September 17, 2008

Michigan ‘CAT’ Helps Ohio Gorilla

Yes, there's a rivalry between the abutting Midwestern states. But it stops at sports. When it comes to the life of an animal, Michigan and Ohio are friends.

When the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo needed a CAT scan of her nasal passages, they called Michigan. To be exact, they were calling and asking for xCAT(R), a compact medical CAT scanner that was born and raised in Michigan and designed for scanning specific areas of a patient's head. A human patient's head.

xCAT is the brainchild of Ann Arbor based Xoran Technologies Inc. The company is a pioneer in shrinking traditionally massive CT technology into small units. Xoran created xCAT to be a mobile scanner that can roll right up to a patient in the Operating Room, giving surgeons a real time image of the patient's condition without ever moving the patient. When Xoran got the call for help with the gorilla, Xoran literally rolled the innovative xCAT right up to the gorilla as she lay anesthetized in the Zoo's surgical center.

Xoran's ability to streamline diagnostic imaging, all while improving patient care, has not only captured the attention of human hospital operating rooms all over the world, but also that of zoos in Michigan, California, and now Ohio.

Ron Kagan, Executive Director of Michigan's Detroit Zoo, was first to suggest application of this unique technology to animals, and to express an interest in the xCAT as a means of diagnosing an animals' condition in a humane and non-threatening way, potentially preventing unnecessary surgery. Xoran's scanners are not designed for animals, although discussions to help animals at the Detroit Zoo and later at the San Diego Zoo go back about a year.

Help for Cincinnati's gorilla came from all branches of the human medical world. Mark Campbell, Director of Animal Health, was able to rally surgeons and nasal specialists from Cincinnati's Christ Hospital. And with Xoran's rolling mobile xCAT, having access to a CT scanner small enough to fit into a crowed OR, easy enough to manipulate on tight turns, and simple enough to operate in a fast paced surgical environment, gave doctors a technological leg up. xCAT provides the surgeon with the much needed real-time diagnostic images of a patient's condition, without ever leaving the OR.

So yes, it's true, a CAT looked into the nose of a gorilla, and this Xoran xCAT made Michigan proud to be in Ohio.

Questions with regard to the Xoran xCAT should be directed to Susie Vestevich at [email protected]