Global Outreach for Radiation Protection Program

The Mass General Global Outreach for Radiation Protection Program promotes the safer use of ionizing radiation around the world within the broader context of medical applications.


Debra A. Gervais, MD

Madan M. Rehani, PhD
Director, Global Outreach
for Radiation Protection

> Biography

Global use of ionizing radiation, in particular X-rays, constitutes an important source of radiation exposure to mankind. According to the latest estimates provided in 2008 by the United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), about 3.6 billion X-ray examinations and 33 million nuclear medicine examinations are performed globally every year. At the same time, there is an increasing need for medical imaging in developing countries because of the benefits it provides in diagnosing and following diseases. While these benefits are undisputed, there is growing concern for safer use. This concern stems from inappropriate and un-optimized imaging, observance of radiation effects in patients and staff as well as apprehension among patients and parents of children undergoing relatively high-dose radiological imaging.

A leader in the field of appropriate and optimized imaging, Mass General can contribute meaningfully towards the goal of safer global imaging. The Global Outreach for Radiation Protection Program conducts research collaborations and educational activities around the world in pursuit of its mission.

Research Collaborations

Developing and implementing a system for quality and safety in women's imaging in Qatar

Qatar research collaborators team

A research project supported by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) was approved in 2016 for a duration of three years. The project is a collaboration between Mass General and the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), a government entity that serves as the major medical service provider in Qatar and operates eight hospitals. It focuses on the paucity of information on image quality and radiation safety related to imaging women in Qatar.

The goals of the project are to 1) assess quality and safety in women's imaging in Qatar, 2) develop guidelines based on obtained data, 3) provide guidance on implementation of best practices and 4) reassess current practice. Areas of focus include breast imaging (e.g., mammography), imaging in pregnancy and inadvertent radiation exposure among women of childbearing age.

MGH Team: Drs Madan Rahani and Mannudeep Kalra

Mass General Team: Drs. Rehani and Kalra

Data collection will take place in hospitals affiliated with HMC, conducted by a team of multidisciplinary experts spanning the fields of clinical radiology, medical physics and radiation protection. Experts from the US will provide professional expertise for planning studies in Qatar, compare practices with those of their own hospitals, develop guidelines aligned with best practices and available international guidelines and oversee implementation and publication of results. Emphasis will be on image quality and radiation dose using criteria for image quality assessment based on expert experience at Mass General. Similarly, radiation dose indices will be based on the recommendations of international organizations and the experience of the project’s radiation protection experts. The project budget is US$0.72M , and Mass General is represented by Madan Rehani, PhD and Mannudeep Kalra, MD.


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