The newly awarded patent titled, "Method for Automatically Segmenting a Target Bone From a Digital Image", USPTO # 6,711,282, contains 19 claims that protect the company's proprietary technology for generating a contour of a target bone from a digital image. CompuMed's unique segmentation technique employs shape analysis and candidate selection processes to precisely extract a target for analysis.
Diagnostic applications for this object-oriented approach extend far beyond osteoporosis. CompuMed plans to use its intellectual property in products designed to screen, diagnose and monitor a range of other prevalent and potentially debilitating bone diseases. The company's development team is currently working to isolate target objects including joint space narrowing and bone erosions, both of which are markers for following the progression of arthritis, the most prevalent debilitating bone disease in the United States.
"We are delighted to be awarded our second OsteoGram patent", stated Jerry McLaughlin, CompuMed's CEO. "This is a key patent in our field that will protect our intellectual property rights as we launch a series of medical imaging applications for radiologists and orthopaedic surgeons."
In a related development, CompuMed filed an additional claim to its June 2003 DICOM patent application. DICOM (Digital Communications and Imaging in Medicine) is the computer standard that enables digital imaging platforms and networks to interconnect. The company's previous application protects its intellectual property rights for diagnosing bone disease via OsteoGram technology coupled with a DICOM image. The new claim relates to a pay-per-use, Application Service Provider (ASP) style business model that the company calls OsteoClick. OsteoClick will enable hospital and office-based clinicians to submit a DICOM image to an off-site server for immediate diagnosis.
"The amendment to our existing OsteoGram DICOM patent application will protect technology and business processes that give physicians the option of sending images over the Internet for analysis at a remote location", Jerry McLaughlin added. "This model is a natural extension of our CardioGram product and service offerings, which enable medical providers worldwide to receive an electrocardiogram (ECG) over-read by a board certified cardiologist based at our Los Angeles facility."
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 is a pioneering telemedicine system that remotely interprets electrocardiograms on a real time basis. Used by private practice, government and corporate health care providers nationwide, it also has the capability to automatically provide an over-read (i.e., follow-up review) by a cardiologist. More news on CompuMed is available in the VMW April 2004 article CompuMed signs licensing agreement with eTrauma orthopaedic imaging provider.