The true origins of 3D-DXA

DMS-Apelem is widely claiming to have developed the 3D-DXA software as you can see here in their first press release. All the while Ludovic Humbert of Galgo Medical is making his own claim to fame by taking credit for the invention of 3D-DXA such as on the second page of this document, which uses many illustrations stolen from my PhD thesis. Below are the true events that led to the development of this technology.

  1. It starts with me, Tristan Whitmarsh, joining the Computational Imaging & Simulation Technologies in Biomedicine (CISTIB) at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in 2008 to pursue a PhD in medical image analysis with Dr Alejandro Frangi as my supervisor.
  2. Together with Mathieu De Craene and Luis Del Rio Barquero we conceived a study on the reconstruction bone structures from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans for an improved fracture risk assessment.
  3. I was awarded a grant from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III to do a PhD on this project.
  4. I developed a working prototype based on DXA images from the GE Prodigy and iDXA devices.
  5. With my work now showing promise Alejandro Frangi hired Ludovic Humbert who he later made my Co-supervisor.
  6. Ludovic Humbert subsequently applied for grants based on my research. This resulted in a project called 3D-FemOs for the hip and VERTEX for the spine. Both project relied entirely on my PhD work.
  7. I provided Ludovic with my software since the projects depended on it, which he subsequently used for his own research papers.
  8. My software was turned into a standalone application by Yves Martelly, who integrated it into an in-house developed user interface called GIMIAS.
  9. Alejandro Frangi moved to the University of Sheffield where he was offered a position and I joined him to finish my PhD there.
  10. I successfully defended my thesis at UPF in September 2012.
  11. CISTIB closed down in Barcelona and several past members including Ludovic Humbert started a spin-off company called Galgo Medical to commercially exploit my PhD work together with Oscar Camara as principal investigator at UPF. Oscar previously left CISTIB to start a different group at UPF called PhySense. He was never involved in my work.
  12. I found out about the illegal commercialization of my PhD work around March 2013 when I was alerted of a video posted on the website of a French medical device company called Diagnostic Medical Systems (DMS) which presented my software as their own and named it “3D-DXA”.

This was the start of a long running legal conflict, which I will outline in future blog posts.