The Lowdown on the Lodox
Although I consider myself a fan, I've managed to fall a little behind on my episodes of Grey's Anatomy.
Not to give anything away for those of you who are similarly stuck on a past season, but I recently watched a Season 9 episode that plunged me back in to the fan club pretty quickly.
The chief physician in the show's fictitious hospital purchases a full body x-ray system, the Lodox Statscan, for the trauma department. Not only does it take a full diagnostic x-ray in only 13 seconds, but the radiation levels are significantly lower than those emitted by a standard x-ray system, making it safe for pregnant patients to use. The hospital staff is, of course, impressed by and excited about these capabilities, but despite their best efforts, the surgeons are unable to find a suitable patient for their new equipment. Ultimately, the interns resort to using the Lodox to search for a missing marble.
So what exactly is this machine The Lodox (a loose acronym for low dose x-rays), is manufactured by a South African company and has installations in 8 countries to date. The technology was originally developed by DeBeers as a security screening tool to prevent diamond theft by miners, as it could efficiently scan the workers as they came and went from the mining sites. Later, the machine was used in forensics to help rapidly and accurately assess bodily injuries. In 2002, the system received FDA approval, which helped the Lodox gain further global recognition.
Today, the award-winning system has multiple medical applications, though it is primarily used in trauma departments, as in Grey's. Because of the system's quick scanning capabilities, patients can be assessed and treated significantly faster than by using conventional imaging systems. The low dosage and high accuracy of the system are also major selling points. Lodox is currently the only competitor in the market for full body x-ray, and could be positioned to challenge conventional radiography systems though the future of the system is uncertain and further clinical research is required before it is adopted more widely. Currently, instead of replacing the use of CT and MRI systems, the Lodox works as an adjunct tool, offering an initial overview of the patient, after which another imaging procedure may be requested.
Apparently, the Lodox Statscan starred in a second episode of the television show, though I'll have to catch up on the rest of the season to see what happens!