The I-125 and similar radiation sources used in eye plaque brachytherapy are fairly short lived and so are often custom ordered and manufactured to deliver a specified dose rate on a specific date. These sources are assembled into a plaque that must be sterilized prior to use. This process requires close, timely coordination of a treatment planning and delivery team which includes radiation oncologists, ophthalmic surgeons, physicists, dosimetrists, schedulers, a sterile processing department (SPD) and the manufacturer of the radiation sources. A very convenient way for this complex team to communicate and coordinate is via email.
Anything that Plaque Simulator (PS) can print may also be saved in electronic form as .pdf files which may be distributed amongst the planning team as email attachments. This section of the PS user guide describes Eye Physics recommended methods for preparing PS created .pdf documents for use as email attachments. If you intend to use the IsoAid preloaded, presterilized plaque rental service, you will definitely need to familiarize yourself with these methods.
Many email systems impose size limitations of about 10 to 20 MB on attachments, and to meet security requirements the .pdf files must be encrypted prior to transmitting over the internet. The .pdf files that PS initially creates are neither compressed or encrypted and can become fairly substantial in size when CT, ultrasound and fundus images are included.
To compress and encrypt .pdf documents for secure transmission as email attachments you can use either the OSX Preview.app or the Eye Physics OSX automator PDF Compressor for email.app that is distributed with PS and its accompanying helper utilities; the quartz compression filter PS Email Size.qfilter and the automator extension Get Parent Folder.action. The qfilter MUST be installed before using the Eye Physics automator and is highly recommended when using Preview to manually process .pdf files. The free OSX automator extension Get Parent Folder.action by Tiago Nodari (c) 2009 MUST also be installed before using the Eye Physics automator.
The Eye Physics automator application, qfilter and automator extension are initially installed by PS version 6.3 and later in: Plaque Simulator Folder/Plaque Simulator Data/(Hidden Support Files)/(Email Utilities)/.
If you are using a version of PS6 earlier than 6.3, you can download the Eye Physics qfilter using this link PS Email Size.qfilter and use Preview.app to manually compress and encrypt the .pdf files. After downloading you will need to expand the zip compressed file. This usually can be accomplished in OSX by simply double clicking the downloaded file.
Custom quartz filters for the Preview program (and also used by the Eye Physics automator app) are to be placed in the OSX system library PDF Services folder. To do this, simply drag or copy the file PS Email Size.qfilter from (Email Utilities) into the PDF Services folder of your bootup system drive Library folder as illustrated below.
The Eye Physics PDF Compressor for email.app also requires the automator extension Get Parent Folder.action to be placed in the OSX system library's Automator folder. Running the getParentFolderV01.00.pkg installer package that you will find in the PS (Email Utilities) folder will do this for you.
Eye Physics recommends you next drag the automator PDF Compressor for email.app to the OSX dock (ie create an alias to the automator in the OSX dock) next to the Plaque Simulator alias.
Eye Physics recommends Apple's Preview.app program, the default PDF viewer in OSX, to locally view the .pdf documents created by Plaque Simulator. You can also use Preview to compress and password encrypt these .pdf files for use as email attachments.
To manually compress a Plaque Simulator treatment plan that was printed to a .pdf file to a smaller size compatible with email transmission:
Eye Physics has created an OSX automator application which greatly streamlines the manual process described above. The automator requires the quartz filter and automator extension helper utilities described above, and will not function properly until you have installed those helper utilities.
To use the automator, simply drag and drop your treatment plan .pdf file (e.g. XX.pdf) onto the automator PDF Compressor for email.app or an alias to the automator (e.g. that you may have placed in the OSX dock).
There is a nice article on c/net that explains how to modify an existing quartz compression file. Technically, these qfilters are OSX property list (plist) xml files. This is the xml code of the Eye Physics qfilter.