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New X-Ray from Canadian Startup Could Replace CT Scan for Lung Cancer Screening

Grand River Hospital in Waterloo, Ontario is introducing a portable multi-energy x-ray imager as an alternative to CT scan for lung cancer screening. The makers of the device claim it to be cost-effective and emit 50 times less radiation than a CT scan.

The creators of the x-ray are KA Imaging, a Canada-based startup with a robust and innovative range of medical imaging products. Previously, they were awarded $1 million Canadian dollars from the Grand Challenges Canada fund to develop a LCD-based x-ray that uses less radiation and is cheaper to manufacture.

"With our single X-ray, you sort of walk up to the X-ray, they get you positioned. It's a snapshot, you take a picture and that's it,” said KA Imaging CEO Amol Karnick.

According to CBC, the multi-energy x-ray produces a clearer image of the lungs, giving physicians a more detailed view at the bone structure and soft tissue. The device will be first tested in an upcoming study with 30 lung cancer patients and/or patients with lung nodules that are currently under observation in the radiology department. They will undergo both a x-ray scan and a traditional CT test.

Hospital staff are excited about the potential benefits of the new x-ray, and are hopeful it could prove to be an all-around more effective device. "It's faster, there is less cost than a CT scan and it's a portable technology as well, so it could be brought to the patients,” said Carla Girolametto, Grand River’s director of research, innovation, and clinical trials. “So if there are patients that could not be moved in different areas of the hospital, this is a mobile device that can be taken to the patients."

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