We recently reviewed the Radiation Passport, an innovative iPhone application written in part by a radiologist that starts to solve a difficult problem: what is the cancer risk of repeated radiology tests.

While a single CT scan for an important clinical reason or a few chest xrays over a few years should not alarm anybody, some patients experience multiple and repeated scans over a period of years.

Today Associated Press is reporting that the FDA is getting interested in finding ways of tracking how much radiation patients receive. From the article:

“We are considering requirements and guidelines for record-keeping of dose and other technical parameters of the imaging exam,” said Sean Boyd, chief of the FDA’s diagnostic devices branch.

A near-term goal: developing a “radiation medical record” to track dose from cradle to grave.

The article mentioned an “eye-popping” study by Dr. Prashant Kaul of Duke University which found that U.S. heart attack patients get the radiation equivalent of 850 chest X-rays over the first few days they are in the hospital.

For now, patients who are interested in tracking how much radiation they are receiving over time from diagnostic imaging studies do not have much better options than an app like Radiation Passport (iTunes link).