Remote monitoring of Thailand hospital’s radiotherapy system boosts patient volume

Intellimax
Elekta Care
Jun 22, 2022 3 minute read

Since implementing Elekta IntelliMax, Sakon Nakhon Hospital has experienced far fewer patient treatment disruptions

To maintain its prolific volume of 70 patient treatments each day, Sakon Nakhon Hospital’s radiotherapy department can’t afford to let technical issues with its Elekta Synergy® system interfere with prompt therapy. Before its 2020 go-live with Elekta IntelliMax® – the company’s patented remote monitoring technology for proactive and predictive maintenance – addressing problems with the linac was not a simple affair.

Sakon Nakhon Hospital, Thailand
Sakon Nakhon Hospital

“Before IntelliMax, if we had an issue with the linac, we communicated via video call with a service engineer at Elekta’s distribution and service partner, Premier Business Inter Co., Ltd. [PBI] in Bangkok,” says Kiatisak Promsensa, MD, the hospital’s Chief of Radiotherapy Service. “Internally, we would act on the engineer’s recommendation on how to fix the problem, but sometimes the support from a distance was not sufficient to lead to a resolution.”

While an onsite visit by a PBI engineer was always an option, it was impractical, as PBI is 405 miles (651 km) away from Sakon Nakhon Hospital and just two flights a day serve the center’s region in northeast Thailand.

After a few of these incidents – some amounting to a day’s worth of linac downtime – the benefits of IntelliMax became increasingly obvious. 

“IntelliMax appealed to us, not only because it would alert our PBI support team of any current system errors, but also through the IntelliMax AI algorithms, it would even be able to detect issues weeks before they occur.”

“IntelliMax appealed to us, not only because it would alert our PBI support team of any current system errors, but also through the IntelliMax AI algorithms, it would even be able to detect issues weeks before they occur,” says Sakon Nakhon Chief Physicist Phattanapong Saenchon.

IntelliMax went live in July 2020. 

Close surveillance of linac’s system performance

The IntelliMax “long distance” connection between the hospital’s Elekta Synergy and PBI engineers in Bangkok has kept both parties vigilant about incipient issues with the linac, according to Dr. Promsensa.

“IntelliMax enables the engineer to remotely monitor many machine systems and subsystems, such as the electron gun – to assess the lifespan of the gun filament – and the stability of the vacuum system,” he says. “Issues that the engineer can solve via IntelliMax include those associated with dose rate monitoring, the MLC control system – such as too few reflectors – and the ‘Lost Reflector Rate.’ IntelliMax also allows the engineer to detect when parts need to be replaced, like the gantry and couch motors.”

PBI resolved the department’s “Dose Rate Mon” issue remotely with IntelliMax, while the “Too Few Reflectors” and “Lost Reflector Rate” were 80 percent resolved remotely with IntelliMax, Saenchon says. 

“Regarding the worn gantry and couch motors, the service engineer was able to identify the problem with IntelliMax and schedule onsite downtime outside of clinic hours to replace these components,” he says.

“Since IntelliMax came on the scene at Sakon Nakhon Hospital, patient volume has increased 21 percent by avoiding unscheduled and lengthy downtime.”

Since IntelliMax came on the scene at Sakon Nakhon Hospital, patient volume has increased 21 percent by avoiding unscheduled and lengthy downtime, according to Dr. Promsensa. 

“We have been very impressed that IntelliMax can help us decrease downtime by enabling the PBI service engineer to diagnose and solve problems remotely much of the time and also very quickly,” Saenchon adds. “IntelliMax is very good technology that helps us keep our patient treatments on schedule. I rate it a 10 out of 10 and would recommend it to other radiotherapy centers.”

Click here to learn more about IntelliMax.

Cancer in Thailand

Approximately 60 percent of the cancer burden in Thailand is due to five types of cancers: breast, cervix, colorectal, liver and lung cancers. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575611/ 

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