Carestream developing cone beam CT technology for treating extremity injuries; compact new system allows for weight-bearing 3D imaging
Carestream and UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine are conducting clinical studies on a new three-dimensional medical imaging system at Erie County Medical Center for use in treating orthopaedic conditions. These studies will help guide Carestream's development of new cone beam CT (CBCT) systems with the goal of providing orthopaedic solutions for hospitals, clinics and sports medicine providers that use less radiation than traditional CT; are compact and affordable; and could be used in a wide range of facilities.
The CBCT system used in this study is investigational and not available for commercial sale.
Physicians from UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine - all experts in caring for patients with musculoskeletal problems - are working with Carestream researchers to explore the benefits of using CBCT technology for capturing images of patient extremities (knees, legs, feet, arms and hands). Musculoskeletal diseases affect more than one out of every two persons in the United States age 18 and over, and nearly three out of four age 65 and older.
With new digital CBCT technology, health care providers can acquire otherwise unavailable weight-bearing (i.e. the patient is standing upright) images of knees, legs and feet, which are of particular interest to orthopaedic and sports medicine specialists. The two organizations plan to broaden their collaboration at a later date to study the advantages of digital imaging technology in treating other extremity conditions.
"Our collaboration with UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a prime example of how important customer research is in driving successful innovation. We are able to test product and business concepts in a real clinical environment, which is superior to theorizing or anticipating key design elements," said Diana L. Nole, president of digital medical solutions for Carestream. "These studies will help us evaluate the clinical and business advantages of CBCT systems and help to answer questions including: Does it improve patient outcomes? Does it improve the patient experience? Can we further develop CBCT systems to deliver the image quality suitable for assessing other conditions such as traumatic brain injuries?"
Erie County Medical Center is an advanced regional medical center and major teaching facility of the University at Buffalo. A member of the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York, ECMC is the adult regional trauma center and operates 602 licensed beds located in Buffalo.
"We think the novel capabilities of the Carestream CBCT scanner have broad application to the basic science and clinical practice of orthopaedics and sports medicine. We are launching an initial clinical study that may help surgeons more accurately and objectively diagnose the degree of instability of the patella (knee cap)," said Dr. John Marzo, a physician with UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, associate professor of clinical orthopaedics, School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, and former medical director for the Buffalo Bills.
"A second collaborative project will validate the ability of the CBCT scanner to measure contact area inside the knee joint, which will be valuable in a host of clinical situations. We have several other projects in various stages of development to be performed over the next two to three years that establish a mutually beneficial relationship with Carestream Health," Marzo added.
Carestream is committed to developing orthopaedic solutions for use by hospitals, clinics and sports medicine providers. For example, a Carestream CBCT system could be used in the stadium or locker room to enable timely evaluation of players to help determine whether they should return to a game or practice session, or be referred for further medical treatment.
As part of this development effort, Carestream researchers continue to gain valuable insight from working with the Buffalo Bills to better understand the use of advanced medical imaging technology in early detection and monitoring of player injuries, as football has the highest number of knee and ankle injuries. Market studies cite an expected increase in demand over the next 20 years for orthopaedic and sports medicine care given higher patient longevity and active lifestyles of "weekend warriors" and recreational enthusiasts.