EXPLORING ECHOLIGHT — A NOVEL WAY TO MONITOR OSTEOPOROSIS


Bone health is making waves!

People are beginning to realize that breaking a hip or sustaining a compression fracture is not just an inevitable rite of passage as we get older. It’s a medical problem that can be prevented and treated. 

Just as we must take care of our hearts, our eyes, and our skin, we also need to take care of all our other body parts, especially our bones. It’s going to be our bones that get all our other parts going to where they need to get to. When our bones aren’t in good condition, we lose our independence and the ability to get around.

Echolight EchoS is the common name for an innovative bone health monitoring technology called REMS (Radiofrequency Echographic Multi Spectrometry) that has quietly been gaining acceptance across Europe and is revolutionizing the way bone health specialists assess and monitor not only bone density, but also bone quality and bone strength. 
 

WHAT IS ECHOLIGHT? 

How does Echolight EchoS work? And how can it improve bone health? 

The EchoS unit uses the REMS technique to assess and diagnose conditions of low bone density, like osteoporosis. It’s the newest way Central Carolina Orthopaedic Associates is helping its patients at risk for fracture due to weak bones proactively monitor their bone health and implement the appropriate treatment to keep their bones healthy.

Echolight’s REMS technology examines the condition and health of a person’s bones without the ionizing radiation (X-rays) used to measure bone density with the typical Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) technology. 

Plus, the precision, automation, and analysis capabilities of the REMS technology is unmatched.


WHAT DATA DOES ECHOLIGHT TRACK? 

With a quick and simple ultrasound, the Echolight technology allows an examiner to identify and scan a patient’s lumbar vertebrae (spine) and femoral neck (hip) bones for density and quality of bone microarchitecture. Within several minutes, the device automatically compares the patient’s examination with reference data from over 100,000 other patients in the database. 

The technology measures the most common bone health factor — bone mineral density (BMD) — and generates a T-score and a Z-score that are used to diagnose osteoporosis. Unlike previous technology, the EchoS also calculates a measure of bone quality —the Fragility Score

But what exactly do these data points tell you about your bone health? 
  • Bone mineral density (BMD) — This is an actual measurement of the density of the bone (measured in gr/cm2).  The BMD is used to determine the T-Score and the Z-Score. A correct osteoporosis diagnosis is entirely dependent on accurate BMD data. 
  • T-score — This is a numeric value derived through statistical calculations that directly compares an individual’s BMD to the mean BMD value of a very large database of healthy 30-year-old women. A T-score value with a standard deviation of -2.5 from the mean value establishes a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
  • Z-score — This is a numeric value derived in a similar manner as the T-Score, but instead, it compares your BMD to the BMD of people your own age and gender. 
  • Fragility score — This is a numeric value derived through statistical calculations using data obtained during the EchoS scan. After the data is compared to a database of people with and without fractures, the calculated value reflects the quality of your bone and how likely you are to sustain a fragility fracture. 

BENEFITS OF THE REMS TECHNOLOGY 

What does all this mean for you?

If you are at risk for osteoporosis, an Echolight EchoS examination is an essential first step for you to keep your bones strong and healthy. 

Here are 9 things Echolight can do for you: 
  1. Assess your bone health without harmful ionizing radiation.
  2. Produce an automated report within several minutes.
  3. Determine precise and correct bone health data. 
  4. Analyze brand-new bone health information — the Fragility Score. 
  5. Help clinicians give you more accurate fracture risk assessments. 
  6. Allow for early detection and diagnosis of low bone density and osteoporosis. 
  7. Take a more proactive approach to bone health.
  8. Predict fragility fractures for women and patients with type 2 diabetes or other risk factors.
  9. Help in pre-operative bone assessment prior to joint replacement or spine fusion surgery.

THE OLD VS. THE NEW — DXA VS. REMS 

Unlike the commonly used DXA technology, Echolight doesn’t use ionizing radiation (X-rays) to analyze bone density. 

Another well-recognized problem with DXA assessments is a high error rate in how the DXA scan is completed and/or interpreted. 

A well-done DXA is still considered the gold-standard for BMD measurements, but an improperly done DXA can produce incorrect BMD results that are imprecise and unreliable. This unreliability can result in recommendations for treatments that are not appropriate. 

Because REMS analyzes raw unfiltered ultrasound signals, it recognizes even the smallest bone tissue details, deriving the most precise BMD measurements and bone quality measurements. And, in several minutes, the Echolight EchoS produces all the results the Central Carolina Orthopaedic Associates team needs to properly analyze bone health and diagnose osteoporosis. 


WHERE CAN I GET AN ECHOLIGHT ASSESSMENT? 

You won’t be able to find the REMS technology at just any clinician’s office. 

As an orthopaedic surgery practice, our specialty has been caring for bone, joint and all parts of the musculoskeletal system for more than 15 years.  Recently, we decided to expand the scope of our care. Not only do we fix bones once they have already broken, but we help our patient with proactive bone health and fracture prevention. 

To help our patients take care of their bones and prevent and combat osteoporosis, Central Carolina Orthopaedic Associates has decided to become an early adopter of the REMS technology

After an extremely successful trial of the revolutionary Echolight EchoS, we are proud to be able to provide a convenient, precise and radiation-free way to assess our patients’ bone density and bone quality

The technology allows us to evaluate our patients’ internal bone structure and help predict the possibility that they’ll break a bone in the next five years. That way, we can work together with our patients to treat osteoporosis and prevent future fragility fractures. 

If you have more questions about bone health, osteoporosis, or our new Echolight technology, get in touch with the team at Central Carolina Orthopaedic Associates. To learn more about our efforts to combat osteoporosis, take a peek at our October press release.

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