New appointments to drive advances in vertebral fracture detection

The AI vertebral fracture specialist Optasia Medical has made two key appointments as it develops new ‘smart’ technologies for the rapid detection of vertebral fractures.

Jonathan Roberts has been named as Head of R&D and Machine Learning Development; and Rory Collier joins as Commercial and Services Development Assistant.

More than 2,000 NHS patients have already had previously undiagnosed spinal fractures detected by Optasia’s Artificial Intelligence algorithm.
Working with bone health teams in Nottingham, Bradford and Guildford, the company was able to rapidly identify the vertebral fragility fractures (VFFs) and refer patients onward for further investigation and treatment.

“The NHS staff involved in these pilots have been terrific to work with and were all very enthusiastic in evaluating an opportunity to benefit their patients”.

CEO Shawn Luetchens

“These new appointments will help us to drive the next phase by taking this proven technology and creating new tools that enable radiologists to be completely confident in their diagnoses no matter how busy the department is; and helping the whole bone health team to completely control and improve the delivery of better diagnosis and care for their osteoporosis patients”.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research Invention for Innovation programme, the algorithm has been developed by the University of Manchester and Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with Optasia Medical Ltd with input from the Royal Osteoporosis Society.


CONTACT – For further information please contact John V. Wright, Blue Planet Communications, 07710 454214,


Fractures due to osteoporosis affect half of all women and 1 in 5 men aged over 50. The average cost of a hip fracture to an NHS hospital was found in a 2015 study1 to be £16,302 in the first two years. By 2025, treatment of fractures is estimated to cost the UK over £5.5 billion2.

Optasia Medical carried out three successful pilots in partnership with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust referring a total of 2,019 previously undiagnosed patients for further assessment and treatment.

Artificial Intelligence applications for radiology and other healthcare technologies are being developed at pace around the world.

The project in Manchester is one of the first in the UK to deliver an application with real-world benefits that can be accessed by hospitals to provide more effective care for patients and reduce costs.

1. NHS hospital costs after hip fracture were found in a 2015 study by researchers from the University of Oxford and the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit in Southampton to be an average of £16, 302 in the first two years following the incident.

2. Osteoporosis in the European Union: a compendium of country-specific reports. Arch Osteoporos. 2013; 8(1-2): 137 (