Large digital mammography project in Sweden
Large digital mammography project in Sweden. Women in ?sterg?tland, county in the south eastern part of Sweden, have been provided the opportunity to participate in a screening programme since the 1970s. All women between the ages of 40 and 74 are invited every second year to a health examination, and a total of 35 000 mammography examinations are carried out in the county each year. The aim is to detect breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment has the greatest effect. Now, ?sterg?tland County Council is investing SEK 16 million in systems for digital mammography. The digital system, MicroDose, will replace existing analogue equipment at three breast screening clinics in the region. Combined with a PACS system, the clinics are now establishing a complete digital solution. The images are reviewed on computer screens and all developing and heavy film processing will be eliminated. The radiologists are provided images more rapidly, and the technologists benefit from an improved ergonomic working environment. "A transition to digital mammography provides a number of advantages compared with today's operations," says Jan K?redal, Director of the Centre for Medical Imaging at ?sterg?tland County Council. "One major benefit is that the digital equipment reduces the radiation dose for the patients. This is extremely important for screening operations in which healthy women are examined on a relatively frequent number of occasions on a recurring basis.""When you move from film-based operations, major environmental improvements are achieved through eliminating the film developing process. Moreover, the digital technology provides the conditions for a more efficient workflow, with substantially improved ergonomics for personnel. With the digitisation of mammography, all of our radiology operations in the County Council are digital," continues Jan K?redal.