03 Feb World Cancer Day: Raising Awareness and Thinking of Ways to #CloseTheCareGap
Equality in healthcare is a complex and ongoing issue. In the United States, for example, despite having one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, many Americans face disparities in access to quality healthcare based on factors such as race, income, and geographic location.
Inequality in access to healthcare, particularly for cancer care, can have serious consequences for individuals and communities. Some of the reasons why unequal access to cancer care is a problem include health disparities, late diagnosis, financial burden and inadequate treatment.
In order to address these issues, it is important to ensure that everyone has access to the quality cancer care they need, regardless of their socioeconomic status or other factors. This can help to reduce health disparities, improve health outcomes, and promote greater equality in healthcare.
World Cancer Day: Raising Awareness and Thinking of Ways to #CloseTheCareGap
World Cancer Day is an annual event that takes place on February 4th to raise awareness about the global burden of cancer and to encourage actions to prevent, detect, and treat the disease.
This year’s World Cancer Day’s theme, “Close the Care Gap”, is about celebrating the progress that has been made – and encouraging people to continue the fight.
Lung Cancer: a global issue
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, accounting for over 1.8 million deaths in 2018. In the same year, it was estimated that there were 2.09 million new cases of lung cancer globally.
“Individuals with low income are more likely to smoke, have a higher risk of lung cancer, and are less likely to participate in preventative healthcare, such as LDCT lung screening” said Karim S. Karim, CTO of KA Imaging. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, as of 2021, only about 10% of eligible individuals have undergone lung cancer screening.
“Access to higher tech imaging such as CT scanning is not equally available to all,” said Dr. Phil Templeton, Radiologist and Chief Medical Officer at KA Imaging. In the US, access to lung cancer screening varies depending on the availability of screening facilities, insurance coverage, and patient demographics.
For example, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to lack health insurance coverage and have lower income, which can affect their access to preventive care and treatment options. People living in rural areas also often face challenges in accessing healthcare services due to a shortage of providers and facilities.
Innovative X-ray everywhere is our way of contributing
“KA Imaging started as a company because we wanted to democratize access to healthcare,” said Karim. The company, founded in 2015 as a spin-off from the University of Waterloo, was created to commercialize the disruptive imaging technology that was being developed in the university labs.
Now branded SpectralDR™, the technology enables dual-energy subtraction, providing bone and tissue differentiation with a single standard X-ray exposure. It acquires three images simultaneously (DR, bone and soft tissue dual-energy X-ray images). The technology mimics the workflow, dose and techniques of state-of-the-art mobile DR X-ray detectors.
In 2022, the company announced the initial results from a study examining the diagnostic value of single-exposure dual-energy subtraction radiography in lung lesion detection. Quoting directly from the poster, “lesion visibility reportedly increased in 45% of the cases when supplemental dual-energy images were included1.” Findings were validated using CT.
“SpectralDR bridges the gap between X-ray and CT. The promising results from this trial show that spectral images can play an important role in earlier detection for better outcomes,” says Amol Karnick, President and CEO of KA Imaging.
Currently, the technology is available in the Reveal 35C detector (FDA cleared, Health Canada approved). Reveal Mobi Lite, KA Imaging’s first full mobile system, is expected to be launched in 2023.
“SpectralDR is our way of helping reduce the inherent inequity in lung-cancer risk by offering a solution for better imaging that can be easily deployed globally,” said the executives.
- S. L. Maurino, K. S. Karim, V. Venkatesh. Diagnostic value of single‐exposure dual‐energy subtraction radiography in lung lesion detection: initial results. European Congress of Radiology-ECR 2022, 2022.