Emphysema is one of the diseases that comprises COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It is a long-term, progressive obstructive lung disease in which the alveoli (small sacs) that promote oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange between the air and the bloodstream become damaged or destroyed. There are approximately 12 million individuals in the US who carry a diagnosis of COPD and the American Lung Association estimates that there were twice as many patients with impaired lung function (indicative of early stage COPD) than patients with diagnosed COPD. COPD is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, and current estimates suggest that COPD costs the nation almost $50 billion annually in both direct and indirect health expenditures.
Zebra has developed an algorithm which analyzes CT Chest studies, detects emphysematous regions in the lungs, and quantifies the volume of emphysema in comparison to the overall lung volume.
A more accurate understanding of the prevalence of the disease within a given population can help patients manage the disease more effectively before it degrades to more severe, less treatable manifestations.
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