The History of DIRAC
The first proposal to create a “Radioisotope teletherapy units international directory” dates from May 1959. This directory was a booklet that contained specifications for radioisotope teletherapy units.
In August 1959, the IAEA jointly with WHO convened a study group in Vienna on the utilization of radioisotope teletherapy units. As a result, a publication titled "Use of radioisotopes and supervoltage radiation in radiotherapy" was released in May 1960. Ever since, the IAEA has been periodically updating the list of radiotherapy equipment worldwide.
By 1962 the “Provisional list of medical institutions equipped with teletherapy units” was compiled and distributed among Member States. Paper-based questionnaires were sent to addresses provided by National Atomic Energy Authorities, manufacturers, private organizations and individuals. The information obtained was transferred to punch cards for automatic sorting, retrieval and statistical analysis. This interactive process continued since then and as an output, the IAEA published a series of the “Directory of High-Energy radiotherapy centers” in 1968, 1970 and 1976.
Since 1995, the Division of Human Health of the IAEA began a project to build a computerized international registry of radiotherapy centers. This registry was named DIRAC (DIrectory of RAdiotherapy Centres). Later it was released and distributed as a CD-ROOM in 1997 and 2000.
Four years later, DIRAC became available online, and since 2006 a web-based interface enabled online data input. In 2016 DIRAC online platform was enhanced; including new features and Business Intelligence tools. Today, the Agency is developing new functionality extensions to be released to meet up with the latest technological developments in radiotherapy and to provide better services on a global scale.