Steven Don, MD, an associate professor of radiology and of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the 2020 Pioneer Award from the Society for Pediatric Radiology for his innovative work in the development of digital radiography and digital imaging. The Pioneer Award honors individuals who have advanced pediatric radiology through innovation, forethought and leadership.
Based in the university’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Don has worked to develop digital imaging for pediatric applications while minimizing potential harm by reducing radiation exposure. Early in his career, he developed an X-ray quality assurance tool simulating a newborn’s chest to determine the minimum radiation dose needed to radiograph a newborn without compromising image quality. The tool is now commercially available and is considered the industry standard.
Don holds two patents for his work in digital imaging. The first patent was awarded for technology that simulates low-dose radiographs from images created by standard-dose radiographs to help radiologists and technologists determine the minimum exposure needed. The second patent was awarded for a computer vision and augmented-reality device to aid technologists in setting exposure parameters and detecting position or motion errors before the patient is exposed, thereby improving workflow and reducing repeat images and radiation exposure.
In 2010, Don co-chaired the Image Gently Digital Radiography Summit that culminated in the international acceptance of radiography radiation exposure reporting standards by industry, government agencies and professional societies. For this work, he and his committee received the 2012 Leveraging/Collaboration Award from the FDA.