In the same way that digital technology is revolutionising photography, it is rapidly replacing old-fashioned photochemical x-ray systems that require film, messy chemicals and darkrooms. The benefits of end-to-end digital radiography systems are vast, and include much quicker results, more efficient remote consultation and the elimination of costly time-consuming tasks such as storing and retrieving films. As digital radiography systems rapidly proliferate, the need grows for systems and networks to communicate and efficiently move and archive images. DICOM is the established information standard that allows the new generation of digital imaging equipment to interconnect.
"The DICOM version of the OsteoGram will enable clinicians to conveniently test for osteoporosis at the same time a digital x-ray is being taken to diagnose a bone fracture", stated Jerry McLaughlin, CompuMed's CEO. "No longer will patients have to go to a remote imaging centre or another location in the hospital to be tested for underlying bone disease."
Osteoporosis is a global disease affecting more than 200 million people worldwide. Despite the connection between osteoporosis and bone fractures, less than 10 percent of wrist fracture patients in the United States are currently being tested. The American Association for Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recently published a Position Statement on its Web site recommending that orthopaedic surgeons initiate such investigations to determine whether osteoporosis is an underlying problem in patients with fragility fractures.
"The OsteoGram application resides on a health care provider's digital workstation, and can be called up as easily as launching Microsoft Word on a PC", Jerry McLaughlin stated. "The OsteoGram system can be available 24/7, making it far easier to implement and use than expensive DXA equipment that requires a dedicated room and specially trained technicians who are usually not available around the clock."
CompuMed is developing a number of applications for digital imaging equipment, including an innovative means to follow the progression of arthritic disease. According to the Arthritis National Research Foundation, more than 43 million Americans, including 300.000 children, suffer from some form of arthritis. There are more than 100 different types of the disease including osteoarthritis, the nation's number one crippling disease affecting an estimated 20,7 million Americans. Arthritis costs the United States economy nearly $65 billion per year in medical care and indirect costs such as lost wages and productivity.
Founded in 1973, CompuMed Inc. is a provider of computer-aided telemedicine and diagnostics technology. The company's core products are the OsteoGram and CardioGram systems. The OsteoGram, which is cleared by the FDA for commercial use, is an accurate and precise technology for low-cost osteoporosis testing. The CardioGram system remotely interprets electrocardiograms and is used by private practice, government and corporate health care providers nationwide. The CardioGram also has the capability to automatically provide an over-read, i.e. follow-up review, by a cardiologist. More news on CompuMed is to be found in the VMW July 2003 article CompuMed to expand worldwide OsteoGram distribution to Middle East, South America and South Asia.