• The technology described in this briefing is HealthVCF. It is used for opportunistically detecting spinal bone (vertebrae) fractures on routine abdominal and chest CT scans.

  • The innovative aspects are that the technology provides automated information to support radiologists to detect vertebral fractures.

  • The intended place in therapy would be to support radiologists in secondary care when they are reviewing routine chest and abdominal CT scans. The UK National Screening Committee notes that looking for vertebral compression fractures in people who have not asked for advice on this may be seen as asymptomatic screening and the harms and benefits of such screening has not been evaluated.

  • The main points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 2 retrospective clinical validity cohort studies including 48,434 people with abdominal or chest CT images. An abstract reported that HealthVCF is more effective at detecting vertebral compression fractures than routine reporting.

  • Key uncertainties around the evidence are that only 1 of the studies used the commercially available technology alone. This study was reported in abstract form only with limited information. None of the studies report the effect of HealthVCF on patient outcomes or clinical management.

  • The cost of HealthVCF ranges from £38,000 to £90,000 every year, depending on the total number of scans done at the clinical site using the technology. This is an add on to standard care.