Uniformity of electric field intensity of microwaves within the microwave oven cavity is necessary to ensure even load-heating, and is particularly important in pathology procedures where small volume irradiation is carried out. A simple and rapid method for mapping electric field distribution, using reversible thermographic paint, is described. Spatial heating patterns for various positions, and the effects of introducing dummy loads to modify heating distributions, have been obtained for a dedicated microwave processor, and comparison made with a domestic microwave oven.
One of the important functions of the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) is the continuous and intensive monitoring of cardiac function. To date, many monitoring techniques have been developed and tested. In this paper, both the conventional and computerised monitoring techniques are reviewed and evaluated. It is shown that a computerised system has several defirute advantages over the conventional system, e.g. lower false alarm rate, accurate and fast data processing, retrospective studies. However one also ought to be aware of the limitations,
From the time when Roentgen and other physicists made the discoveries which led to the development of radiology, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine, medical physicists have played a pivotal role in the development of new technologies that have revolutionized the way medicine is practiced today. Medical physicists have been transforming scientific advances in the research laboratories to improving the quality of life for patients; indeed innovations such as computed tomography, positron emission tomography and linear accelerators which collectively have improved the medical outcomes for millions of people. In order for radiation-delivery techniques to improve in targeting accuracy, optimal dose distribution and clinical outcome, convergence of imaging and therapy is the key. It is timely for these two specialties to work closer again. This can be achieved by means of cross-disciplinary research, common conferences and workshops, and collaboration in education and training for all. The current emphasis is on enhancing the specific skill development and competency of a medical physicist at the expense of their future roles and opportunities. This emphasis is largely driven by financial and political pressures for optimizing limited resources in health care. This has raised serious concern on the ability of the next generation of medical physicists to respond to new technologies. In addition in the background loom changes of tsunami proportion. The clearly defined boundaries between the different disciplines in medicine are increasingly blurred and those between diagnosis, therapy and management are also following suit. The use of radioactive particles to treat tumours using catheters, high-intensity focused ultrasound, electromagnetic wave ablation and photodynamic therapy are just some areas challenging the old paradigm. The uncertainty and turf battles will only explode further and medical physicists will not be spared. How would medical physicists fit into this changing scenario? We are in the midst of molecular revolution. Are we prepared to explore the newer technologies such as nanotechnology, drug discovery, pre-clinical imaging, optical imaging and biomedical informatics? How are our curricula adapting to the changing needs? We should remember the late Professor John Cameron who advocated imagination and creativity - these important attributes will make us still relevant in 2020 and beyond. To me the future is clear: "To achieve more, we should imagine together."
Publishing is a hallmark of good scientific research. The aim of publishing is to disseminate new research knowledge and findings as widely as possible in a timely and efficient manner. Scientific publishing has evolved over the years with the advent of new technologies and demands. This paper presents a brief discussion on the history and status of electronic publishing. The Open Access Initiative was created with the aim of overcoming various limitations faced by traditional publishing access models. Innovations have opened up possibilities for electronic publishing to increase the accessibility, visibility, interactivity and usability of research. A glimpse of the future publishing landscape has revealed that scientific communication and research will not remain the same. The internet and advances in information technology will have an impact on the research landscape, scholarly publishing, research policy and funding, dissemination of knowledge, and the progress of science as a whole.
Medical physics is a relatively small professional community, usually with a scarcity of expertise that could greatly benefit students entering the field. However, the reach of the profession can span great geographical distances, making the training of students a difficult task. In addition to the requirement of training new students, the evolving field of medical physics, with its many emerging advanced techniques and technologies, could benefit greatly from ongoing continuing education as well as consultation with experts.Many continuing education courses and workshops are constantly being offered, including many web-based study courses and virtual libraries. However, one mode of education and communication that has not been widely used is the real-time interactive process. Video-based conferencing systems do exist, but these usually require a substantial amount of effort and cost to set up.The authors have been working on promoting the ever-expanding capability of the Internet to facilitate the education of medical physics to students entering the field. A pilot project has been carried out for six years and reported previously. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Medical Physics at the Toronto Odette Cancer Centre in Canada and the Department of Biomedical Imaging at the University of Malaya in Malaysia. Since 2001, medical physics graduate students at the University of Malaya have been taught by lecturers from Toronto every year, using the Internet as the main tool of communication.The pilot study explored the different methods that can be used to provide real-time interactive remote education, and delivered traditional classroom lectures as well as hands-on workshops.Another similar project was started in 2007 to offer real-time teaching to a class of medical physics students at Wuhan University in Hubei, China. There are new challenges as well as new opportunities associated with this project. By building an inventory of tools and experiences, the intent is to broaden the real-time teleteaching method to serve a wide community so that future students entering the field can have efficient access to high-quality education that will benefit the profession in the long term.
Breast density is a strong predictor of the failure of mammography screening to detect breast cancer and is a strong predictor of the risk of developing breast cancer. The many imaging options that are now available for imaging dense breasts show great promise, but there is still the question of determining which women are "dense" and what imaging modality is suitable for individual women. To date, mammographic breast density has been classified according to the Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) categories from visual assessment, but this is known to be very subjective. Despite many research reports, the authors believe there has been a lack of physics-led and evidence-based arguments about what breast density actually is, how it should be measured, and how it should be used. In this paper, the authors attempt to start correcting this situation by reviewing the history of breast density research and the debates generated by the advocacy movement. The authors review the development of breast density estimation from pattern analysis to area-based analysis, and the current automated volumetric breast density (VBD) analysis. This is followed by a discussion on seeking the ground truth of VBD and mapping volumetric methods to BI-RADS density categories. The authors expect great improvement in VBD measurements that will satisfy the needs of radiologists, epidemiologists, surgeons, and physicists. The authors believe that they are now witnessing a paradigm shift toward personalized breast screening, which is going to see many more cancers being detected early, with the use of automated density measurement tools as an important component.
Informal discussion started in 1996 and the South East Asian Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics (SEAFOMP) was officially accepted as a regional chapter of the IOMP at the Chicago World Congress in 2000 with five member countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Professor Kwan-Hoong Ng served as the founding president until 2006. Brunei (2002) and Vietnam (2005) joined subsequently. We are very grateful to the founding members of SEAFOMP: Anchali Krisanachinda, Kwan-Hoong Ng, Agnette Peralta, Ratana Pirabul, Djarwani S Soejoko and Toh-Jui Wong.The objectives of SEAFOMP are to promote (i) co-operation and communication between medical physics organizations in the region; (ii) medical physics and related activities in the region; (iii) the advancement in status and standard of practice of the medical physics profession; (iv) to organize and/or sponsor international and regional conferences, meetings or courses; (v) to collaborate or affiliate with other scientific organizations.SEAFOMP has been organizing a series of congresses to promote scientific exchange and mutual support. The South East Asian Congress of Medical Physics (SEACOMP) series was held respectively in Kuala Lumpur (2001), Bangkok (2003), Kuala Lumpur (2004) and Jakarta (2006). The respective congress themes indicated the emphasis and status of development. The number of participants (countries in parentheses) was encouraging: 110 (17), 150 (16), 220 (23) and 126 (7).In honour of the late Professor John Cameron, an eponymous lecture was established. The inaugural John Cameron Lecture was delivered by Professor Willi Kalender in 2004. His lecture was titled "Recent Developments in Volume CT Scanning".