Thursday, January 29, 2009

GE Healthcare launches new software for diagnosing osteoporosis at Arab Health 2009

Dubai, UAE; January 28, 2009: GE Healthcare has launched new software for diagnosing osteoporosis on display at Arab Health 2009, the region’s premier healthcare event. The new software will play an integral role in strengthening early diagnosis of the disease, which according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is of increasing concern to the Middle East. In fact, the Emirates Osteoporosis Society (EOS) was established due to the continuously increasing prevalence of low bone mass among the residents of the UAE.

According to IOF, one in three women and one in five men globally over 50 years of age will experience osteoporotic fractures, and 30 to 50 per cent of women, and 15 to 30 per cent of men will suffer an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime. IOF also presents evidence that many women who sustain a fragility fracture are not appropriately diagnosed and treated for probable osteoporosis, and that a great majority of individuals at high risk, who have already had at least one osteoporotic fracture, are neither identified nor treated. In Saudi Arabia, with a population of over 1.46 million people aged 50 years or more, over 8,000 people suffer femoral (thigh bone) fractures at a cost of about USD 1.14 billion.

GE Healthcare is a leading provider of systems that calculate a T-score based on an individual’s bone mineral density (BMD) for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The FRAXä Fracture Risk Tool uses this BMD measurement plus other risk factors to estimate the likelihood of a person will break a bone over a period of ten years. FRAXä, together with new National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) guidelines, provides clinicians with an enhanced ability to identify people at high fracture risk, and to help assure they are recommended for treatment.

“We are delighted to incorporate FRAXä into our 2009 software release,” said Laura Stoltenberg, General Manager, GE Healthcare Lunar. “It brings us one step closer to making GE Healthcare’s “Early Health” vision a reality with early identification of those at risk for a devastating fracture. If a patient clearly understands their risk, they will most likely be more inclined to take preventive measures, thus saving themselves and their families future pain.”

Developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Dr. John A. Kanis, professor emeritus at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, FRAXä is endorsed by the IOF and the NOF in its new Clinician’s Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis (2008).

The new solutions for diagnosing osteoporosis are on display at the GE Healthcare stand (Hall 4 - Stand D20) at the exhibition in the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

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