An investigation of medical radiation detection using CMOS image sensors in smartphones

Han Gyu Kang, Jae Jun Song, Kwonhee Lee, Ki Chang Nam, Seong Jong Hong, Ho Chul Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Medical radiation exposure to patients has increased with the development of diagnostic X-ray devices and multi-channel computed tomography (CT). Despite the fact that the low-dose CT technique can significantly reduce medical radiation exposure to patients, the increasing number of CT examinations has increased the total medical radiation exposure to patients. Therefore, medical radiation exposure to patients should be monitored to prevent cancers caused by diagnostic radiation. However, without using thermoluminescence or glass dosimeters, it is hardly measure doses received by patients during medical examinations accurately. Hence, it is necessary to develop radiation monitoring devices and algorithms that are reasonably priced and have superior radiation detection efficiencies. The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of medical dose measurement using complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors in smartphone cameras with an algorithm to extract the X-ray interacted pixels. We characterized the responses of the CMOS sensors in a smartphone with respect to the X-rays generated by a general diagnostic X-ray system. The characteristics of the CMOS sensors in a smartphone camera, such as dose response linearity, dose rate dependence, energy dependence, angular dependence, and minimum detectable activity were evaluated. The high energy gamma-ray of 662 keV from Cs-137 can be detected using the smartphone camera. The smartphone cameras which employ the developed algorithm can detect medical radiations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Korean Research Foundation funded by the Korean Government ( NRF-2015M2B2A9033015 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • CMOS
  • Gamma-ray
  • Radiation detection
  • Smartphone
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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