September 15, 2006—Hologic Inc (Bedford, Mass) recently received 510(k) clearance from the FDA to incorporate its proprietary Hip Structure Analysis (HSA) software into its dual-energy x-ray (DXA) bone densitometers.

HSA uses specialized software to examine the structural geometry of two-dimensional DXA scan images, enabling physicians to better assess whether a patient’s bones have been weakened or are getting stronger. It was developed through a partnership with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; said Thomas Beck, PhD, associate professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins, “HSA algorithms allow us to calculate both the bone mineral density as well as the structural geometry that underlies bone strength from DXA measurements.”

HSA will initially be used primarily for research, enabling better understanding of how the femur weakens with age and how pharmaceutical treatments work to reduce fracture risk at the hip.

—Cat Vasko