OXOS Medical is responding to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) call for proposals for specialized equipment to be considered under the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism to develop processes and actions to address the global coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded in 2016 as Micro C Imaging LLC in Savannah, Georgia by two graduates of Georgia Tech, the company, now called OXOS, also has operations in Atlanta. It is a startup in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s ATDC Accelerate portfolio of companies.
While its Micro C handheld X-ray device, is its lead product, OXOS has expanded its scope as a developer of advanced orthopedic imaging devices and software.
“In consultation with pulmonologists, anesthesiologists, and surgeons, OXOS has determined that having an easily deployable chest X-ray would be critical for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Gregory Kolovich, an orthopedic hand and micro-surgeon who is OXOS co-founder and chief medical officer. “We could provide a portable, in-home method to aid in diagnosing, monitoring, and clinical decision making.”
OXOS’ Micro C device pairs a 7-pound emitter with a 10-pound detector to enable fast, safe, and portable X-ray imaging. It is designed to image distal extremities to detect musculoskeletal injuries. The device incorporates a number of technical innovations in X-ray tube design, computer vision, medical image analysis, and packaging.
With modifications to the Micro C, a certified nurse assistant (CNA), or other trained personnel, could be triaged to an asymptomatic patient’s home and rapidly collect a chest x-ray either in conjunction with a flu swab, oral temperature and pulse oximetry reading — or without, depending on resource availability.
Through the OXOS cloud-connected platform for image sharing, analysis, and collaboration, or through integration with current telemedicine solutions, these tests can be sent to a pulmonologist for timely analysis, enabling treatment planning.
Citing the practicality of an OXOS solution, Evan Ruff, co-founder and CEO, said with the deployment of this system, the exam could be executed by a resource with very little training. A test could likely be completed in less than 15 minutes, he said.
“In this case, it is likely that a single mobile unit could examine between 20-30 patients in a day. A moderately sized fleet of mobile examiners has the potential to save thousands of emergency room visits per day,” Ruff said.
“OXOS is well prepared to meet the two technical objectives of this NSF project: enabling portable chest X-ray by modifying the existing Micro C to increase the x-ray output and tuning the image algorithms and enabling increased production capability.”
Covid-19 primarily attacks the lungs, which is especially dangerous for the elderly, the immunocompromised and those with decreased lung function. The coronavirus’ long incubation period hastens transmission as asymptomatic carriers continue everyday contact.
Most alarmingly, if the disease progresses as projected, outstanding infections will far outstrip the health systems’ intensive care, critical care, and radiographic units, Kolovich said.
“While steps have been taken to reduce the outbreak, the need for additional detection, treatment, and management capability is paramount,” he said.
“Enabling non-critical and lower-risk patients to manage the symptoms and progression of the virus at home, without visits to critical emergency departments, would alleviate the enormous pressure on the system at large.”