The Globe and Mail reports about a new method to diagnose the extent of osteoporosis:
At CyberLogic, a research and development and consulting company based in New York, Dr. Jonathan Kaufman and his colleagues have built a prototype for an ultrasound device that assesses bone health and runs on four AA batteries. The circuitry, chips and microcontroller fit into a package about 9 inches high. Kaufman, the company’s president, is an electrical engineer and assistant clinical professor in orthopedics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
If proven effective, devices like Kaufman’s may fill an important niche. “Every doctor has a blood pressure cuff that’s easily available,” said Dr. Ethel Siris, director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center at Columbia University Medical Center and a professor of clinical medicine. “We should be doing the same routine assessment with bone mass.”
According to CyberLogic, Inc., the area of interest for the company lies with “ultrasonic and electromagnetic materials characterization”:
Currently, the primary means for assessment relies on x-ray densitometric techniques. These methods subject the patient to ionizing radiation, are relatively expensive, and do not always provide good estimates of bone strength. Ultrasound offers several potential advantages. It is non-ionizing and relatively inexpensive. Moreover, since ultrasound is a mechanical wave and interacts with bone in a fundamentally different manner than electromagnetic radiation, it may be able to provide more accurate estimates of bone strength compared with current densitometric methods. Our research involves the use of neural networks to accurately estimate fracture risk. We are also exploring the use of analog based parametric processing techniques, together with advanced two-dimensional array methods. The overall goal of this research is to significantly improve the effectiveness of current ultrasonic bone assessment techniques.
More at CyberLogic…