12 June 2013

South Africa: SA's Low-Dose X-Ray Makes Its Mark

South African X-ray system manufacturer Lodox Systems is making its mark on the international medical scene with a low radiation dose X-ray system that takes a full-body scan in just 13 seconds. It's even got the attention of the makers of popular American television drama Grey's Anatomy.

The Xmplar-dr X-ray system, the company's latest product, featured in the 18th episode of season nine of the TV drama series for its functions in medical trauma and forensic pathology.

"Far from paid-for product placement, this was a storyline independently researched and written by the Grey's Anatomy producers," Lodox's Sarah Whiley said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Here at Lodox, we are both pleased and proud that our scanner has been recognised on this international platform and equally that it has been featured in our local media as an example of some of the truly great things that happen here in South Africa," Whiley said.

'World-class SA medical innovation'

"Although Grey's Anatomy is just a TV show, the featuring of Lodox's unique scanner shows that our technology is of the highest standard and continues the proud tradition of world-class South African medical innovation that was started by such pioneering icons as Alan Cormack and Christiaan Barnard."

Lodox's critical imaging technology was first developed for use in South Africa's diamond mines to prevent smuggling in the 1980s and '90s.

The requirements for a machine of this calibre were the ability to scan the whole body, a resolution good enough to detect at least one carat or a fifth of a gram of diamonds, a speed quick enough to process large numbers of people - and the lowest possible X-ray dose for safety.

A team of engineers from mining company De Beers' research laboratories developed the scanner and, when they realised the instrument's potential, established Lodox Systems to adapt and develop the technology for medical use.

"After some experience it was found that the Lodox full-body X-ray scanner was also ideal for use by forensic pathologists, as it assisted them in getting an accurate full body overview of injuries and foreign bodies quickly," the company says on www.lodox.com.

South Africa's Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) became a majority shareholder of Lodox in 2010 and assist with funding for research, development and product improvement.

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