Orono, ME 04473, US
Medical Devices & Equipment
ScanDx was founded in 2014 as a spinoff of O’Brien Medical, LLC. Founders Todd O’Brien and Forrest Flagg had been working on a smartphone-based approach to fracture detection and realized there was immense potential for a commercially viable product based on the technique.
Identification of fractures has long been established as a critical aspect of trauma care. This most basic of diagnostic requirements i.e. “ruling in” or “ruling out” of bone fractures is taken for granted in healthcare. Unfortunately, x-rays, which currently serve as the diagnostic standard for detecting fractures, present three major problems to the healthcare system:
1. Limited Access: X-ray facilities and trained personnel to interpret them are not always readily available. Remote locations and austere settings encountered by military personnel and outdoor enthusiasts rarely have access to x-ray facilities. Similarly, athletic trainers, school nurses and EMTs often must rapidly assess patients for possible fractures in the absence of x-rays. The same situation exists in the developing world where access to modern medical services is often limited and intermittent.
2. Costs: X-rays financially burden the global healthcare system. Unfortunately, this problem is exacerbated by overutilization. Overutilization is especially prevalent in emergency departments when assessing ankle injuries for the presence of fracture. An alternative screening method could greatly reduce the performance of these often unnecessary x-rays.
3. Health Risks: X-rays expose patients and technicians to radiation, sometimes unnecessarily in light of the overutilization problem.
In short, as we advance into the 21st century, we continue to rely exclusively on a 19th century technology with all its attendant shortcomings. A safer, mobile, cost-effective solution is needed. The societal benefits of a reliable, alternative screening method for fracture detection would be widespread and high impact.
Products / Services
FractureDx is envisioned as a point-of-care solution for the assessment of potential fractures. This goal will be achieved through the development of a smartphone-based app used in conjunction with a microphone and bone-conducting speaker. A proof-of-concept prototype has passed benchtop testing.
The science behind this prototype derives from a longstanding technique for assessing bones in the absence of x-rays. Medical providers place a vibrating 128Hz tuning fork on one end of a long bone and listen for the sounds passing through the bone with a stethoscope. FractureDx takes this concept and translates it into an objective, quantitative test with the potential for much higher accuracy in identifying fractures. Standardized sound waves are generated by the phone and transmitted to the bone through a miniature speaker. These sounds are then picked up by a microphone on the other end of the bone and sent to the phone for analysis
Chief Executive Officer