KA Imaging’s X-ray Detector Allows Any X-ray System to Be Upgraded to Dual-Energy

Canadian manufacturer is getting ready to launch Reveal™, enabling bone and tissue differentiation without motion artifacts

Reveal™ Dual-Energy X-ray Detector

Canadian manufacturer KA Imaging is preparing to launch Reveal, a premium x-ray detector that upgrades any x-ray system to Dual-Energy. “Reveal is the ideal retrofit solution as it will fit into any ISO standard size tray”, explains Amol Karnick, president and CEO of KA Imaging. Thanks to this feature, the cost of implementation can be reduced to a fraction of the price: whereas conventional dual exposure dual-energy systems can cost as high as half a million dollars, KA Imaging’s Reveal can be obtained at a quarter of this price. “You can simply replace your old detector with Reveal, as it will work with any conventional portable or fixed x-ray source”, continues Amol.

The competitive pricing strategy is just one of the advantages. KAI developed a unique technology that can improve dual-energy x-ray images. Reveal is the world’s first portable digital detector capable of separating different energy levels with a single exposure. It delivers three images: traditional DR, soft tissue and bone. “Our patented technology eliminates the motion artifact problem often seen in traditional dual exposure dual-energy X-Ray imaging systems”, explains Dr. Karim S Karim, CTO at KA Imaging. According to Karim, the detector simultaneously enables DR images with very high DQE (detective quantum efficiency) allowing for low radiation exposures to the patient and excellent quality soft tissue and bone images.

The Reveal detector has been used clinically on more than 20 patients with lung cancer. The clinical trial is being held at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario and is expected to scan up to 30 patients.

Reveal is being submitted to the US FDA for clearance in 2020. Radiologists globally can learn more about Reveal at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) between March 11th to 15th at the Austria Center Vienna. KA Imaging is exhibiting at booth #G41.

ECR is one of the largest medical meetings in Europe. Canada is a featured country at this event. “We are proud that as a partner country, we are able to present Canadian technology at this year’s ECR” says Stéphane Charbonneau, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner at the Embassy of Canada in Vienna.

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Quality: everybody’s business at KA Imaging

Did you know KA Imaging has a Quality Policy?

At KA Imaging, we are committed to the design and development of x-ray systems that meet the needs of our customers. Through the implementation of our quality processes, we will comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and maintain the effectiveness of
the Quality Management System. We build quality in all we do.

Therefore, at KA Imaging, quality is everybody’s business! It is a journey of continuous improvement. The question is: how do you achieve quality?

Quality is defined as Conformance to Requirements. That is, any product, service, or process that conforms to its requirements is a Quality Product, Service, or Process.

At KA Imaging, ‘Quality’ is based upon Process Management and Improvement Methodology (PM&I). It focuses upon Processes and their efficiencies that produce their outcomes in a consistent and a repeatable manner. The Process Outcomes must meet their agreed upon requirements. The pictorial view below represents KA Imaging’s PM&I model.

Pictorial view of KA Imaging Process Management and Improvement Methodology

 

For KA Imaging to function effectively, it has identified and has linked all business processes.  The application of a system of processes within an organization, together with the identification and interactions of these processes and their management to produce the desired outcome, can be referred to as the “process approach”.  The linking of the processes to produce outcomes is also known as inter-related processes.

KA Imaging deploys a RASUI concept in its approach towards designing and developing products. RASUI is an acronym that stands for ‘Reliability, Availability, Serviceability, Usability, and Installability’.

KA Imaging being in the business of Development and Manufacturing of medical devices such as high-end Dual-Energy X-Ray Detectors, it is crucial that it consistently meets the ISO 13485:2016 Standard and Regulatory requirements. To this end, KA Imaging engages in training all its employees in the Process based Quality Management System including Management.

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2020: a year of change for KA Imaging

2020 heralds a year of change for KA Imaging.

For starters, the office in Kitchener (Ontario, Canada) became restrictive as the team expanded at an unprecedented rate—with three times more jobs created in 2019 than the year before. As a result, KA Imaging moved to a new location, a spacious 9,000 square-foot newly-renovated facility in Waterloo.

The office, however, is the smallest of the changes expected. “After almost 5 years of extensive development, we are starting to commercialize our line of products,” Amol Karnick, president and CEO at KA Imaging says. “Our focus is on our customers; what they need and how we can help.”

With an ambitious product and technology roadmap, the company is now developing strategic partnerships across the world. One example is the exclusive distribution agreement for KAI’s inline benchtop micro-CT system inCiTe™ with Angstrom Scientific Inc. (USA).  InCiTe™ offers revolutionary phase contrast micro-CT imaging and is ideal for use on biomaterials, polymer composites and other low-density materials.

On the medical imaging side, KAI’s dual-energy single exposure X-ray detector Reveal must be submitted for FDA clearance this year.

KA Imaging is a University of Waterloo spin-off and has scaled rapidly since inception. The company aims to establish itself as a major player in the X-ray detector industry. “It’s been a long journey for us. Our team has worked hard to strengthen our patent portfolio. We now have over 50 patents worldwide and plan to continue developing disruptive x-ray tech over the next years,’ concludes Dr. Karim S Karim, CTO at KA Imaging.

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2019 at a glance

“We set a number of very ambitious, stretch goals for 2019 and incredibly, accomplished most of them”, said Dr. Karim S Karim, CTO at KA Imaging.  “I’m very happy and proud of the entire KA family and how well they work with and support each other”, he continued.

A family that has continuously grown. In 2019, 10 new people joined KA Imaging, sharing their expertise in different areas, such as Engineering, Finance and Business Development. The number of employees is now 58% higher than in 2016. “We have a great team of dedicated people who are interested in learn and developing good products”, explained Amol Karnick, CEO at KAI. “The team has grown this year to included additional skill set including hardware and software design”, he said.

A year to celebrate

2019 was full of highlights. The company exhibited at 6 conferences and visited several others, having traveled more than 10,000 km around the globe.

KA Imaging’s inCiTe™ micro CT had its commercialization started and the first unit was delivered at the National Research Council Canada. At MRS, the technology was introduced to researchers, along with BrillianSe™, the world’s highest spatial resolution direct conversion X-ray detector for hard X-ray. Christopher Scott, an engineer leading the inCiTe™ and BrillianSe™ product development, had a poster presentation to talk about the technology.

The dual-energy single exposure flat panel detector Reveal™ was launched at RSNA and has sparked interest in the industry. Engineer Sebastian Maurino had a talk during the conference and gave more details about the technology. Representing KA Imaging, his abstract received the Roadie Award from AuntMinnie.  “Our clinical trial with patient data has been excellent as well as it shows tangibly the benefits of KA Imaging’s efforts”, celebrated Dr. Karim.

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Amol Karnick, CEO (M.Eng, BASc)
Amol is a seasoned executive in the medical device industry. His experience covers the whole spectrum; from start-ups (Ultrasonix, Sentinelle Medical, Ventripoint) to large OEMs (GE Healthcare). Entering into the profession with a Bachelors in Engineering from UW and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from McGill, Amol spent 20 years in the medical imaging space to become a leader of multidisciplinary teams (sales, engineering and operations). Amol is now poised to steer KA Imaging into a position of global leadership.
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Karim S. Karim, CTO
(PhD, PEng, MBA)
A professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Dr.Karim is a distinguished academician known for pioneering and commercializing large area current mode active pixel sensor technology that is now used in bio-metric fingerprint readers for mobile phones. With 20 years of experience in designing and prototyping large area digital imagers, Dr.Karim has been instrumental in raising over $12 million in research funding. A full member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), Dr.Karim is also an IEEE distinguished lecturer.
Ken Green, CFO (CPA, MBA)
Ken has a strong background in finance, accounting and strategic business operations developed from several years of work experience in the financial services industry. Ken gained valuable experience working for a number of major Canadian and global firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Royal bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and Scotia Bank. However, his most valuable learning experiences come from working with many small businesses including start-ups and established businesses helping them manage their accounting and finance operations. Ken is a Chartered Professional Accountant and has an MBA from the Schulich Business School.
Sina Ghanbarzadeh, Co-Founder
(MSc, PhD*)
Sina is the co-founder and the lead of the design team at KA Imaging Inc. He brings over 7 years of experience in design and characterization of imaging detectors to the KA Imaging Inc. He has designed the state of the art imaging detector prototype and currently leading the design team at both device and system level. Sina holds a Masters in Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is also working towards his PhD at University of Waterloo.
Joan Medley, Quality Regulatory Expert (ISO 13485)
Joan began her career as a Medical Radiation Technologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences, specializing in general and trauma radiography, CT scanning, angiography, heart catheterizations and fulfilled the role of clinical instructor. She has co-authored a Quality & Regulatory college course providing outline, course content and learning objectives. With over 2 decades of experience as a Quality Assurance (QA) Manager and Director, Joan has led medical device manufacturers through ISO registration and managing Quality Management systems. Certified as an ISO 13485 Lead Auditor, Joan currently provides contract services for a certification body.
Jill Zappitelli, Human Resources Consultant (CHRL)
An experienced and accredited Human Resource Professional and Program/Project Manager, Jill’s rich expertise and national and international experience in every facet of Human Resources affords her the distinction of being one of the most sought-after HR professionals in the region. As a member of the HRPA Board of Directors, her CHRL designation combined with a Business Administration Management Diploma from Conestoga College – Jill brings a genuine level of confidence to any organization that finds itself without some HR guidance. Creating and implementing authentic and effective HR solutions to solve an array of employee challenges have been Jill’s signature for several years with companies ranging from SunLife Financial to Blackberry, to non-profits such as Trellis Mental Health. Now, as a consultant to Waterloo’s emerging businesses and tech community, Jill has been delivering relevant and meaningful solutions to scale – be it program level or simply getting the right advice.
Ako S. Williams, Vice President
Ako Williams is Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Ushio America, Inc., which is a U.S. subsidiary of Ushio Inc. in Tokyo, Japan. Ushio is a leading provider of light sources and solutions for a wide variety of applications, including medical imaging and illumination, scientific, semiconductor, entertainment, horticulture, and architectural applications. A seasoned global enterprise executive with a strategic problem solving approach, Ako oversees Ushio America’s legal, regulatory compliance, risk management, and corporate governance matters. Previously, she was an Assistant General Counsel and Compliance Officer of Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. (an Ushio group company) and an Assistant General Counsel of a leading home healthcare provider in the U.S. She holds a B.S. (highest distinction) from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
(B.S, J.D)
Ian Cunningham (BSc, MSc, PhD)
Dr. Ian Cunningham is a professor and scientist at the Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario and physicist at London Health Sciences Centre. He directs a research team of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows that are investigating new ways of acquiring and displaying medical images using digital radiography and computed tomography for improved health care.
James Wei (VP, Business Development )
James earned an M.Sc. at UW Canada and a Ph.D. at INSA Lyon France in RF engineering before starting his career in mixed signal development for the telecom industry. An Executive MBA degree from the University of Zurich in Switzerland charted his course into leadership roles in business development, where his specialty lies in international sales and marketing for tech start-ups. James brings a decade of experience to KA Imaging in new product market entry, global distribution channel management, and Asian subsidiary setups. It is James who will take KA Imaging to the forefront of the overseas marketplace.
Susan Horton (BA, MA, PhD)
Working for the World Bank got Susan interested in health and economics. Dr. Horton then proceeded to work at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research in Bangladesh while writing her thesis. She has worked or taught in about 25 low and middle income countries, on topics ranging from labour markets, women's participation, benefits and costs of micronutrient interventions, and currently costs and benefits of breastfeeding, cost and cost-effectiveness of cancer interventions, and disease control priorities in low and middle income countries. Currently, Dr.Horton is working on the Disease Control Priorities project and in the past, worked on research projects with the World Bank, FAO, WHO, UNICEF, Copenhagen Consensus, etc.
Ruben Romero (CPA, CMA)
Ruben has a strong background in finance, accounting and strategic business operations from several years of work experience in various industries. Prior to joining KA Imaging's team, Ruben gained valuable experience working for Canadian and Global firms such as Class 1 Inc. and Bimbo Bakeries. Ruben has been a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Accountant for over ten years.