and complete follow-ups of treatment outcomes.

It will be used in conjunction with the RayStation treatment planning system and the RayCommand treatment control system, the latest addition to the RaySearch product portfolio which links between the treatment machine and treatment planning and oncology systems. This connection coordinates and orchestrates the different systems involved in treatment, such as imaging scanners, beam delivery systems and patient support platforms.

The combined use of the three will help overcome challenges associated with online adaptive therapy and offline treatment adaptation, and marks the largest order for RaySearch to date.

"We expect that more and more providers will emerge and more centers will be established," said Zens. "As the number of cases increases, the level of awareness of this form of therapy will increase and the acceptance of new indications by health insurance companies will improve."

Approximately 25 percent of the order value will be recognized as revenues within the second quarter of 2019, with the majority of the remaining amount recognized beyond 2019.

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