Entries by Fernanda Fraga

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Bringing ‘inCiTe’ To NDT: How KA Imaging Perfects NDT

In the realm of industrial safety and quality assurance, Non-destructive Testing (NDT) emerges as a cornerstone methodology, crucial for inspecting and ensuring the integrity of materials without compromising their usability. Known under various nomenclatures such as Non-destructive Examination (NDE) and Non-destructive Inspection (NDI), this technique plays a pivotal role across a diverse range of sectors—from aerospace to automotive. It essentially allows experts to detect potential problems before they escalate into costly or hazardous failures. This article delves into the significance of scientific imaging for NDT and introduces a groundbreaking advancement in this field with KA Imaging’s inCiTe and BrillianSe technology. 

X-Ray NDT and Quality Control

Non-destructive testing (NDT) plays a vital role in quality control, as it can be used to evaluate flaws or discrepancies in objects without compromising the functionality. This means that it can effectively study the health of various components over time and detect issues before an actual malfunction occurs. Typically, this can be achieved without any significant damage to the sample. 

Here are a few of the industries that benefit most from non-destructive testing (NDT): 

  • Security: This is where NDT is most commonly known, it can be used to screen luggage or other items
  • Automotive: NDT is used to inspect the health of various automotive parts, including EV batteries.
  • Additive manufacturing: NDT is used to inspect the quality of 3D printed materials
  • Aerospace: NDT is used to inspect aircraft components for safety.
  • Construction: NDT can evaluate the integrity of buildings or pipes, detecting cracks and defects.

Although these are not all the industries that actively utilize NDT, they are among the most prominent. Overall, NDT has a near endless variety of uses in an equally endless number of industries. 

Introducing KA Imaging’s inCiTe Technology

Since 2015, KA Imaging has developed innovative X-ray imaging technology and systems for use in multiple industries. 

KA Imaging offers inCiTe, the first commercial X-ray CT system to utilize BrillianSe technology to utilize advanced technology for detailed three-dimensional imaging. inCiTe employs Micro-CT to analyze each layer of an object meticulously, enhancing the ability to spot smaller discrepancies as soon as they become visually apparent.

The exceptional performance of inCiTe is primarily due to its propagation-based phase contrast, which naturally increases the contrast within samples based on X-ray phase changes. When paired with the innovative BrillianSe X-Ray Detector, inCiTe achieves remarkable results in quality assurance, making it capable of highlighting quality issues in a wide array of material samples.

BrillianSe Novel Detector Technology

BrillianSe is the latest innovation in X-ray detection technology, functional for high-brilliance imaging. It is a direct conversion detector, forgoing the need to first convert X-ray photons to be visible. The detector utilizes high spatial resolution amorphous selenium (a-Se) and propagation-based (grating less) in-line phase-contrast. KA Imaging developed the detector with a unique hybrid of a-Se in addition to complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors. BrillianSe is the world’s highest spatial resolution X-ray detector, and is exclusively developed and patented by KA Imaging.

inCiTe And BrillianSe For NDT

  • Low-density Material Phase Contrast: The BrillianSe X-ray Detector can be applied for low-density material phase contrast, providing higher resolution images than X-ray technology without similar detection equipment. In the biomedical industry, BrillianSe can be employed to analyze the composition of low-density pharmaceuticals, such as tablets.
  • Synchrotron Micro-nano CT: BrillianSe pairs well with both micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and nanotomography (nano-CT) technologies. 

How inCiTe and BrillianSe Improves Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)

BrillianSe serves as an innovation for non-destructive testing with a hybrid of a-Se and CMOS technology. The photoconductor a-Se enhances sensitivity when imaging low-density materials, making it capable of examining fragile samples without the risk of significantly damaging them. It is the only direction conversion material to be used in commercial flat-panel X-ray imaging (FPXI). Combined with CMOS, which allows for direct detection without loss of resolution, BrillianSe utilizes the advantages of both CMOS and a-Se technology. CMOS is also famous in the imaging industry for its ability to inspect with lower power consumption and noise levels than other detection sources. 

Since some materials have poor x-ray adsorption compared to others, inCiTe’s phase contrast serves as a tool to achieve heightened visibility of a sample with low absorption. Along with the BrillianSe phase contrast edge enhancement, this technology creates a distinct contrast on images, making the intricacies of a specimen’s composition more visible. This expands the library of materials that scientific imaging can effectively inspect, no longer being limited by a material’s level of absorption. With the inCiTe microscope and BrillianSe detector, discrepancies are easier to locate and decipher through its heightened contrast. The state-of-the-art technology highlights areas that may not appear as distinctly, or at all, with normal x-ray usage. 

Let’s take a look at the inCiTe microscope and BrillianSe detector in action:

BrillianSe image (left) of 18650 lithium ion battery, and BrillianSe image with an included 0.5mm aluminum filter (right) showing more bent cathodes and anodes. 

Using inCiTe’s phase contrast with BrillianSe’s phase contrast edge enhancement on this lithium ion battery vastly enhances the clarity of the sample. Other commercial detectors on the market may not be able to process materials of this size as effectively without the resolution and phase contrast inCiTe and BrillianSe offers.

KA Imaging’s inCiTe and BrillianSe technology marks a revolutionary stride forward in the domain of scientific imaging for non-destructive testing. They offer unmatched clarity and enhanced detection capabilities that boost safety and efficiency across numerous industries. Where high performance meets affordability, inCiTe and BrillianSe sticks the landing. With its unique blend of amorphous selenium (a-Se) and CMOS sensor technology, BrillianSe facilitates better visualization and identification of discrepancies, even in low-density materials. If you’ve yet to adopt KA Imaging’s, inCiTe and BrillianSe technology, you could potentially lose the opportunity to take your standards of quality control to new heights. As one of many KA Imaging innovations, inCiTe and BrillianSe are exclusive technologies that expand on what traditional imaging is capable of, offering the highest resolution in the industry. It ensures that vital components in everything from electronic gadgets to skyscrapers are tested effectively, maintaining both their functionality and structural integrity.

As an organization that stands on the beacon of innovation, KA Imaging creates products that amplify the functionality and quality of scientific imaging for x-ray NDT. Learn more about how KA Imaging’s cutting-edge technology can help your industry today.

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KA Imaging’s Reveal Mobi Pro Receives Canadian Medical Device Licence from Health Canada

WATERLOO, May 15 2024 – A Canadian Medical Device Licence was issued by Health Canada for Reveal Mobi Pro, KA Imaging Premium Dual-Energy Mobile System. This product is a collaboration with Del Medical, Inc.

The Reveal Mobi Pro integrates KA Imaging’s Reveal™ 35C detector with SpectralDR® technology into a complete mobile X-ray solution. Reveal’s ability to simultaneously acquire conventional and dual-energy images with a single exposure at the bedside improves hospital and patient outcomes and protects revenue by reducing outflows.

The Reveal 35C detector mimics the workflow, dose, and techniques of state-of-the-art mobile DR X-ray. With the Reveal Mobi Pro, it is offered in a fully integrated mobile system.

Reports estimate that more than 34 million X-rays are performed every year in Canada, mostly – around 40% – for chest imaging. “The chest area seems to continue to be one of the leading use cases for X-ray. And this is one of the areas that the SpectralDR® technology available in the Reveal detector can add more value,” explained Amol Karnick, President and CEO of KA Imaging.

“If you want to see true impact of our technology, bring it to the ICU,” said CTO Dr. Karim S. Karim. In ICU patients, X-rays are commonly used to check for conditions like pneumonia or pneumothorax, or to rule out other potentially serious pulmonary issues along with verifying the tips of catheters or endotracheal tubes. 

Imaging in the ICU can be challenging because of reduced patient mobility, the need for imaging outside regular operating hours, and the need for quick imaging turnaround for bedside decision making.

Generally limited on tissue differentiation, portable chest radiography can be ineffective at accurately spotting complex pulmonary issues and sometimes to even localize the tips of lines and tubes. Other modalities like CT are not portable, bring increased radiation exposure, in addition to risks associated with intra-hospital patient transportation. Furthermore, reimbursement for ICU patients is capitated so an unnecessary CT scan increases cost of care and the financial burden for hospitals.

“Our radiographic spectral images separate materials such as water (i.e., soft tissue, lung lesions etc.) and calcium (i.e. bones, retained foreign objects, in dwelling devices or other calcifications) and are higher contrast thus, easier to read for a variety of clinicians including intensivists, residents and radiologists”, said Karim. “Agile decision making is critical in this context. The ability to get increased diagnostic information from a procedure as simple as a chest X-ray in the intensive care unit can simultaneously ease the burden on ICU staff, intensivists, and radiologists,” continued Karnick.

About KA Imaging 

A spin-off from the University of Waterloo, KA Imaging specializes in developing innovative X-ray imaging technologies and systems, providing solutions to the medical, veterinary, and non-destructive test industrial markets.

About Del Medical, Inc

Del Medical, Inc is a leading source of innovative radiographic products, with 90 years in medical imaging. We are primarily engaged in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of high performance digital and analog medical imaging systems, sold and serviced globally by factory trained and authorized medical equipment sales and service professionals. Our extensive product portfolio of radiographic components, systems and accessories is designed to support hospitals, imaging centers and clinics by tailoring systems to accommodate each facility’s specific requirements and budget. Del Medical, Inc’s products are manufactured, pre-staged and tested in our Bloomingdale, IL and Harrison, NY facilities.

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KA Imaging Reports Record Revenue and Strategic Hires

(Waterloo, March 14 2024) Canadian manufacturer KA Imaging reported a collection of positive metrics to its stakeholders, with revenue four times larger than that of the previous year and a 38% growth in headcount in 2023. The positive trend continues to be observed in Q1 2024.

“We’re proud of what we have accomplished,” said Amol Karnick, President and CEO of KA Imaging. “This is the result of a committed and hard-working team,” he said.

KA Imaging was founded in 2015 as a start-up in the Kitchener-Waterloo area – the world’s second-highest start-up density after Silicon Valley. In its 9th year, it has attracted some strong investors. Currently, its stockholders include names like In-Q-Tel, Inc., a not-for-profit strategic investor that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to the U.S. intelligence and national security community and its allies, and InnoCare Optoelectronics Corporation,  which designs, develops, and builds X-ray flat panel detectors.

“Last year, we saw growth not only in the medical industry, but also in the research and NDT fields,” said Karnick. Early 2023, the company hired veteran Jim Harp to lead the NDT Global Sales. Harp has over 20 years of experience in the scientific and analytical instrument industry.

A significant accomplishment in the research market was the agreement with the University of Greenwich for a inCiTe 3D X-ray unit to support research efforts on fast phase-contrast tomography of soft tissues and biomaterials.

In the healthcare business, seasoned executive Charlie Hicks joined the company as VP of Global Sales in September, bringing in over 25 years of X-ray experience from well known imaging organizations like Carestream and Micro-X.

The company has continued to innovate.  In July, it expanded the Reveal product line with the introduction of the premium mobile system Reveal Mobi Pro, currently available for sale in the US.

More than 10 hospitals in the US are utilizing KA Imaging’s patented SpectralDR® technology, contributing clinical data for publications on various applications such as pneumonia, cardiology critical care, emergency, and ICU departments.

For 2024, the company remains focused on developing cutting-edge deep tech projects. “We are now in the middle of a funding round, aiming to close out the US$25M raise, since a good portion is already committed. The funds will be used to fuel our commercialization efforts and develop our new AI technology,” said Karnick.

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KA Imaging to Present on Portable Dual-Energy Tomosynthesis at ECR 2024

(Waterloo, February 20, 2024) – Can dual-energy tomosynthesis be performed portably? This is one of the topics to be discussed by KA Imaging’s Team Lead for Spectral Imaging, Steven Tilley, during a presentation at the upcoming European Congress of Radiology (ECR). The study titled “Dual-Energy Tomosynthesis of the Chest using a Triple Layer X-ray Detector”, […]

World Cancer Day: Closing the Gap

Feb 4 marked World Cancer Day. This year’s theme, “Closing the Gap,” underscores the need to eliminate barriers to healthcare access and strengthen early diagnostics.

In the realm of cancer care, early detection is critical. However, challenges extend beyond technological innovations. Remote communities worldwide encounter difficulties accessing crucial imaging services, a challenge mirrored prominently in Canada. In a nation characterized by expansive landscapes, an important segment of the populace resides in remote areas or is distanced from major cancer centers, presenting a distinctive challenge in ensuring equitable cancer care access.

Our focus is on researching and developing tools for diagnosis, the essential first step in addressing existing gaps. By consistently advancing imaging technology, KA Imaging aims to provide healthcare professionals with more precise and timely information for early interventions.

Beyond technology, achieving superior cancer care demands a multidisciplinary approach. Collaboration among healthcare professionals, government, researchers, and industry partners emerges as crucial for developing comprehensive solutions. By fostering collective efforts, the global community can address the myriad challenges in cancer care,

spanning early detection, treatment, and support.

On this World Cancer Day, the collective commitment is to “Close the Gap” in cancer care. Together, the aim is to work towards a future where cancer is detected early and treated comprehensively.

Read more about our initiatives on lesions detection:

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KA Imaging’s Premium Dual-Energy Mobile System Now Available For Sale In The US

Reveal Mobi Pro is a partnership between KAI and with Del Medical

WATERLOO, January 15, 2024 – After fulfilling all regulatory requirements, the KA Imaging Premium Dual-Energy Mobile System, Reveal Mobi Pro™, is now available for sale in the United States. This product is a collaboration with UMG/Del Medical.

The Reveal Mobi Pro™ integrates KA Imaging’s Reveal™ 35C detector with SpectralDR® technology into a complete mobile X-ray solution. Reveal’s ability to simultaneously acquire conventional and dual-energy images with a single exposure at the bedside improves hospital and patient outcomes and protects revenue by reducing outflows.

The Reveal™ 35C detector mimics the workflow, dose, and techniques of state-of-the-art mobile DR X-ray. With the Reveal Mobi Pro™, it is offered in a fully integrated mobile system.

According to KA Imaging, one of the most prominent use cases for SpectralDR® technology is the ICU. Medical imaging plays a critical role in monitoring the condition of ICU patients, commonly to check for conditions like pneumonia or pneumothorax or to rule out other potentially serious pulmonary issues along with verifying the tips of catheters or endotracheal tubes. 

Imaging in the ICU can be challenging because of reduced patient mobility, the need for imaging outside regular operating hours, and the need for quick imaging turnaround for bedside decision making.

Generally limited on tissue differentiation, portable chest radiography can be ineffective at accurately spotting complex pulmonary issues and sometimes even to localize the tips of lines and tubes. Other modalities like CT are not portable, bring increased radiation exposure, in addition to risks associated with intra-hospital patient transportation. Furthermore, reimbursement for ICU patients is capitated so an unnecessary CT scan increases cost of care and the financial burden for hospitals.

“Our radiographic spectral images separate materials such as water (i.e., soft tissue, lung lesions etc.) and calcium (i.e. bones, retained foreign objects, in dwelling devices or other calcifications) and are higher contrast thus, easier to read for a variety of clinicians including intensivists, residents and radiologists”, said Dr. Karim S. Karim, CTO of KA Imaging. “Agile decision making is critical in this context. The ability to get increased diagnostic information from a procedure as simple as a chest X-ray in the intensive care unit can simultaneously ease the burden on ICU staff, intensivists, and radiologists,” continued Amol Karnick, President and CEO of the company.

About KA Imaging 

A spin-off from the University of Waterloo, KA Imaging specializes in developing innovative X-ray imaging technologies and systems, providing solutions to the medical, veterinary, and non-destructive test industrial markets.

About UMG/DEL MEDICAL

UMG/DEL MEDICAL is a leading source of innovative radiographic products, with 90 years in medical imaging. We are primarily engaged in the design, manufacturing and distribution of high performance digital and analog medical imaging systems, sold and serviced globally by factory trained and authorized medical equipment sales and service professionals. Our extensive product portfolio of radiographic components, systems and accessories is designed to support hospitals, imaging centers and clinics by tailoring systems to accommodate each facility’s specific requirements and budget. UMG/DEL MEDICAL’s products are manufactured, pre-staged and tested in our Bloomingdale, IL and Harrison, NY facilities.

Learn How a Medium-Size Community Hospital Was Able to Reduce Follow-Up Imaging Thanks To SpectralDR Technology

Solutions to streamline operations without jeopardizing clinical outcomes don’t have to be expensive or complicated. In fact, they can use technology that can be as easily implemented as a traditional X-ray system: SpectralDR, developed and patented by manufacturer KA Imaging.

Aiming to transform existing hospital workflow for intensive care unit (ICU) imaging, Canadian Grand River Hospital (GRH) has added KA Imaging’s Reveal 35C, a device that is designed to simultaneously produce both conventional chest X-ray at low dose and higher-contrast spectral radiographic images for improved patient monitoring and faster, more accurate bedside imaging in its ICU.

The hospital has been measuring success metrics around image quality, impact on work processes, and whether follow-up imaging was needed after Reveal’s images.

“A preliminary analysis comparing the six weeks preceding the pilot period and the 6 weeks in which KA Imaging’s 35C Reveal detector was in use demonstrates a decrease in both the total number of portable chest x-rays as well as chest CTs for patients admitted to ICU. The proportion of all CTs that were chest CTs decreased by approximately 8% and the proportion of patients that required both a chest CT and a portable chest x-ray also decreased by approximately 7%. Though these are early results and further analysis is required, the overall trend is very promising,” said Carla Girolametto, Director of Innovation, Research, and Clinical Trials at Grand River Hospital.     

These numbers are particularly significant when considering the capitated reimbursement that typically applies to the ICU. In addition to the savings gained from each CT scan avoided in the ICU, there are also additional benefits such as avoiding re-intubation, reducing transport risks, and improving infectious disease control.

“The numbers seen in GRH show great potential to optimize the use of high-end equipment within the hospital, not only in the ICU but also in the emergency room and other environments,” said Amol Karnick, President and CEO of KA Imaging. “If we can make the diagnostic process more efficient, with quicker turnaround, that’s good for both the hospital and patients,” complemented Karim S. Karim, CTO of KA Imaging.

ICU: a challenging environment for imaging

Medical imaging plays a critical role in monitoring the condition of ICU patients, commonly to check for conditions like pneumonia or pneumothorax or to rule out other potentially serious pulmonary issues along with verifying the tips of catheters or endotracheal tubes. Imaging in the ICU can be challenging because of reduced patient mobility, the need for imaging outside regular operating hours, and the need for quick imaging turnaround for bedside decision making.

Generally limited on tissue differentiation, portable chest radiography can be ineffective at accurately spotting complex pulmonary issues and sometimes even to localize the tips of lines and tubes. Other modalities like CT are not portable, bring increased radiation exposure, in addition to risks associated with intra-hospital patient transportation. Furthermore, reimbursement for ICU patients is capitated so an unnecessary CT scan increases cost of care and the financial burden for hospitals.

SpectralDR: 3 images, 1 exposure, increased diagnostic information

KA Imaging’s Reveal™ 35C is a single-exposure, portable, digital dual-energy subtraction X-ray detector. It’s powered by SpectralDR technology, which produces spectral images that separate materials such as water (like soft tissue, lung lesions) and calcium (such as bones, retained foreign objects, in dwelling devices or other calcifications) and are higher contrast thus, easier to read for a variety of clinicians of varying ability. It also uses the same radiation dose as a traditional X-ray to create the 3 different images without blurring or streaking due to patient movement.

KA Imaging’s device has been installed on one of GRH’s existing portable x-ray machines and has been piloted to help clinicians validate patient tube and line placements as well as monitor the health of patients to prevent respiratory conditions.

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KA Imaging to Showcase Growing Family of Reveal Products at RSNA

From detectors to mobile systems, company offerings strengthen its position in the X-ray market

 

(Waterloo, November 16, 2023) What began as a concept presented at RSNA 2017 has now become a clinically proven solution offered in a variety of products. At the 2023 meeting, Canadian manufacturer KA Imaging is ready to showcase a robust product line that can attend both fixed rooms and mobile systems. “1 exposure, 3 images, 0 motion artifacts”, a summary of the company patented SpectralDR technology, can now be implemented in a variety of environments for better clinical and operational outcomes.

 

One of the most prominent use cases is the ICU. Medical imaging plays a critical role in monitoring the condition of ICU patients, commonly to check for conditions like pneumonia or pneumothorax or to rule out other potentially serious pulmonary issues along with verifying the tips of catheters or endotracheal tubes. 

 

Imaging in the ICU can be challenging because of reduced patient mobility, the need for imaging outside regular operating hours, and the need for quick imaging turnaround for bedside decision making.

 

Generally limited on tissue differentiation, portable chest radiography can be ineffective at accurately spotting complex pulmonary issues and sometimes even to localize the tips of lines and tubes. Other modalities like CT are not portable, bring increased radiation exposure, in addition to risks associated with intra-hospital patient transportation. Furthermore, reimbursement for ICU patients is capitated so an unnecessary CT scan increases cost of care and the financial burden for hospitals.

 

“Our radiographic spectral images separate materials such as water (i.e., soft tissue, lung lesions etc.) and calcium (i.e. bones, retained foreign objects, in dwelling devices or other calcifications) and are higher contrast thus, easier to read for a variety of clinicians including intensivists, residents and radiologists”, said Dr. Karim S. Karim, CTO of KA Imaging. “Agile decision making is critical in this context. The ability to get increased diagnostic information from a procedure as simple as a chest X-ray in the intensive care unit can simultaneously ease the burden on ICU staff, intensivists, and radiologists,” continued Amol Karnick, President and CEO of the company.

 

Another condition that can be better seen thanks to dual-energy subtraction are pulmonary nodules. Initial results presented at ECR 2022 reported increased lesion visibility in 43% of the cases thanks to the dual-energy images generated by the company device. The unprecedented capability to offer other views, like laterals or obliques, has also enabled some non-obvious use cases for X-ray, like cardiac calcifications.

 

“The flexibility of uses for our technology has really made it possible to use dual energy for all general radiography, and it doesn’t have to be limited to a niche like it was before. Single-exposure dual-energy subtraction – our SpectralDR technology inside the Reveal detector – adds confidence without adding radiation or extra work or time”, said Karnick.

 

KA Imaging is exhibiting at booth 7948 in the North Hall, showcasing the Reveal 35C detector (FDA 510(k) cleared), as well as the company premium mobile system, Reveal Mobi Pro (coming soon). Visitors can also learn more about other solutions, and see some real clinical cases.

Spectral Imaging: The Next Frontier in Medical Diagnostics

Karim S. Karim and Amol Karnick, the visionary co-founders of KA Imaging, recently appeared on SkeletonCrew: The Rad Tech Show to discuss their innovative medical imaging technology. 

In this episode of Skeleton Crew, host Jen Callahan engages in an insightful discussion with Karim S. Karim and Amol Karnick, co-founders of KA Imaging, a Canadian company at the forefront of innovative medical imaging technology. The conversation revolves around the groundbreaking technology developed by them, specifically their portable detector powered by SpectralDR technology. The episode delves into the transformative impact of spectral radiographic imaging on medical diagnostics, patient care, and beyond. Shedding light on the company’s journey, the technology’s capabilities, and its potential applications across various domains.

During the conversation, they talked about the science behind spectral radiographic imaging and the potential applications of this technology in various medical fields. They also highlighted the benefits of  SpectralDR technology and how it can revolutionize medical diagnostics. Their passion for improving patient outcomes through technology is truly inspiring.

watch the episode