Arthritis affects many working age people and often leaves them unable to continue in their job or forced to take frequent days off sick. Patient groups have constantly warned that identifying and treating the condition early could help prevent disability and cut the “vast” cost to the economy.
The estimated cost to the economy is around £30 billion a year, not to mention the cost to the individual. Technology is constantly evolving with the potential to improve the quality of life for patient’s whilst saving on the bottom line.
Step up BoneFinder, “A fully automatic software tool to find and segment skeletal structures from 2D radiographs by placing a set of points along the bone contour or at key landmark positions.” – Researchers at the University of Manchester are looking to take this existing software a step further and speed up the treatment of arthritis.
Your typical X-ray must be manually examined by a radiographer and can take a long time to get processed, with hundreds of individual images being handled. BoneFinder has the potential to save thousands of man hours and speeds up diagnosis, allowing scientists to focus their time on drawing conclusions and developing treatments.
This project is being co-funded by The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council to the tune of £300,000. The plan is to further develop the software so it’s accurate enough to be used in hospitals. Currently, BoneFinder can identify the outlines of hip joints, with further development in progress to enable it to identify knees, hands and other bone structures.
Developing technology to beat arthritis? We’d love to hear from you.