LessRay software technology system

NuVasive releases LessRay software technology system in the U.S.

September 20, 2017
by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter
The release of NuVasive, Inc.’s LessRay software technology system may just solve the dilemma of balancing radiation exposure with image quality.

The FDA-approved device allows physicians to use small doses of radiation in an operating room, while still retaining high image quality during low-dose fluoroscopic or X-ray scans of patients undergoing minimally-invasive spinal surgery (MIS).

“Every c-arm has the ability to reduce the amount of radiation that’s emitted by doing a low dose X-ray,” David Brownlee, a spokesperson for NuVasive, told HCB News. “The problem with low dose X-ray is that you can’t see images very clearly when you turn the dosage down. What LessRay does is enhance the imagery so that you get a full dose image with a low dose X-ray. There really isn’t a comparable technology now to compliment the X-ray imagery from the c-arms.”

Current methods for visualization in minimally-invasive surgeries require c-arms to emit and expose patients to large amounts of radiation to enable high image quality. LessRay takes the c-arm imagery from the c-arm itself and enhances it to provide full dose imagery, allowing doctors to expose patients to only low doses of radiation.

The device consists of an attachment with a video screen that goes onto the c-arm, provided the attachment is compatible with the machine and the video output is compatible with LessRay.

Additional features include the system’s ability to streamline and expedite procedures by stitching together c-arm images, providing a better and faster examination of the spine as a whole; and its c-arm tracking technology which allows doctors to monitor the position of the c-arm so they can place it in the right position and save time by taking one shot rather than multiple ones.

The system also reduces barriers to MIS spine surgery, compared to general orthopedic MIS. This benefits patients by reducing blood loss and infection and ensuring quicker recovery time. Hospitals also experience no need for additional surgery time and no interruption in current surgical workflow.

A study found that the use of patients who underwent fluoroscopy with LessRay experienced a 62-84 percent decrease in radiation emission and exposure in the OR, compared to standard-dose fluoroscopy.

Though specifically marketed toward spinal surgeries, the device is approved for any procedure requiring a c-arm, and could be used in fields such as urology, general surgery and trauma.

“I think once people realize the benefits of reducing the amount of radiation that they’re exposed to, anywhere from 70-90 percent, people will be gravitating toward this technology,” said Brownlee. “More and more people are understanding the risks of being exposed to radiation on a daily basis.”

The company plans to apply for CE marking, as well as approval in other countries in the future.