City hospital’s 3D scanner world first

A Lancashire hospital is the first place in the world to use 3D software to test patients for fragile bones that may be at increased risk of fracture.

A new DEXA bone densitometry service has been launched at Royal Preston Hospital.

For the first time, 3D software has been installed on the scanner, which means the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust can now get a better and more accurate view of patients’ bones.

Bone Densitometry is a test for Osteoporosis, which is a condition where the bones become more fragile and are at increased risk of fracture.

Earlier detection of the risk of osteoporosis means doctors can start treatment earlier and reduce the chances of the condition developing.

The DEXA scanner is used elsewhere but is new to Royal Preston Hospital, which means patients no longer have to travel elsewhere.

The 3D software that the hospital has installed into its scanner is not currently used anywhere else in the world.

Dr Simon Beardmore, consultant radiologist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “It’s great that we can offer our patients a world-class and world first service. This new software will really help us to get a more accurate view of the area which, with research, hopefully means we will be able to detect any bone weakness earlier than ever before and therefore begin treatment much sooner.

This development is so important now as we are seeing an ageing population and osteoporosis tends to affect people in later life so this new piece of technology will really help to improve the lives of the older people in our communities.”

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides district general hospital services to a 390,000 people, and specialist services to 1.5m across Lancashire and South Cumbria.