Radiology is a sought-after, profitable, and useful field in the medical industry. Progress in the development of digital methods and the development of computer and telecommunication systems and networks set the face of present and future medical technologies and medicine as a whole. In radiology, digital and telecommunication technologies demonstrate a significant advantage over traditional ones (Jarrett & Ecklund, 2021). They increase the speed of examination, mobility, efficiency, and accuracy of diagnosis and provide, if necessary, the possibility of conducting remote consultations, consultations, and conferences. Currently, this is the main type of diagnosis, which is used at all stages of diagnosis and evaluation of the effectiveness of the patient’s treatment. Radiology is closely related to many areas of clinical and experimental medicine. The constant development of radiological research, modern equipment and innovative methods have contributed to the division of radiology into separate specialties, including radiation therapy and nuclear medicine. This paper aims to discuss the latest technological trend – EOSedge Imaging and disclose its functions, pros and cons, limitations, and possible improvements.
EOS Imaging was founded in 1989 by George Charpak, a physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1992 for the invention of a high-energy physical detector of gaseous particles. It was this detector that was introduced into the EOS digital radiographic system, which made it possible to realize the possibility of visualizing an X-ray image obtained at low radiation doses (Jarrett & Ecklund, 2021). It was likely due to an extended dynamic range and the absence of vertical distortions inherent in modern systems for getting comprehensive long-length film or digital images (Powell et al., 2020). Since then, EOS Imaging has been developing in the field of medicine, pharmacology, and other scientific communities for the introduction and creation of visualization in biomedicine.
George Charpak interacted with a team of physicists, as well as with the most famous orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jean Dubousset and the inventor of most surgical methods for correcting scoliosis, and pediatric radiologist Gabriel Kalifa (Jarrett & Ecklund, 2021). A revolutionary new system for obtaining X-ray images was created based on Dr. Charpak’s ingenious invention of the detector and his partners’ outstanding contribution to clinical and biomedical engineering.
The technology has made a scientific breakthrough in X-ray diagnostics in connection with the creation of an X-ray machine with an ultra-low dose of 2D/3D radiation EOS, which is especially in demand in the field of orthopedics (Jarrett & Ecklund, 2021). This device has an extended dynamic range and the absence of vertical distortions, which has improved the clinical results of the treatment of various diseases – from simple defects to degenerative anomalies and up to complete joint reconstruction (Powell et al., 2020). The main office and production are located in Paris. Biospace Med has its representatives in many countries of the world, such as England, Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, Taiwan, China, Japan, and India.
Components and Functions
The EOS system provides full digital X-ray images of the entire body or part of it in two projections simultaneously with the possibility of reconstruction in 3D mode with a significant reduction in the dose of X-ray irradiation. The dose reduction is due to the use of a unique scanning technology and the use of linear gas sensors – X-ray detectors (“EOS Imaging,” n. d.). Frontal and transverse digital images of any length simultaneously in one scan. To obtain a complete image, a three-dimensional reproduction of the image is carried out, which allows a specialist to visualize the weight load and provides the ability to automatically calculate the clinical parameters of the patient.
The scan can be done in a standing position so that a specialist can receive a full body X-ray profile. According to Murphy (2021). “EOS utilizes a thin slit-beam x-ray source (eliminating the need for a grid) that moves superior-inferiorly concurrently in both planes (anterior-posterior and lateral) resulting in two acquisitions in one mechanical motion” (para. 2). It is beneficial that one does not have to take separate images which would complicate the diagnostics. The procedure takes longer than conventional radiography – approximately 20 seconds. With the help of special software included in the package, it is possible to reconstruct three-dimensional reconstructions of the axial skeleton.
The device’s major function is the identification of sclerosis. Murphy (2021) states that “it can be used evaluate degenerative changes of the spine, osteoporosis, to perform measurements of the lower limb bones and angles, and to determine implant positioning for hip or knee arthroplasty or leg length discrepancies” (para. 4). Moreover, “EOS imaging is used for anatomical assessment of the entire musculoskeletal system and is invaluable for evaluating the following conditions: scoliosis, kyphosis, limb length discrepancy, balance and posture complications, hip dysplasia, bowleg, and knock knee conditions” (“EOS Imaging,” n. d., para. 3). It means that the machine is multifunctional and incorporates the necessary functions for indicating the disorders which cannot be identified by other means. In addition, EOSedge Imaging is used for orthopaedic pre-surgery scans so that the surgeon knows what is dislocated in a leg.
Advantages and Disadvantages
One of the major innovation’s benefits is its low level of radiation compared with conventional radiology. Lower X-ray doses do not lead to drastic health changes; neither do they activate any cancerous cells nor alter DNA. Therefore, EOSedge Imaging can be used for scanning children’s body parts without any significant exposure. Moreover, the examination is increasingly fast – standing or sitting in the machine takes only 20 seconds (Powell et al., 2020). It also enables professionals to obtain a three-dimensional reconstruction of bodily structures. 3D imaging is a function of numerous radiological devices, yet EOSedge Imaging allows for receiving a clear picture without the slightest blur. Finally, the accuracy percentage is high; hence, it is simple to diagnose a condition.
On the other hand, in some cases, the technology does not guarantee clear images for the low level of radiation. It is especially observed in patients with chronic diseases where the disorder’s core is placed too deeply. Moreover, people who are not able to stand, are overweight, or are non-ambulatory cannot get the procedure. Standing in a small place is also for those who do not have claustrophobia. Nonetheless, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages making the innovation step forward.
Several studies have been conducted to identify the limitations of the device. According to Kim et al. (2019), “measurement errors may occur depending on the skill of the measurer who determines positions and marks reference lines” (p. 506). It presumes that a specialist must be aware of all possible functions EOSedge Imaging owns for making accurate evaluations. In addition, they have to make sure the proper radiation dose is set so as not to harm patients. The other machine’s limitation concerns its usefulness in reconstructing soft tissues such as nerves or muscles (Kim et al., 2018). What is more, the 3D model cannot be obtained for ribs and patella (Kim et al., 2018). The other restriction relates to the impossibility of scanning impaired people as the device only suggests a standing position. Another study reports that the generalization of the results in investigating a specific issue using EOSedge Imaging may not be claimed valid because the device identifies additional conditions (Powell et al., 2020). On the whole, the device does not pose significant limitations on the use of the machine but offers a perspective for future studies.
Areas of Improvement
Similar to multiple inventions in the field of radiology, EOSedge Imaging demands alterations as well. Primarily, in order to mane the tool more accessible to all population groups, it is vital to make changes. For instance, the machine may be enlarged in length to accommodate patients with disabilities. What is more, the developers may work on the software that could impact the identification of soft tissues. To obtain a full scan of a human’s body, it is indispensable to observe both soft and hard bodily structure. However, the current version of the device is capable of scanning hips, knees, spine, and other bones. For instance, the patient may complain about some symptom which is caused muscles, but it remains invisible of a 3D image. Therefore, this improvement should be introduced to facilitate the diagnostics.
The other crucial element to introduce is the minimal radiation level procedure for scanning bone cancer. It is advantageous in terms of conducting a minimum-risk intervention to identify how the cancer develops. Yet, there is a limitation: any radioactive invasion may lead to unpredictable outcomes. The other area where EOSedge Imaging can be utilized is ray therapy. Because X-rays is used for treating cancer, the patients may receive radiation doses necessary for killing lethal cells. Furthermore, the machine’s capabilities enable it to substitute the conventional X-rays and can fasten the anamnesis gathering process. On the whole, EOSedge Imaging needs to be tested by the researchers to identify the patterns in its usage and indicate its unrevealed potential.
In conclusion, thanks to the method of visualization of organs, the radiologist can identify the alarming changes occurring in them. The legislation clearly sets standards for personnel performing X-ray examinations. EOSedge Imaging remains a powerful tool in terms of radiological procedures since it enables specialists conduct accurate body scans and identify deviations. It is used in radiology to make 3D reconstructions of hard tissues including knee bones, spine, and others. The device received recognition due to its low-radiation level, easy usage, and precise evaluation. However, it is still considered ineffective for impaired patients since the scan is performed in standing position. EOSedge Imaging has some limitation such as the professionalism of the radiologist or inability to reconstruct soft tissues. Nonetheless, these restrictions do not affect its main goal; therefore, the machine can be claimed technologically advanced. Yet, there are numerous possibilities for its development, for example, creating the machine for those unable to use it in standing position. In sum, the machine is viable and is to be improved to receive new positive health outcomes and contribute to the improvement of nation’s health.
Powell, J., Gibly, R., Faulk, L., Carry, P., Mayer, S., & Selberg, C. (2020). Can EOS Imaging substitute for conventional radiography in measurement of acetabular morphology in the young dysplastic hip? Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, 40(6), 294–299. Web.
EOS Imaging. (n. d.). HSS. Web.
Murphy, A. (2021). EOS Imaging systems. Radioapaedia. Web.
Kim, S. B., Heo, Y. M., Hwang, C. M., Kim, T. G., Hong, J. Y., Won, Y. G., Ham, C. U., Min, Y. K., & Yi, J. W. (2018). Reliability of the EOS Imaging system for assessment of the spinal and pelvic alignment in the sagittal plane. Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery, 10(4), 500–507. Web.
Jarrett, D. Y., & Ecklund, K. (2021). EOS Imaging of scoliosis, leg length discrepancy and alignment. Seminars in Roentgenology, 56(3), 228–244.