Qmetrics Technologies Celebrates 10th Anniversary

QNotes, Vol. 7, Issue 6

 

This June, Qmetrics Technologies celebrates its tenth anniversary of the official launch of the company as an LLC.  From a small organization whose first offices were in the spare rooms of a co-founder’s house, Qmetrics is now recognized as a trusted, worldwide leader in 3D medical modeling and image analysis.

Seated, L - R; Edward Schreyer, CEO; José Tamez-Peña, PhD, CTO Standing, L - R: Patricia C. González, COO; Saara M. Totterman, MD, PhD, CMO

Seated, L – R; Edward Schreyer, CEO; José Tamez-Peña, PhD, CTO
Standing, L – R: Patricia C. González, COO; Saara M. Totterman, MD, PhD, CMO

Beginning in 2008, Qmetrics established a global business headquartered in Pittsford, NY, and serving academic and commercial customers in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.  The Qmetrics team has dedicated themselves to achieving the initial goal established years ago by co-founders Saara Totterman, MD, PhD, and JoséTamez-Peña, PhD, to use advanced imaging technology to improve healthcare.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of bringing 3D to healthcare research and practice.  As technology has advanced, the obstacles to applying 3D to studying  the human body have become smaller.  We are excited to begin our next decade helping researchers and clinicians see and understand medical imaging data in full-color 3D, rather than simply numbers and grayscale sections.”

Qmetrics is proud of the company’s first ten years and over the next 10 days will post a look back at some of the past decade’s highlights, while looking forward to even greater success in the next decade.

How Medical Imaging Might Benefit Olympic Athletes

QNotes, Vol. 7, Issue 5

The world is eagerly enjoying the gathering of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The ceremony and drama of top athletes proudly competing for their countries is always cause for excitement.

Olympic athletes spend their whole lives conditioning their bodies and perfecting their skills to have the chance to go for the gold, and they must take special care and precaution to avoid injury. With the Olympic motto being, “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” or “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” many athletes push themselves during demanding practices and during their medal performances, creating a risk for injury, and such injuries suffered by Olympic athletes are often orthopedic in nature.

A sampling of some Olympic sports and their risk include:

3D Image of Biomechanical Abnormality due to ACL Injury

3D Image of Biomechanical Abnormality due to ACL Injury

  • Skiers and snowboarders risk high-impact injuries as they pursue faster speeds and higher “air”. Hockey players and figure skaters can be injured during collisions and falls.
  • Sprains, twists, fractures and bruising are the most common types of cross-country skiing injuries, with the knees being the most often injured body part, followed by the arm, hand, and ankle.  Thumb injuries are also common, as people tend to retain their hold on their ski pole as they fall.
  • Figure skaters suffer both overuse and traumatic injuries. About half of all injuries are caused by overuse and are preventable. Singles skaters have a higher incidence of overuse injuries, while pair skaters and ice dancers are more prone to traumatic injuries.
  • Even curling requires strength, stamina, flexibility and core stability. When players throw the curling “rock” nearly every bodily joint is involved, and there is risk of injury. The most common curling injuries are musculoskeletal in nature and most often affect the shoulders, knees and back.

When athletes are injured, medical imaging plays a critical role in their treatment. Securing high quality images to help assess the extent of injury allows the attending physician to determine the most appropriate course of treatment that can heal the injury and help get the athlete back in competition more quickly.

Qmetrics Technologies 3D visualization of medical images offers could prove highly beneficial for sports medicine providers and orthopedic surgeons treating athletes. Our technology generates a patient-specific 3D virtual replicate of articular bones and cartilage from MRI and CT images, allows physicians and patients to better understand the information in the MR or CT scan and the radiologist’s report. By providing more detail from a non-invasive scan, this may help prevent invasive exploratory diagnostics techniques that could keep an athlete sidelined unnecessarily

The hope of all athletes, coachers, trainers, physicians and fans is that no injuries will occur during practice or competition. It is Qmetrics’ vision to advance imaging technologies to support better understanding and treatment of injury and disease.

 

 

Bone Marrow Edema

What is Bone Marrow Edema?

Bone marrow is a spongy and flexible structure present inside bones and is involved in the generation of new blood cells such as RBC, WBC, and platelets. These blood cells are involved in oxygen transport, fighting infection and blood clotting to prevent excessive bleeding from an injury.

Bone Marrow Edema in 3D, juxtaposed the 2D MRI

Bone Marrow Edema in 3D, juxtaposed the 2D MRI

Causes

The main causes responsible for bone marrow edema include:

  • Bone Fractures
  • Ligament Injury
  • Bone Bruises
  • Medical conditions such as synovitis (inflammation of the synovial membrane, lining the joints)
  • Joint disorders such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis
  • Bone Tumors

Signs and symptoms

Bone marrow edema may or may not show any symptoms. The main symptom associated with BME is pain in the affected bone and severity of the pain depends upon the underlying cause (s). Other symptoms include dysfunction of the bone or joint, due to the accumulated fluid.

Diagnosis

Bone marrow edema can be diagnosed through a widely used imaging technique, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment

The treatment of bone marrow edema depends upon the underlying causes involved for inflammation and fluid accumulation. Symptoms of BME can be alleviated through adequate care of involved injuries and specific management of the underlying medical conditions. The treatment options include rest, medications, steroid injections or surgery. Surgery is recommended only when non-surgical interventions fail to provide any relief from the symptoms of BME. Surgery is preferred in conditions such as to repair the damaged ligament, pin fractures and for removing tumors. Current treatment of bone marrow edema does not cure the condition, but only helps in alleviating the associated symptoms.

The Osteoarthritis Initiative – a Gem For OA Researchers

QNotes, Vol. 7, Issue 2

The Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) is a nationwide research study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (part of the Department of Health & Human Services), that will help us better understand how to prevent and treat knee osteoarthritis, one of the most common causes of disability in adults.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and the major cause of activity limitation and physical disability in older people. Today, 35 million people (13 percent of the U.S. population) are 65 and older, and more than half of them have radiological evidence of osteoarthritis in at least one joint. By 2030, 20 percent of Americans (about 70 million people) will have passed their 65th birthday and will be at risk for OA.

The Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) is a multi-center, longitudinal, prospective observational study of knee osteoarthritis (OA). The overall aim of the OAI is to develop a public domain research resource to facilitate the scientific evaluation of biomarkers for osteoarthritis as potential surrogate endpoints for disease onset and progression.

Qmetrics gratefully utilizes the vast image and clinical data collected by the OAI to refine image analysis technology and to contribute to a better understanding of the causes and effects of OA. Qmetrics’ scientific and medical team have used OAI data for abstracts and posters at various scientific meetings, including this poster at the 2016 OARSI World Congress, “Detecting subjects at risk of radiological progression: Data from the OAI.”

 

Qmetrics – A Family Friendly Work Environment

Family-friendly Qmetrics has space for employees' children to stay on emergency days off from school.

Family-friendly Qmetrics has space for employees’ children to stay on emergency days off from school.

With the single digits and below zero windchills in the Northeast, several schools have closed.  Qmetrics understands the challenges of finding child care on short notice, so allows employees’ children a space to come during emergency school closings. Here are two temporary Qmetrics workers finishing their homework and getting a lesson on anatomy.  Possible future image analysts?

Qmetrics Technologies Signs Partnership Agreement with French Company Olea Medical

QNotes, Vol. 6, Issue 15

Olea Medical Integrates the Cartilage Segmentation Technology Into Olea Sphere®V3.0.

Qmetrics Technologies is pleased to announce it has signed a licensing agreement with Olea Medical®, a Toshiba Medical company, headquartered in France, which is a provider of the innovative MR and CT imaging post-processing solutions, Olea Sphere®. Qmetrics is licensing its segmentation technology to Olea for integration with their software products.

L to R: Edward Schreyer, Qmetrics' CEO and Eric Marchand of Olea Medical

L to R: Edward Schreyer, Qmetrics’ CEO and Eric Marchand of Olea Medical

“Through this partnership, we can help Olea bring advanced cartilage segmentation capabilities to their customers, an additional benefit for them,” commented Edward Schreyer, CEO, Qmetrics Technologies. “The agreement helps Qmetrics further our goal of bringing advanced imaging information to patients and care providers.”

“We are always looking to provide our customers with enhanced and expanded imaging capabilities and this is a significant add-on to our advanced MSK solutions offering”, said Fayçal Djeridane, Olea Medical®’s Chief Executive Officer. ”Radiologists specialized in MSK and sports medicine worldwide will have access to innovative advanced postprocessing technology allowing them to deliver better patient care in their daily practice.”

According to Bruno Triaire, Olea Medical®’s Chief Medical Officer, “This will allow us to expand our osteoarticular MRI services by adding automatic cartilage segmentation. Degenerative cartilage pathologies are becoming increasingly common and new treatments depend on this technology. This solution will help us consolidate our position as an MRI imaging expert in the sports medicine field.”

Qmetrics provides 3D Segmentation & Modeling services to physicians, academic and industry researchers, educators and others interested in 3D segmentations of anatomy. The 3D segmentation and resulting models may be be useful to physicians in visualizing injury or disease and patient communication; build accurate finite models for tissue engineering, prosthesis design, etc.; for students to visualize or print clinical cases for presentation or publication; and even for the general public interested in learning more about anatomy.

For more information about the 3D Segmentation Service and how to submit a scan, contact Qmetrics at 3Dqmetrics@qmetricstech.com. Examples of some models can be viewed here.

Qmetrics Honors Sixth Annual Day of Radiology

QNotes, Vol. 6, Issue 14

The sixth annual International Day of Radiology is celebrated on November 8. Its aim is to build greater awareness of the value that radiology contributes to safe patient care, and improving understanding of the vital role radiologists play in the healthcare continuum. In honor of this recognition, a Qmetrics team radiologist provides his reflections upon the field.

Joshua M. Farber, MD

Joshua M. Farber, MD

Joshua Farber, MD, is a Senior Medical Scientist for Qmetrics Technologies. Dr. Farber received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, and then completed a radiology residency and Musculoskeletal Fellowship, both at New York University. He also completed an MRI Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Farber has practiced clinically, taught at academic institutions and has extensive experience in research and publications in the field of MSK radiology.

When he began his career there was no connectivity in radiology, “We were looking at films on a viewbox,” Dr. Farber says. Since then, he has enjoyed seeing the technological advances in the field. MRI, which has been used clinically only since 1977, and reached widespread use by the end of the century, has become less expensive and easily accessible. “It’s more available, even in small communities, allowing greater patient access to MR.”

Also, “CT (computed tomography) became ubiquitous so quickly. The relative cost has come down and patients most in need have access to it.” CT was invented in 1972 by British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories, England and by South Africa-born physicist Allan Cormack of Tufts University, Massachusetts. Hounsfield and Cormack were later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their contributions to medicine and science. The technology quickly became widely available for medical use.

Accessibility to quality radiological tools and expert radiologists is one aspect that Dr. Farber is glad to see. “With the web the way it is, imaging studies can be read by expert radiologists around the world. This greatly increases patient care, when a radiologist with specialized training can read films from a distance via the internet.”

In addition to accessibility, Dr. Farber describes how imaging modalities are becoming more powerful: “We can now extract functional as well as morphological information from MR scans.

Dr. Farber is excited about 3D modeling and believes it makes imaging more accessible to patients during doctor consultation, but isn’t sure it will have widespread use in clinical radiology. What does Dr. Farber see as the greatest use of radiology in the near future? “More and more functional information can be extracted from imaging. I see imaging being used commonly to identify biomarkers.”

Dr. Farber remains abreast of continuing advances in radiology as Special Advisor to the Editor-in-Chief of RadioGraphics, his work with Qmetrics, and as a reviewer for six peer-reviewed journals.

Pediatric Bone and Joint Day

3D Image of Biomechanical Abnormality due to ACL Injury

3D Image of Biomechanical Abnormality due to ACL Injury

QNotes, Vol. 6, Issue 14

October 19 is World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day, part of the weeklong observance of Bone and Joint Action Week. One issue that is of growing concern among physicians, parents and coaches is the rise of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in adolescents.

The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) reports on a study that reviewed the incidence of ACL injury in patients ages 6-18 years from 1994-2013 (Beck NA, et al. Pediatrics. 2017;139:e20161877). The authors found an overall ACL injury rate of 121 injuries per 100,000 person-years with the highest rates in 17-year-old males (422/100,000) and 16-year-old females (392/100,000). Perhaps a more important finding was that over the 20-year period, there was an average annual increase in the injury rate of 2.3%.

The AAP encourages coaches and players to participate in injury prevention programs to lower the rate of ACL injuries. Qmetrics concurs that education and awareness programs can be highly beneficial in preventing ACL and other bone and joint injuries in adolescents.

World Spine Day

QNotes, Vol. 6, Issue 13

October 16 is World Spine Day, part of the Bone and Joint Action Week which is held annually October 12-20, with activities focused on disorders including arthritis, back pain, trauma, pediatric conditions, and osteoporosis.

Qmetrics joins the organizers to highlight the theme “Your Back in Action,” by encouraging physical activity and improving posture as part of good spinal health and prevention of injury.

3D Rendering of Spinal Malalignment

3D Rendering of Spinal Malalignment

“Through some of the research Qmetrics’ supports we see various spinal injuries or disease, such as in this 3D rendering clearly depicting a spinal malalignment,” said Edward Schreyer, CEO, Qmetrics. “We certainly support the organizers of World Spine Day and the tips they provide for preventing back pain.” Tips can be found at the World Spine Day website.

Bone and Joint Action Week is a week-long observance is a program of The United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI), part of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, a global campaign to improve quality of life for people with musculoskeletal conditions and to advance understanding and treatment of these conditions through research, prevention, and education. USBJI aims to raise the awareness of the increasing societal impact of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders; empower patients to participate in decisions about their care; increase funding for prevention activities and research; and promote cost-effective prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.