Shimadzu’s Response to Bone Health

Osteoporosis, which is increasing as populations age is a key reason why caregiving becomes necessary for the elderly.
The condition of the bones can be determined by testing, with early detection and appropriate intervention, osteoporosis can be treated and the risk of bone fractures can be reduced.
Shimadzu is engaged in maintaining and promoting bone health as one way to support healthcare for the elderly by helping to ensure they can walk.

Osteoporosis Progresses Unnoticed


Osteoporosis is a disease that decreases the bone mass (bone mineral density) and quality of bones, which makes bones more brittle and easily fracture. If bones become weaker, osteoporosis can be diagnosed even in patients without symptoms of bone fractures or hip/back pain.
Bone fractures due to osteoporosis can result in becoming bedridden or developing dementia, but osteoporosis is often preventable or treatable in all sorts of cases.

Normal→Reduced bone mass→Osteoporosis diagnosis→Bone fracture

Causes of Osteoporosis

Bones accumulate calcium during the growth stage and reach maximum bone mass levels between about 15 and 18 years of age in women and at about 20 years in men. After the growth stage, that peak bone mass level is maintained until about the mid-40s by a process called bone remodeling that keeps renewing the bone metabolism.

Though bone is made of hard tissue, the bone remodeling process continuously both destroys old bone tissue and creates new bone tissue. With advancing age or decreasing hormones in women, calcium shortages or other factors can result in metabolic imbalances that prevent restoring bone mass losses and that can start a decline in bone mass.

Bone Fractures Caused by Osteoporosis

When bone strength decreases due to osteoporosis, insignificant actions performed on a daily basis, such as lifting a package or leaning on your hands, can cause a bone fracture. Also, the spine becomes no longer able to support one’s own body weight, resulting in spinal fractures without being aware the spine was being crushed by the weight. In most cases, patients with mild osteoporosis do not feel any significant pain, so they are unaware that a bone fracture occurred.

Source: Japan Osteoporosis Foundation website Opens in a new window

What is Important is Early Examination of Bones

The condition of the bones can be determined by testing, with early detection and appropriate intervention, osteoporosis can be treated, and the risk of bone fractures can be reduced.
Osteoporosis often has no noticeable symptoms, especially during the initial stage, which makes it difficult for patients to notice the disease on their own. Therefore, receiving regular osteoporosis checkups can help achieve early detection. It is important to be aware of your bone status and make lifestyle improvements to your dietary and exercise habits.

Shimadzu Technologies for Bone Examinations

Shimadzu mass spectrometry and X-ray imaging technologies are used for a variety of aspects of bone examinations.
Learning about the status of our bones by obtaining biological information from blood samples or using X-rays to obtain bone images is an important first step toward protecting our precious bones.


Measurement of Vitamin D Concentration in Blood

Vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption and helps maintain bone strength can be measured in blood using a mass spectrometer.

*For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.


Bone Mineral Density Measurement by DXA Method

The bone density of lumbar vertebrae and femur bones can be measured by the DXA method, which is considered the most accurate way to measure bone mineral density using a fluoroscopy system.

*This option is only available in the Japanese market.


Measurement of Vertebral Fractures

Vertebral fracture examinations by the QM method can be performed easily by specifying the measurement locations automatically.

*This option is only available in the Japanese market.


Imaging Functionality for Diverse Applications

A variety of software applications are available for supporting radiography examinations, such as tomography software for confirming the fixation between artificial joints and bones and long-view radiography software for viewing large areas in a single image.

General Radiography Systems
(for medical personnel)

Fluoroscopy Systems
(for medical personnel)

Helping to Ensure that People can Walk

Walking is said to be an important element of maintaining a healthy life expectancy.

Walking strengthens bones and muscles, prevents or improves lifestyle diseases, and provides other benefits for the body. Walking also helps promote brain activity and improve mental health.

As our measures for geriatric healthcare, Shimadzu intends to contribute to improving the quality of life for the elderly by helping to ensure they can walk and reducing the workload of nursing care providers by preventing the elderly from becoming bedridden.

In the future as well, in combination with measures for promoting bone health, we will continue helping to ensure people can walk by strengthening measures for dementia and brain health, and for cardiovascular and leg health, such as ischemic heart and lower extremity arterial diseases.

Collaborating with Partners

The Jikei University Hospital (Japan)

Shimadzu has signed a comprehensive collaboration agreement with the Jikei University (Japan, Tokyo) for developing healthcare solutions and ensuring they are broadly adopted in society.
Through that collaboration, we developed vertebral body measurement software for quickly and easily diagnosing osteoporosis using artificial intelligence (AI). We are also engaged in joint research for using mass spectrometry to investigate vitamin D measurements and engaged in creating and validating systems initiated during health checkups for prevention and early detection of osteoporosis based on routine health data and clinical data.

Development of Health Improvement Platform

Shimadzu will launch new businesses based on commercialization of the SUPOFULL Health Improvement Platform.
The SUPOFULL platform offers tools for measuring daily health data, software for integrated management of health data, examinations at healthcare institutions, health advice, and more, which users can utilize for improving their own health.

Developing Technology for Current and Future Challenges


Our technology is used in the research and development of ultra-early diagnostics, diagnostics, medical treatment, and prognosis phases to overcome diseases, such as cancer and lifestyle-related illnesses, and achieve healthier, longer life expectancies.

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