Preventing osteoporosis and fractures with AI

11 March, 2019

The fact that the life science transformation also concerns the dental industry becomes clear via new healthtech solutions using AI. Boneprox, one of the latest additions to Accelerator @Sahlgrenska Science Park, has now applied for the eHealth Award.

TEXT: ANNIKA ÅKERVALL

The Gothenburg-based company, formed in 2014, offers a medtech web service to analyse bone density. The idea is to prevent osteoporosis and fractures. The service can be seen as a risk assessment of osteoporosis throughout the body.

Studies show there is a strong correlation between osteoporosis in the jawbone and the rest of the body.

“This makes dentists a perfect target group for us, as they regularly take pictures of the jawbone. However, our service is just as important in healthcare as osteoporosis leads to huge costs for society, around SEK 18 billion every year,” says Peder Remman, one of the founders of Boneprox.

Boneprox’s patented method is based on artificial intelligence (AI) and image processing algorithms that analyse jawbone structures on common digital dental X-rays (taken during regular dental visits).

“The image is uploaded in our web portal, where it is screened 20,000 times; from the largest to the smallest cavity. The dentist gets a value that shows whether or not the patient is at risk.

The service is GDPR-secured and easy to use for the individual dentist. No installations are required.

Most common in women

The current medical guidelines state that a patient should be analysed for osteoporosis only after the first fracture has occurred.

“But our vision is to make the discovery before that. Then it’s possible to make simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing the intake of calcium and vitamin D, to slow down the process,” says Peder Remman.

If osteoporosis is detected at a later stage, more extensive measures are needed, such as intravenous drip treatment a few times a year. Boneprox’s ambition is to find patients with indications of osteoporosis before it is too late.

“We know that 50 percent of all women over 50 and 25 percent of all men over 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture. So, this tool can help many people.

Boneprox currently has around 90 customers in Sweden and Norway, and wants to expand further.

Peder Remman believes the eHealth Award could boost the company’s growth.

“For us, it is very positive just to be part of this. If we win, it could further increase the attention to our product and its potential.

The deadline for applications to the eHealth Award is April 11th. The winner will be presented during the inauguration of Vitalis, the Nordic region’s leading e-health meeting on May 21 in Gothenburg.