What's DXA (or DEXA) anyway?DXA stands for "Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry." The "p" in pDXA or pDEXA stands for "peripheral" (scanning the forearm, not the spine or hip). DXA, or DEXA, systems employ two X-ray beams, one at higher energy and one at lower energy. The known differences in absorption of high-energy and low-energy X-rays between bone and soft tissue provide the information required to calculate BMD (bone mineral density) after subtracting the soft-tissue absorption. The result is highly accurate BMD measurements. The Norland Apollo scans the patient's heel, and the Norland pDEXA scans the proximal and distal sites on the radius and ulna. The larger, flatbed models, such as the Eclipse, the Excell, or the XR-36, are capable of scanning multiple locations and even the entire body.
Now . . . which one? The Apollo or the pDEXA?
The Apollo is easier to use. (Scans take about 15 seconds!) And, given its comparative lightness and the built-in wheels, it's very easy to transport. That seems to be a valuable feature for some doctors, who either travel with the equipment or frequently need it in various rooms of their offices.
The pDEXA can be transported too, but it's heavier and doesn't have wheels on it. If one were to travel with it, one would probably want it hooked up to a laptop, not a desktop computer.
The Apollo's main drawback is that it doesn't archive patient results. When you turn it off, the results are gone. So you would have to record everything by hand, or onto a laptop separately.
The pDEXA software is built to maintain the records and screenings of all your clients. The display is of course more elaborate, as are the printouts.
Some commonly asked questions:
Are bone-scans with Norland equipment covered under Medicare / Medicaid? Yes. They cover screenings once every two years.
What manner of warranty would we offer with our equipment? Within the USA, we would give you a 30-day complete warranty on parts and labor (always assuming normal use and handling of the equipment). Depending on your location, travel may also be included, or shipping costs when necessary. Details shall be arranged before closing.
What shape are the X-ray source and the detector (photo-multiplier-tube, or PMT) in? The sources and tubes on all of our Norland equipment are in excellent condition, usually with fewer than 200 scans on them. We run stability tests on all of our equipment before sending it out, and exercise special care in making sure everything runs perfectly.
What about service contracts? Depending on your location, we can often tailor a service contract specifically to meet your needs. We typically offer a 1-year complete contract for $1,500 (again: parts, labor, travel, etc.), but we can scale that down, lifting the coverage on the X-ray tube for instance, or indeed reducing it all the way down to a simple Preventative - Maintenance contract.
What does this equipment cost NEW? You can shop around and find prices at $14,000 and above (I myself have come across USED Apollos out there for $11,000 or more!). The equipment we have on hand cost, a few years back when it was new, between $19,000 and $29,000.
How much will it cost us to have you train our staff on how to use it? We charge $75 / hour for training and $60 / hour for travel to and from the location. Special arrangements can be negotiated. Contact us with any questions.What is the patient radiation exposure? Less than 0.2 mRems, or put another way, even less than one tenth the exposure of a chest X-ray. Indeed, in one document 0.2 mRems is described as "Less than the radiation dose received over the entire body each day from simply living on the planet Earth." All the same, MANY STATES require that bone densitometry equipment be registered with the local radiological authorities and sometimes also with the board of medical examiners. Please check!
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