WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- MARS Bioimaging Ltd presented a machine that can scan a human body using an advanced color medical scanner developed at CERN.
- This color X-ray scanner could produce clearer images and help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses.
- The New-Zealand company is owned by Father and son scientists Phil and Anthony Butler, the inventors of the 3D scanner.
Physics professor Phil Butler and his son Anthony Butler, a bioengineering professor, launched a first-of-its-kind x-ray scanner through their company, MARS Bioimaging Ltd. The scanner can produce 3D color images of the human body. The father and son team took a decade to make the color x-ray scanner.
According to Futurism, the scanner uses a combination of Medipix3 technology — tech first developed to help researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) track particles using the Large Hadron Collider — and computer algorithms to produce colorful, 3D x-rays.
The Butler’s invention records the precise energy levels of the x-rays as they hit each particle in the body. The black and white x-ray records the x-rays as either passing right through the body or getting absorbed by the bone.
Using 2D x-rays, doctors can detect fractured bones but they provide little information about the tissue and muscle surrounding that bone. Now, using these breakthrough 3D x-rays, doctors can diagnose issues in the bone and everything around it, too.
“This technology sets the machine apart diagnostically because its small pixels and accurate energy resolution mean that this new imaging tool is able to get images that no other imaging tool can achieve,” Phil Butler said in a CERN post.
Some scientists have already been using the 3D scanner to conduct studies on cancer, bone and joint health, and vascular diseases that cause heart attacks and strokes.
“In all of these studies, promising early results suggest that when spectral imaging is routinely used in clinics it will enable more accurate diagnosis and personalization of treatment,” Professor Anthony Butler told CERN.
The researchers’ next step is to use the scanner in a trial involving orthopedic and rheumatology patients in New Zealand. Even if all goes well with that trial, however, it could still be years before the device secures the regulatory approval it would need for its use to become widespread, Futurism wrote.