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Successful Usability Evaluation of the In-Room CT Workflow on the ProBeam® System at Holland Particle Therapy Centre

User-focused design is a corner stone of Varian’s product realization process to ensure that our products not just effectively meet users’ needs but delight our users.

Varian measures user experience by the following characteristics:

Effectiveness – how well does the system enable users to accomplish tasks and goals

Safety – how free an environment is from danger, risk, and injury (given that our environment includes multiple hardware and software subsystems, facilities, people, etc.)

Efficiency – how much effort and time it takes to accomplish tasks and goals

Satisfaction – the users’ perceptions and subjective reactions towards accomplishing tasks and goals

Recently, the workflow for the in-room CT solution on the ProBeam system was subjected to user evaluations by multiple users at Holland Particle Therapy Centre (HollandPTC).  HollandPTC collaborated intensively with Varian on the integration of the in-room CT with the ProBeam system. Specifically, three medical physicists and three radiation therapists employed at HollandPTC rendered their feedback on the in-room CT workflow from patient selections, image matching, user interface feedback, interface labeling, and several use-related hazards specific to the in-room CT workflow. 

The environment utilized during this formative usability session included the following elements:

ARIA® v13.7
ProBeam treatment table
ProBeam treatment and imaging applications
Siemens SOMATOM Confidence® RT Pro CT

Varian’s in-room CT solution on the ProBeam system will complement our current imaging offerings for the gantry and fixed beam rooms.

Nienke Hoffmans-Holtzer, medical physicist at HollandPTC, highlighted the need for rapid soft tissue imaging, not only for position verification, but also for adaptive treatment planning. “We will start our research on online and offline adaptive treatment planning by analyzing treatment sessions retrospectively to understand how the dose would have changed with adaptive planning,” said Nienke Hoffmans-Holtzer (sitting behind the computer in the photograph above).

Joel Rumley, product manager and user experience designer of the Varian Particle Therapy Division, stated that the participants offered very positive feedback on the effectiveness and the quality of the implemented workflow.  Furthermore, the clinical team at HollandPTC has openly embraced the usability evaluation experience as a means not only to learn about our system but more importantly to impart their clinical experiences and needs to the development team, who are steadfast and diligently working on the in-room CT workflow on the ProBeam system to be released in late 2017.