December 4, 2023

ImageBiopsy Lab launches IB Lab FLAMINGO

AI technology that automatically detects osteoporotic fractures of the spine in CT scans

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ImageBiopsy Lab launches IB Lab FLAMINGO

AI technology that automatically detects osteoporotic fractures of the spine in CT scans

December 4, 2023
  • IB Lab FLAMINGO is a fracture identification tool, detecting the presence of “silent” or asymptomatic fractures in the spine through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Currently more than two-thirds of vertebral fractures are undiagnosed. Identifying them systematically has proven to be challenging for clinicians.
  • IB Lab FLAMINGO can work with arbitrary CTs acquired for other purposes (e.g. lung scans). Therefore no additional examinations, radiation exposure or costs are required. Even if only 3 vertebrae are visible, osteoporotic fractures can be detected.
  • The technology was developed by UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company, and out-licensed to ImageBiopsy Lab as part of its ongoing commitment to help create a world free of fragility fractures.
  • ImageBiopsy Lab will integrate IB Lab FLAMINGO with its existing ImageBiopsy Lab ZOO MSK platform for delivery to hospitals to help to increase the reporting of spinal fractures, enabling diagnosis earlier in the treatment journey.

[Vienna, 27.11.2023] — ImageBiopsy Lab, a trailblazing leader in medical imaging technology, is proud to introduce IB Lab FLAMINGO at the upcoming Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) conference. IB Lab FLAMINGO is a fully automated radiological image processing software tool designed to detect silent fractures of the spine. Its advanced algorithms enable precise identification of vertebral fractures on computer tomography (CT) scans, even at early stages where traditional diagnosis methods might fail. By highlighting clinically relevant fractures according to the gold standard Genant classification, IB LabFLAMINGO empowers healthcare professionals to initiate proactive treatment strategies.

“Our partnership with UCB highlights the potential of leveraging AI for improving care for many diseases, including osteoporosis. The number one risk factor for fragility fractures is a previous fracture. Identifying and appropriately treating patients who have already suffered a vertebral fracture is therefore key to ensuring that patients can continue to live their life to the fullest and avoid further fracture” said, Dr. Richard Ljuhar, CEO at ImageBiopsy Lab.

Understanding the Osteoporosis Challenge

“Together with expert clinicians, UCB developed this deep-learning computational model that can detect vertebral compression fractures on CT scans. ImageBiopsy Lab as a musculoskeletal (MSK) radiology AI company has refined the technology and is now ready to integrate it into clinical care. Given that 80% of fragility fractures today remain undiagnosed and untreated, we’re excited about the potential of IB Lab FLAMINGO to help close the global treatment gap in osteoporosis”, said Jen Timoshanko, Head of Medical Affairs, Bone Health Mission at UCB.

Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones, affects approximately 200 million people globally, resulting in 9 million fragility fractures each year with the most common type being vertebral fractures. The silent progression of this condition can lead to fragility fractures which can cause pain, reduced mobility, and a diminished quality of life. 

Economic and Mortality Impact of Osteoporosis

Apart from the immense personal suffering, fragility fractures place an enormous burden on public health systems globally. The treatment costs associated with hospitalizations, surgeries, and long-term care for fragility fractures strain healthcare budgets significantly. Furthermore, patients who live with fragility fractures face increased mortality rates, leading to additional societal challenges.

“In our ageing society, osteoporosis and its negative consequences, geriatric fractures, represent a major challenge for patients, physicians and our healthcare systems. Based on risk factors, we are able to predict the risk of such a fracture and initiate an intervention at an early stage. Pre-existing fractures of the spine are one of the strongest risk factors for further fractures. The ability of IB Lab FLAMINGO to detect vertebral fractures is highly relevant for early risk assessment and targeted treatment. Automated innovative approaches are needed to tackle the complexity of osteoporosis in an ageing population and IB Lab FLAMINGO delivers on this promise." Prof. Andreas Kurth, Director of the Center for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery at Marienhaus Klinikum Mainz, Germany, expressed the need for a meaningful solution.

Addressing the Unmet Needs in Osteoporosis Care

Osteoporosis often remains undiagnosed due to a lack of awareness and insufficient detection methods. IB Lab FLAMINGO addresses this critical gap by significantly enhancing the reliability and precision of vertebral fracture detection. By introducing routine examination of bone health during other imaging procedures, IB Lab FLAMINGO promotes opportunistic vertebral fracture assessments. Its use of standardized terminology ensures accurate reporting, while AI assistance streamlines radiology reporting, making the diagnostic process more efficient and effective.

“Early detection of osteoporosis is paramount in preventing the debilitating consequences of this condition. IB Lab FLAMINGO’s advanced capabilities provide a significant leap in our ability to identify patients at risk, allowing us to intervene proactively and improve their overall quality of life”, says Prof. Hans Peter Dimai, Endocrinologist, Medical University Graz, advocating for early detection and comprehensive treatment.


(1)The Genant classification of vertebral fractures is based on the vertebral shape, with respect to vertebral height loss involving the anterior, posterior, and/or middle vertebral body. Genant HK, Wu CY, van Kuijk C et-al. Vertebral fracture assessment using a semiquantitative technique. J. Bone Miner. Res. 1993;8 (9): 1137-48. doi:10.1002/jbmr.5650080915 - Pubmed citation

(2) Reginster JY, Burlet N. Osteoporosis: A still increasing prevalence. Bone. 2006;38(2 Suppl 1):S4–9

(3) Ström O, Borgström F, Kanis JA, et al. Osteoporosis: burden, health care provision and opportunities in the EU: a report prepared in collaboration with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA). Arch Osteoporos. 2011;6:59–155. doi: 10.1007/s11657-011-0060-1

(4) Warriner AH, Patkar NM, Curtis JR, et al. Which fractures are most attributable to osteoporosis?. J Clin Epidemiol. 2011;64(1):46-53. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.07.007