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KinetiCor: Bringing New Clarity to Medical Imaging
Dr. Jeffrey Yu, MD, President & CEO, KinetiCor
Patient motion is a problem during any medical imaging exam, be it X-rays, ultrasound, positron emission tomography (PET), or magnetic resonance imaging (MR). Movement of a patient during a scan will result in images that are blurry and/ or non-diagnostic. This inevitably leads to repeated scans, extended scan times, and increased costs for both clinical and research applications. An MRI scan, for example, can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the body part being scanned. That is quite a long time for a person to remain still inside the scanner—especially for pediatric, claustrophobic, or extremely ill patients.
Hawaii-based KinetiCor, a medical device company, has developed an advanced technology that enables accurate scans with correction for motion as slight as normal breathing. Jeffrey Yu, MD, President and CEO of the company, says, “Despite advances in diagnostic imaging, most MRI examinations are compromised by patient movements. In fact, a recent study reveals that 20 percent of all MRI scans are redone because of excessive subject movement.” KinetiCor’s FDA 510(k) cleared solution handles this problem by maximizing diagnostic performance for every single scan. The company’s prospective motion correction (PMC) system eliminates image artifacts caused by the most subtle, involuntary actions such as swallowing, respiration, and changes in muscle tone. “Unlike other medical imaging technologies, our solution adapts to the patient,” adds Dr. Yu. The scanner adjusts for patient motion in real-time, producing a clear, diagnostic scan. Furthermore, KinetiCor’s platform has the ability to gather biometric data such as heart rate (without the need to place ECG leads), respiratory rate, and anxiety levels.
KinetiCor’s technology is breaking ground in the modern medical imaging arena by helping to improve patient care and comfort while reducing the millions of dollars wasted each year on inefficient workflows.
The technology’s ultra low-profile industrial design allows healthcare providers to observe patients in real time, dynamically correct any kind of patient motion, and perform biometric intelligence analysis
The solution holds the promise to reduce the need to sedate patients, thereby providing significant cost savings to healthcare institutions. Sedation of children is a particular concern. To address this issue, KinetiCor’s technology was integrated into MRI scanners at Boston Children’s Hospital. “We are working closely with Boston Children’s Hospital to help reduce the need for and cost of sedation for children undergoing imaging,” adds Dr. Yu.
The KinetiCor solution is also enhancing the quality of images and the speed of imaging. “The platform’s ability to discern a patient’s behavior in real-time and accordingly adapt the scanner to the person enhances patient care and improves patient monitoring,” explains Dr. Yu. “It is one of the significant aspects that truly set our company apart in the medical imaging arena.” Another factor that differentiates KinetiCor is the firm’s strong strategic partnership with Siemens Healthineers. The two companies have collaboratively developed an FDA 510(k) cleared MR sensor to expand precision medicine. “The KineticSensor employs a quad camera system that has the ability to track every movement of the patient in the scanner. It is a first-of-its-kind in-bore, real-time patient viewing system that allows close patient monitoring and prospective motion correction for neurological and soon other MR exams,” explains Dr. Yu. “Today, KinetiCor’s path-breaking in-bore camera and motion correction technology are becoming an integral part of Siemens Healthineers’ BioMatrix portfolio.”
For almost eight years now, KinetiCor has carved a niche for itself in the diagnostic imaging industry. The days ahead will see the company roll out multiple other imaging technologies in an area it calls Biometric Intelligence™ (AI-based biometric monitoring and assessment) as well as expansion into other imaging modalities. “This will not only substantially increase our revenue growth opportunities but also help us expand our footprint around the world,” wraps up Dr. Yu.
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