Bone Density Inc

NIH-Funded Study Shows BDI’s Bone Density Test Using Existing CT Images Predicts Fractures

BDI test enables early, easy detection of osteoporosis and fracture prevention. Using existing medical data for test removes the cost and other barriers to recommended osteoporosis screening.

TORRANCE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– An NIH-funded study recently published in Osteoporosis International found that a bone density test (the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis) using one’s existing CT scan predicts (enabling prevention of) fractures. Given the high prevalence, severity, and (if detected early) ease of treatment of osteoporosis (a condition characterized by weakened bones prone to fractures), this technology-enabled bone density test from Los Angeles-based company BDI can significantly improve population health and reduce costs to the health system. The full study is published in Osteoporosis International at (DOI 10.1007/s00198-024-07040-5).

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Preventing fractures through bone health (Graphic: Business Wire)

Preventing fractures through bone health (Graphic: Business Wire)

Osteoporosis is the main cause of all fractures in women post-menopause and older men and is much more prevalent and severe than commonly understood. As a “silent disease” generally without symptoms, screening via a bone density test is the only effective way to detect and treat osteoporosis before it’s too late (a fracture). Yet only 8% of people who should be screened for osteoporosis do get screened, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

  • 23.9% of men and 28.7% of women 50+ years old have osteoporosis, 75% of whom are undiagnosed and thus untreated. Result:
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men 50+ yrs. old experience an osteoporotic fracture(s);
  • Women have more osteoporotic fractures than heart attacks, strokes, and breast cancer combined;
  • Men: The risk of an osteoporotic fracture is up to 27% higher than that of developing prostate cancer;
  • Osteoporotic fractures are often devastating – even deadly (especially hip fractures). And costly: $57 billion for the Medicare population alone in 2018; 4th most burdensome chronic disease after ischemic heart disease, dementia, and lung cancer as measured by disability-adjusted life years (DALYs); etc.

Sometimes called “opportunistic” screening, BDI screening uses a patient’s existing CT scan. No new imaging is required as with the traditional method of osteoporosis screening via DXA imaging. No additional radiation, patient or other burden, cost, equipment, or staffing. BDI is seamless for all, safe, saves money, fast, and accurate – including in predicting fractures as shown in this study.

This is the first study in the literature to show the predictive value for fractures of vertebral trabecular bone mineral density (vBMD) derived from CT. This is also one of only a few studies to date evaluating the association between vBMD and osteoporosis-related hip and vertebral fractures in a multiethnic population.

This Emory co-authored study shows that vBMD determined by BDI from routine CT images can predict hip and vertebral fractures. Compared to normal BMD patients, patients with low vBMD showed a 1.57-fold greater risk of a first hip fracture and a nearly threefold increased risk of a first vertebral fracture.

BDI’s osteoporosis screening is widely covered by insurance for women age 50+ and older men, as well as younger women and men with elevated osteoporosis risk. Patient co-pay/deductible is generally waived, as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has long recommended osteoporosis screening.

“By enabling very accurate screening at scale using existing CT images, BDI significantly removes the barriers to osteoporosis screening and fracture prediction,” said UCLA Professor of Medicine and BDI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matthew Budoff, MD. “Osteoporosis treatment/fracture prevention is easy, safe, inexpensive, and effective compared to many other diseases. Treatment/prevention may entail increased exercise, calcium, or other supplement intake. Drugs, if prescribed, are well-proven and mostly generics. These osteoporosis treatments can help reduce the risk of fracture by up to 70%. For all these reasons, recommended osteoporosis screening for early detection and treatment and fracture prevention is a win-win-win for patients, providers, payers, and the health system generally.”

“Osteoporosis is prevalent among and severely impacts middle-aged and older adults irrespective of gender, geography, ethnicity or socio-economic status. A great scourge that has fallen through the cracks of the health system,” said BDI CEO Jonathan Taub. “With treatment and now screening so easy, awareness is the main hurdle to turn the tide against osteoporosis. Healthcare providers and payers should remind their patients and members to get screened for osteoporosis per medical guidelines. Patients should ask their doctors about screening options. Community leaders and other influencers can help raise awareness as well. With our aging population and other trends, our already acute osteoporosis/fracture problem will get even worse without action. Together, we can turn the tide against the osteoporosis scourge.”

BDI Incorporated is a spin-out of The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. BDI provides bone health analytics to providers using their patients’ routine, existing medical images (no new imaging required). Our internal team of expert physicians utilizes BDI’s proprietary, clinically validated algorithms for early osteoporosis and bone fracture diagnostics and prediction – enabling prevention. BDI’s screening service is widely covered by payers (e.g., CPT code 77078, bolsters/helps close the gaps for HEDIS quality measures/star ratings, etc.).

Contact us to learn more about fracture prevention.