Watch: Nanox performed a live showcasing of its digital X-ray machine

The first X-ray scan in the world (right), next to the palm of Nanox’s CEO, Poliakine. Photo: LUZ corporate photography

The imaging start-up Nanox showcased for the first time the digital X-ray machine it has developed, conducting a live demonstration of its capabilities and function. The demonstration, held at the company’s headquarters in Neve Ilan, took place at the annual conference of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), one of the most important professional conferences in the world of radiology, held this year in an online format. During the demonstration, two-dimensional and three-dimensional X-ray scans of a hand, a phantom of a chest X-ray, and a broken bone of a lamb were performed using the device, which were then analyzed by two qualified radiologists.

The research firm Citron recently cast doubts about the company’s claim to revolutionize the world of medical imaging, as part of a scathing report it published titled “Nanox – A Complete Farce on the Market.” Nanox defined the demonstration successful and believes that it has succeeded in dismiss all doubts regarding the company’s technology. Nanox’s demonstration has also aroused great interest in the stock markets. Throughout the month of november, Nanox’s share has almost doubled and traded at a market cap of $2.6 billion ahead of its RSNA presentation.

The demonstration was moderated by the company’s founder and CEO, Ran Poliakine. At the opening of the demo Poliakine presented the digital X-ray source the company has developed as a replacement for the heated filament currently being used in X-ray machines. It is a MEMS chip that includes hundreds of millions of electron guns, each of which emits a single electron at every pulse, and whose operation can be controlled digitally.

Poliakine: “We’ve been working for a decade to perfect what Wilhelm Röntgen invented more than a hundred years ago. He invented a mechanism to produce a current of electrons that generate X-rays by heating a filament to a temperature of more than 1,000°C. We focused on creating a digital alternative which provides a new source of X-rays and operates at room temperature.”

Nanox’s ‘cold’ system constitutes a paradigm shift compared to “hot” imaging systems. The company estimates that the new technology will make it possible to produce more portable and compact CT systems for $10,000 per system, instead of at a price of about $3 million, which is currently the average price of CT scanners. “Our X-ray source can be mass-produced, at a very low cost, and shipped all over the world.”

Reaching closure with William Röntgen’s wife

The first scan during the demonstration was of Poliakine’s palm. It was a symbolic choice, since the first scan performed by William Röntgen, which ultimately became iconic, was of the palm of his wife, Anna. In the two scans, by Anna Röntgen and by Ran Poliakine, the wedding ring can be seen clearly. Following that they performed phantom scans of a thorax and of a broken bone of a sheep. The two radiologists who participated in the demonstration were Dr. Noga Shabshin of Sheba Hospital, and a member of the company’s advisory committee, Dr. Michael Hughes of Florida. The two examined the quality of the scan compared to scans made using traditional X-ray machines and conducted a discussion of the findings.

The company markets the system through collaborations with governments, hospitals and healthcare chains. The company has signed distribution agreements in 13 countries in the past year. It intends to offer the use of systems in a Pay-per-Scan model, thereby reducing the costs of equipping scanners.

Nanox to showcase its Digital X-ray Technology

Nano-x will present its digital X-ray platform to the medical community for the first time at the annual conference of the North American Association of Radiologists (RSNA), which will be held in Chicago from November 29 to December 5. RSNA is one of the most important conferences in the world of radiology. The company announced that during the conference it will exhibit its technology and perform a live demonstration of two-dimensional and three-dimensional scans, and also allow time for professional Q&A with the audience.

The exhibition, which will be broadcast live on the Internet, will be hosted by the company’s founder and CEO, Ran Polyakin. The company’s share jumped more than 50% last week on the heels of the announcement, which garnered wide anticipation in the medical community and capital market as Nanox claims its technology could distrupt the imaging systems market.

Nanox has developed a Digital Computed Tomography technology based on the production of X-rays using a MEMS instead of an incandescent lamp. The company’s estimates its technology allows for the production of CT systems at a cost of $10,000 each, instead of approximately $3 million – the current average price of CT scanners. CT scanners perform multiple X-rays from different angles. A computer program is used to fuse all these images into a single three-dimensional file that allows the exploration of the body and its organs.

The company markets the system through collaborations with governments, hospitals and healthcare chains. The company has signed distribution agreements in 13 countries in the past year. It intends to offer the use of systems in a Pay-per-Scan model, thereby reducing the costs of equipping scanners. Nanox was listed on the NASDAQ in late August and sparked much attention in the stock market.

Disagreements among analysts

The conference will also be an opportunity for Nanox to refute the serious allegations made against it by research firm Citron in a report released last month, entitled “Nanox – a complete farce on the market.” The Citron report raises a number of allegations. First, the authors of the report claim that to date the company has not presented any examples of real scans performed using its X-ray machine, with comparison to existing X-ray machines.

Nanox also reported that since its inception it has invested about $ 7.5 million in R&D, and Citron claims it is a miniscule amount in relation to the huge budgets spent by the imaging systems manufacturers such as GE and Siemens, especially in light of the pretense to revolutionizing the field. For example, in 2019, GE invested about $ 1 billion in R&D in its imaging segment. Citron also draws attention to the fact that Nanox has submitted an application to the FDA using the 510k form, an expedited approval procedure that does not involve conducting clinical trials but is based on a statement that the device “substantially resembles” an existing device already approved by the FDA.

On the other hand, the investment firm Oppenheimer Israel, which began surveying the company last month, actually expressed optimism about the company’s future. Oppenheimer noted that Nanox’s “cold” X-ray systems could lead to a reduction in scan costs to $ 40 per scan, compared to $ 300 per scan in traditional systems, allowing Nanox to distribute machines to smaller clinics, thus increasing access for diagnostic services. Oppenheimer estimates that Nanox revenue in 2022 will total $ 115 million and in 2023 will increase to $ 171 million.

However, Oppenheimer Israel held a neutral recommendation for the time being, since the company still has to prove its execution capabilities, i.e its ability to produce the system on a large scale and deliver the orders to customers. “Although this opportunity is exciting, it has not yet been validated in real world settings. The company must demonstrate consistent production” it said. In the Oppenheimer report.