Growth and Change: 20 Years of Innovation
Over the past 20 years, the cancer treatment industry has seen some tremendous change. As cancer treatments became more sophisticated and complex, MUCheck was refined and updated to adapt to technology changes in the medical physics field. More features were added. Additional employees were hired. MUCheck software continued to grow.
What started as a simple program for calculating basic conformal beams eventually grew to include electron calculations, SRS treatments, DICOM import capability forward plans, and more. However, it didn’t stop there. MUCheck now offers a second-check solution for brachytherapy, CyberKnife, TomoTherapy, and Gamma Knife treatment modalities.
Today, Oncology Data Systems celebrates over two decades of serving the radiation oncology industry with MUCheck second-check software. We have grown from a small mom-and-pop startup to a tried-and-true fixture in the industry. Our MUCheck software suite can handle all your second-check needs, from the simplest calculation to a complex arc plan. We also support calculations for brachytherapy, TomoTherapy, CyberKnife, Gamma Knife, and more.
20 Years of MUCheck: Our Journey
In the Beginning
The story of MUCheck begins with a marriage. Greg was a software engineer. His wife Margaret was a medical dosimetrist. In the 1990s, Greg noticed that Margaret was spending a great deal of time second-checking her monitor unit calculations manually. Hoping to ease her workload, Greg decided to write a software program to speed the process up. It worked like a charm, and MUCheck was born.
1998: An Idea Becomes Reality
By 1998, Greg’s idea of a software program to calculate monitor units had become a reality. As Margaret’s colleagues in the radiation oncology industry realized how MUCheck could save time and effort, demand for the software began to increase. Oncology Data Systems, Inc. was founded and and FDA clearance was obtained for the MUCheck software. Now, radiation oncology professionals all over the U.S. could use MUCheck to save time calculating basic photon and electron beams.
2001: IMRT Check
By 2001, radiation treatments were becoming more sophisticated. As linear accelerator technology advanced, radiation treatments did too. IMRT became increasingly common as a way to shape the beam and concentrate dose in certain areas, while minimizing dose to critical structures. To adapt to these changes, Oncology Data Systems, Inc. launched the IMRT Check product – an independent dose calculation module designed specifically with IMRT plans in mind.
2004: CyberKnife Check
Several MUCheck customers also had CyberKnife units – a small linear accelerator on a robotic arm – in their clinics. They asked if Oncology Data Systems could provide a second-check solution for their CyberKnife treatments. In 2004, we answered the call with the CyberKnife Check software module.
2006: Trusted Around the World
As the MUCheck software was adopted and used daily in cancer centers in the U.S., it drew the attention of cancer centers in other countries as well. ODS obtained clearance to market the MUCheck software in Europe and other places, as the software truly became “Trusted Around the World”.
In 2006, BrachyCheck became the first independent dose validation software on the market for brachytherapy plans. With support for HDR, LDR, and permanent seed implants, BrachyCheck became a trusted addition to brachytherapy treatment centers everywhere.
2009: Gamma Knife Check
Gamma Knife Check launched in 2009 as the only FDA-cleared second check calculation software on the market. Compatible with all existing units (model 4, Perfexion, and Icon), Gamma Knife Check is used in Gamma Knife centers worldwide. To this day, it remains the only software available for Gamma Knife Check calculations.
2016: VMAT Check
In 2016, our new VMAT Check module introduced sophisticated new tools to aid in the calculation of VMAT, RapidArc, SmartArc, and other arc therapy plans. With its ability to calculate depth information using CT image files, an enhanced algorithm, off-axis calculation, distance to agreement, and more, VMAT Check has automated the process of calculating arc therapy plans.
TomoCheck was introduced in 2017 as an independent second-check solution for helical TomoTherapy plans. With its point-and-click, easy-to-use interface, calculating plans with TomoCheck is as easy as clicking a button.
2018: 20 Years of MUCheck
2018 is an exciting year for our company as we celebrate 20 years of serving the radiation oncology industry with MUCheck software! Today, Oncology Data Systems, Inc. continues to look to the future of radiation therapy as we continue to grow and evolve our software to meet the changing needs of our customers. From our roots as a small mom-and-pop startup company to a leading dose calculation software used in clinics worldwide, we are proud to have been serving the radiation oncology industry for over 20 years. We look forward to many, many more.
What will the next 20 years bring for Oncology Data Systems and the MUCheck software? It’s a fair bet that we will continue bringing innovation to the industry we helped create. 3D dose calculation capability is under development, as well as other new features and enhancements.