The Department of Physics at Diponegoro University launched its flagship research product, the IndoQCT software, at the Auditorium on the 6th floor of the Acintya Prasada Building, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Undip Tembalang campus on Wednesday (June 14, 2023). The launching event was attended by participants from hospitals and health departments throughout Central Java, as well as members of the Indonesian Medical Physicists and Radiographers. Participants also included lecturers from the Alliance of Indonesian Medical Physics Education Institutions and colleagues from abroad, including the United States, Malaysia, Japan, Iraq, and Iran.
IndoQCT is software primarily designed for automated, fast, and accurate measurement of CT scan image quality. It also offers many other features such as multiple windows-blending, noise reduction, anonymization of DICOM headers, reformatting of oblique and irregular images, and much more. IndoQCT is developed by the Research Team from the Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Mathematics at Diponegoro University, led by Dr. Choirul Anam, S.Si., M.Si., F.Med. Typically, software related to advanced technologies such as CT (computed tomography) is developed by large research institutions in countries like the United States, Germany, France, Japan, or other developed nations. IndoQCT is the first and most comprehensive image quality measurement software developed in Indonesia, even in Asia.
So, what is the purpose of CT image quality measurement? Dr. Choirul, as the Team Leader, explained that CT (computed tomography) is an essential equipment for modern medical imaging. Currently, CT scanners are found in almost all hospitals worldwide, including Indonesia. CT is used to generate 3D images of the human body for diagnostic purposes. Moreover, CT imaging offers the advantage of extremely fast acquisition time, typically within a few seconds to minutes. This makes CT an ideal choice for medical imaging.
Furthermore, he explained that CT uses X-rays, which involve high ionizing radiation doses, posing potential risks to the human body. Additionally, CT is a highly complex machine, which means there is a potential for errors at every stage of image production. Even the smallest error can result in an image that leads to fatal diagnostic mistakes. Therefore, the performance of CT scanners must be continuously monitored to ensure they are always in optimal condition. This is done through a complex procedure called quality control or QC.
QC for CT scanners is a routine program carried out periodically, including daily, monthly, and yearly QC tests. Manual measurement of various parameters during QC tests can be time-consuming, taking hours to complete. Moreover, manual QC results can be highly subjective, relying heavily on the expertise of the medical staff performing the tests. IndoQCT addresses the need for automated, fast, objective, and accurate QC. Dr. Choirul explained, “Unlike existing software that is limited to specific phantoms and parameters, IndoQCT can be used to measure various image quality parameters from various commercially available phantoms. Some of the parameters that can be measured with IndoQCT include CT number accuracy, CT number homogeneity, CT number linearity, image noise, spatial resolution, low-contrast detectability, slice thickness, and more. Therefore, IndoQCT is the most comprehensive software in the world for measuring CT scan image quality.”
Does IndoQCT only measure phantom images? No, IndoQCT can also measure the image quality of clinical patient scans. This feature is extremely useful and facilitates the optimization of examination protocols for CT. Thus, IndoQCT will help simplify and expedite the work of Clinical Medical Physicists in hospitals. IndoQCT is also valuable as a tool for CT scan research.
Research in this field has been conducted, but unfortunately, most of it has been limited to scientific publications. It is essential to transform research into products that can be utilized by the Indonesian community and even the world. Therefore, the research on CT image quality conducted by Dr. Choirul Anam and his team since 2018, besides resulting in scientific publications in reputable international journals, has been integrated and ultimately led to the development of IndoQCT as it stands today.
Previously, he and a team from ITB (Bandung Institute of Technology) developed software for measuring radiation doses from CT scanners and the radiation dose received by patients during CT examinations, known as IndoseCT. This software was launched in 2021. To date, IndoseCT has been downloaded by students, practitioners, academics, and researchers from over 40 countries.
It has even been used as a research tool for doctoral dissertations by students from several countries. As the Chairman of the IndoQCT Launching Committee, Zaenal Arifin, S.Si., M.Si., F.Med, added that this outstanding research result can be applied in the hospital industry, supporting the main performance of Diponegoro University in implementing research applications that can be directly beneficial to society. Furthermore, the research findings from the Department of Physics at Undip can contribute nationally and internationally to the academic and practical aspects of the industry. This aligns with Diponegoro University’s vision of becoming a leading research university with world-class standards.