A new lung scanning technology with the potential to transform the treatment of people suffering from lung disease was developed by researchers at Monash University in Australia.
The four-dimensional lung scanning platform was developed by Monash University Prof. Andreas Fouras and has been commercialized by 4Dx, his medical technology company based in Melbourne, Australia. The platform can offer researchers new insights into improved treatment options.
“Monash has a long record of working with industry to apply deep research into practical commercial applications. With this technology, not only will clinicians have a clearer image of what is happening in the patient’s lungs, but it is our aim to detect changes in lung function much earlier than in the past, which will allow clinicians to quantify the effects of treatment by simply comparing measurements from one scan to the next,” Dr. Rajeev Samarage, who authored the study and led the research team from Monash Laboratory for Dynamic Imaging, said in a press release.
The study was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, and involved 4Dx, Monash University, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital South Australia, the University of Heidelberg, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is titled “Quantification of heterogeneity in lung disease with image-based pulmonary function testing.”
The 4Dx pre-clinical scanner is capable of generating high-resolution images of lung tissue motion and airflow throughout the lungs, which could help researchers view and analyze abnormal function in specific areas of the lungs before disease progression and spread.
“Current tools are out of date and require two or three pieces of diagnostic information to piece together what is happening in someone’s lungs,” said Fouras, chairman and CEO of 4Dx. “Our game-changing diagnostic tool offers images of the breathing lungs, making it possible to see what is really important — not what they look like — but how they work.”
Prof. Greg Snell, head of Lung Transplant Service at Alfred Hospital, and Karin Knoester, CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Victoria, both agreed this new technology could be a significant advance for early diagnosis and management of common lung diseases and possibly a game changer in diagnostic imaging.
“Any tool that can identify damage at an early stage will be able to inform intervention, with the hope of reducing further damage,” Knoester said.