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Joan Oloff is Making Fashion More Functional

All too often, our choice of wardrobe comes down to function or fashion. We sacrifice comfort to look good, or we sacrifice taste so that we can be comfortable during long days on the job. Increasingly, however, companies are seeking to create pants, dress shirts and shoes that combine runway aesthetic with around-the-house comfort. In a fashion landscape dominated by established brands, it can be difficult for a start-up to stand out. By providing customers with clothing and accessories that look great but can also be worn on the job, new brands are able to break through this barrier.

Few designers exemplify this innovative spirit as much as Joan Oloff. A podiatrist by training, Joan set out to make the first line of orthopedically correct high heels. After seeing the issues that traditional high heels cause in her patients, Joan knew there had to be a way to design beautiful shoes that wouldn’t negatively impact the health of the wearer’s feet down the road.

The challenge was taking elements already common in athletic and walking shoes, like offloading pressure points, incorporating shock-absorption and providing proper support, and finding a way to implement these same features in heels. Over the course of four years, Joan worked with designers and manufacturers, in both Los Angeles and Italy, to make her line of shoes fit her standards. It was difficult. The manufacturers didn’t want to do things her way. But she pushed ahead.

“If I’m not going to be a game-changer, if I’m not going to disrupt the way high heels are made, there’s no point for me to do this,” Joan said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Her perseverance paid off and today, Joan Oloff’s shoes have built-in arch support, cushioning material in the ball of the foot and a lower heel pitch, all of which allow the entire foot to comfortably share the body’s weight. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of her line is simply the diversity of options. Made by hand, the latest collection has everything from sandals to knee-high boots. The beauty of the line, combined with the comfort of the shoes, have garnered Joan a loyal following. One surgeon in Santa Fe owns ten pairs of the shoes as they allow her to work without discomfort be it in her office, visiting patients or even conducting an hours-long surgical procedure.

While her customers all praise her shoes, Joan also has proof to back up her claims that she makes healthy heels. Using CurveBeam’s revolutionary pedCAT technology, Joan is able to show weight-bearing CT scans of her shoes in action. When compared side-by-side with the same scans of someone wearing standard heels, it is obvious that Joan’s shoes provide evenly distributed support and stable positioning while other shoes have toe crimping and no arch support, creating a painful experience for the wearer.


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Just like Joan Oloff, CurveBeam is dedicated to changing the game. By creating innovative 3D scanning technology that provides a complete view of a patient’s lower extremities, the pedCAT has given podiatrists, physical therapists, and others the ability to give their patients the proper treatment they need. Learn more about pedCAT here.

Why CurveBeam Technology is Even Changing the Way We Talk

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Languages are constantly shifting and changing. As our experiences change, new terminology and ways to express the world around us are required. In a time when the medical field is experiencing technological breakthroughs that redefine the way we treat patients, it should be no surprise that the language used in some medical fields may quickly become outdated.

Nowhere is this truer than in orthopedic pathology diagnoses. In January’s issue of the Lower Extremity Review (LER), Ian Engelman’s article “Saying ‘PTTD” Is Misleading: It’s time for a new lexicon to distinguish pathologies” focuses on just one segment of the field to show the issues inherent in the current vocabulary. One of the main problems, for instance, is that the words used to describe what is occurring vary from profession to profession. This means that an orthopedic surgeon, a podiatrist and a physical therapist could all be discussing the same issue, but each use a different, and sometimes conflicting, term for the same pathology.

Engleman argues that as our ability to understand what is occurring in the foot progresses, our language should to. He refers to the organizing principle, stating that, “Better and more specific terms lead to better, more specific understanding of the origin of the pathological condition.” (Engelman, 2018). So much of our language regarding the movement of and connections within the foot regard on comparisons to mechanics in our everyday lives, such as a set of hinges or a mechanical bridge. By merely making analogies, rather than creating a specific and universal set of terms based on careful analysis, misdiagnoses or improper treatment can occur.

According to Engelman we are coming up on a paradigm shift in the world of orthopedics. This is primarily due to the integration of 3D imaging into the treatment of the lower extremities. CurveBeam’s pedCAT technology, Engelman says, is particularly groundbreaking as it allows for 3D, weight-bearing analysis, eliminating much of the guesswork about how the parts of the foot are operating in real-life conditions.

Engelman’s article highlights the limitations placed by utilizing a 2D vocabulary in a field that is beginning to integrate 3D technology. He gives suggestions for how he would linguistically alter the terms used by the industry:

  • “Normal foot” – This one may seem obvious, but before the capabilities provided by 3D scanning technology there was no way to establish a true baseline. Now there is a way to establish the ideal interactions and alignments within a patient’s foot to determine how far away from the norm they are.
  • “Talar escape” – This term is used to describe a spring ligament failure. While this aberration is easier to identify than most, the terms for it have traditionally varied across specialties
  • “Lateral Column Flat Foot” – In the past, much of the reason given for plantar ligamentous failure has been directed towards the medial column within the foot. When examined closer using modern technology, however, Engelman notes that there can be healthy medial columns while flat footedness still occurs, meaning the causality lies more with the ligament interacting with the lateral column. Engelman suggests several terms like this, where there is a linguistic need for events previously not recognized with 2D scans.

As well as making efforts to improve and expand the professional vocabulary, Engelman also urges clinics to begin to implement devices like the CurveBeam pedCAT and CubeVue software. That way there can at least be a visual representation of exactly what is occurring in a patient’s foot, even if there is not yet a way to put it into words. To learn more about CurveBeam’s innovative products, visit and see how 3D imaging can revolutionize your clinic’s treatment practices.

CurveBeam: Moving Orthopedics Forward

Scroll to the bottom of this post to access a technical comparison chart of the CurveBeam LineUP* and similar systems from other vendors.

If you’re part of a forward-thinking orthopedic practice, you’re constantly looking for ways to offer the best in patient care, while also improving operations.

Cone Beam CT imaging is an attractive ancillary service because 3D extremity imaging provides physicians a better view of fractures, dislocations, and arthritic degeneration than plain radiographs. Point-of-care CT imaging is also convenient for patients, as they do not need to make an appointment for and travel arrangements to a separate imaging facility.

Administrators may vet more than one Cone Beam CT imaging vendor when determining which solution is the best fit for their practice.

As you complete your evaluation, we’d like to emphasize three things that set CurveBeam apart:

  1. Emphasis on customer service – The CurveBeam team lives by the credo of going above and beyond to exceed our customers’ expectations. We work closely with all stakeholders during the pre-installation process and regularly follow up to proactively assist with ongoing workflow, IT or marketing items. We are vested in making sure each of our sites successfully integrates our technology.
  2. Fair and standard pricing – We are transparent in our pricing. We have a published, standard price for each system and we work hard to keep costs as low as possible. We don’t believe in inflated list prices that only serve as a negotiation tactic.
  3. Commitment to innovation – We are constantly looking to the future to improve performance and usability in all aspects. We either make system upgrades standard or easily achievable within an operating budget so that you can always be on the cutting edge.

To further help you in your evaluation process, CurveBeam has put together a chart comparing the CurveBeam LineUP* with similar systems from other vendors. Just provide your name and email address to have it sent directly to your inbox.

*The CurveBeam LineUP is investigational only and is not available for sale in the United States.

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International Weight Bearing CT Study Group in New Orleans


Foot & ankle surgeons are invited to the Scientific Session on Weight Bearing CT from 5:45 AM to 7:00 AM, on March 10, 2018, prior to the events of AOFAS Specialty Day. The session, presented by the WBCT International Study Group (WBCT ISG), will be moderated by Dr. Cesar de Cesar Netto in the Marriott New Orleans Downtown Convention Center’s second floor Fulton Room (directly across from the  Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)

A full, hot breakfast will be provided to all attendees.

Dr. Alex Barg from the University of Utah will present an overview of current literature on weight bearing CT imaging.

Dr. Martin O’Malley of the Hospital for Special Surgery will follow with a discussion titled Weight Bearing CT of the Foot and Ankle in Treatment of Professional Athletes.

Dr. Mark Easley from Duke Orthopedics will then present a talk titled WB CT vs Standard CT for the Fppt and Ankle: The Devil is in the Detais.

The presentations will close with a lecture on correlating weight bearing CT with pedography, offered by Dr. Martinus Richter of Krankenhaus Rummelsberg.

The International WBCT Study Group is comprised of active and passive members from relevant international surgical and radiology foot and ankle societies. The goals of the group include standardizing methodology of measurement practices, offering a platform of communication in the foot and ankle specialties, and creating guidelines and reviews regarding WBCT use at the international level. Research projects are conducted and published collaboratively. While the group functions independently from the industry, it works cooperatively with the different manufacturers of different WBCT devices.

CurveBeam is a proud sponsor of the WBCT ISG.

A primary goal of CurveBeam is provide cutting-edge Cone Beam CT capabilities to foot and ankle specialists at a fraction of the price of traditional CT equipment.

Register here for the Study Group session. If you’d like to learn more about CurveBeam’s Cone Beam CT technology, visit our website today.

When Billing CT Scans, a Little Effort Goes a Long Way



It should come as no surprise that providing a patient’s clinical history can help verify and interpret results from a CT scan. Including as much information as possible when submitting an imaging order seems like an obvious practice, and yet researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center found that many physicians needed a reminder. Led by Dr. Saad Ali, the team was able to show that the effort physicians put into writing clinical history reports has benefits not only for the patient, but for the doctor’s own hospital or clinic as well. Interventions implemented by Ali’s team led to payments and reimbursements arriving on average 21 days earlier.

To obtain these results, Ali’s team took a look at their own emergency department and analyzed 1,000 requests for head CT scans. They began by simply analyzing the practices that were common in the department at the time. Not only did poor histories complicate the radiology department’s efforts to interpret results, but they also negatively impacted the hospital’s ability to get reimbursed.

According to their findings, inadequate histories can lead to confusion for the coders and billers. With a high rate of inaccurate billings, the denied claims begin to pile up significantly. Seeing this, the researchers were determined to find a way to rectify the situation. There had been plenty of studies that found poor history practices to impact image interpretation and billing, and yet bad habits still persist.

The team put together a program they called an “intervention.” This primarily involved educating the emergency staff about how to write high quality histories. PowerPoint presentations were displayed in the department with helpful tips reinforcing the concepts outlined in the lectures. After this program, not only did image requisitions for CT scans receive higher scores, but payments and reimbursements arrived a full 21 days earlier on average than they had before Ali and his team stepped in.

Any medical practice can always use some improvements. For some, this might mean improving clinical histories, for others it may just mean ensuring that necessary equipment is on hand to properly care for patients. At CurveBeam, we are constantly pushing ourselves to find new ways to provide our customers with the best in weight-bearing CT technology. Just as our customers seek to provide the best care they can to their patients, we work hard to provide them with the equipment they need to do so. To learn more about CurveBeam, visit our About page.

CurveBeam Goes to Europe: ECR 2018

The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) is the annual meeting of the European Society of Radiology (ESR). The next ECR congress will be held from February 28 – March 4, 2018, in Vienna, Austria, and CurveBeam is excited and honored to be among those participating this year.


Founded in 2005, by merging the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) and the European Association of Radiology (EAR), the European Society of Radiology (ESR) is an apolitical, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening and unifying European radiology. With more than 75,500 members worldwide, it is the largest radiological society in the world.

The Society works closely with radiological societies across Europe while establishing relationships with major international organizations from other related fields. It also monitors developments on the EU level, with a significant influence in radiology research and practice. The mission of ESR is to serve the healthcare needs of the general public by supporting scientific research, education, and training, while constantly striving to improve the quality of radiological practice.

CurveBeam, founded in 2009, is an innovator and industry leader in weight-bearing CT. A study performed in 2012 in Finland, concluded that “Cone-beam CT technology with new design and flexible gantry movements allows both supine and weight-bearing imaging of the lower extremities, with a reasonable radiation dose and excellent image quality. Weight-bearing CT of joints can provide important new clinical information in musculoskeletal radiology.”1 It was the first major study to demonstrate the viability of weight-bearing CT.

CurveBeam will be exhibiting several of their products in Booth X1/110. Medical professionals can learn about pedCAT, InReach, and the currently investigational, LineUP.

The pedCAT’s bilateral, weight-bearing 3D views of the foot and ankle give specialists the information they need to create comprehensive treatment plans. Its compact size and ultra-low dose CT imagine boasts a scan time of one minute. InReach is the most compact extremity cone beam CT scanner, and it images the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow and the lower extremities. In the early stages of development is the LineUp, a bilateral, Weight-Bearing CT device for imaging of the knee and lower extremities, designed with patient comfort in mind. LineUp is easy to operate and offers quick scans of less than 30 seconds each, producing 3D Reconstructions, Multi-Planar slices, and X-Ray views.

CurveBeam can’t wait to network with medical professionals and other imaging specialists in Vienna. It won’t be our only connection to Europe, however. CurveBeam has had the good fortune of partnering with The UK’s Standing CT, who has created a mobile solution for patients to utilize pedCAT.

CurveBeam looks forward to showcasing its exceptional products and talking with you about the imaging needs of your orthopedic or podiatric practice. We are eager to introduce you to our exceptional imaging products: pedCAT, InReach, and LineUp.

Learn more about CurveBeam here!



1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Medical Imaging Centre of Southwest Finland, Turku University Hospital, Kiinamyllynkatu 4, Turku FI-20520, Finland. Address correspondence to E. K. J. Tuominen (

Takeaways from the 2018 OrthoForum Annual Meeting

The 2018 OrthoForum Annual Meeting concluded this past weekend in Orlando, and the agenda was once again packed with useful sessions for orthopedic executives.

During the popular CEO breakout sessions, executives shared some timeless principles that are worth pausing and reflecting on. Here are two of the key takeaways we picked up:

1. Approach internal and external communication with continuous improvement

There was a strong, consistent message that orthopedic executives and surgeons will need to increasingly work together as a unified group in reforming healthcare delivery. Foster communication with other orthopedists and care providers embrace opportunities to collaborate with healthcare systems, not just compete with them. Now is the time to act rather than taking a wait-and-see approach. Be involved, participate in discussions and be open to change.

Internal communication is important as well. Several administrators shared how their operations suffer from “leakage” when surgeons don’t follow practice guidelines for utilization of in-house ancillary services. Instead, they tend to stick to old habits, including outsourcing services, even if they capture less revenues and end-up with studies of inferior value. Repeatedly communicate the true value and enhanced quality of ancillary services to minimize leakage.

2. Customer Service really does matter

Speakers suggested implementing training to offer better to best in Customer Service. Healthcare has become more competitive and consumers are shopping around. How patients feel they are treated matters now more than ever. Train, monitor and measure customer/patient satisfaction and respond to all comments by acknowledging them, showing appreciation for feedback and addressing any concerns with a goal to improve perceptions. Incentivize your staff to buy-in to this goal.

Differentiating your practice with customer service delivers the most impact. It’s what patients and the general public understand more than anything else. People remember how you made them feel. Reinforce positive and engaging staff attitudes, and keep patient-treatment paramount.

CurveBeam is a proud sponsor of the OrthoForum Annual Meeting.

CurveBeam Sponsors The OrthoForum’s Annual Meeting


CurveBeam is proud to be a returning sponsor of The OrthoForum’s Annual Meeting February 15-17, 2018 at The Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida. The event will bring together orthopedic practices from all over the United States.

This year’s agenda will focus on practical ways new physician owners can become productive board and committee members and will include instruction on the factors and skills needed to successfully contribute to effective practice management. Highlights of the event include a presentation from keynote speaker Andrew Hayek, the CEO of Surgical Care Affiliates and Optum Health, focusing on the delivery of orthopedic care in a value based payment environment.

Ross Bernstein, a nationally known business speaker, will present information on developing peak performers based on his extensive research with professional athletes, and OrthoForum will showcase new initiatives that are creating practice management support programs for compliance and physician recruiting.

CurveBeam will have information about its imaging solutions on display.

The pedCAT system was created with orthopedic and podiatric clinics in mind, and is a compact, ultra-low dose CT imaging system. Since the device was designed for busy practices, the pedCAT can scan in less than one minute. The system is also self-shielded and has a compact footprint of about 4’ x 5’. The pedCAT has the largest field of view available in orthopedic CBCT imaging, which permits true weight-bearing positioning.

The InReach system can perform hand, wrist, forearm, elbow and lower extremity scanning in less than 20 seconds. The InReach is the most compact system on the market, with a footprint of about 2’ x 3’. The system is self-shielded and is also PACS/DICOM compatible, just like the PedCAT.

We at CurveBeam are very excited to attend this event this year as a Sponsor, and we look forward to meeting Ortho practices from all over the country. For more information on the event, you can visit the event website, or email questions directly to Lauren Chastain at


See you soon!

Curvebeam Corporate Webcast: Standing CT—Zooming in on the Problem with Dr. Selene Parekh

Untitled designMark your calendars for an upcoming FOOTInnovate lecture with Dr. Selene Parekh.  Titled, “Standing CT—Zooming in on the Problem”, the lecture will detail Dr. Parekh’s own experience with incorporating weight bearing CT imaging into his own clinical practice. Be sure to register at Foot Innovate, and join your colleagues for what’s sure to be an informative evening on Wednesday, February 28, at 8:00 PM EST.

Dr. Selene Parekh, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon and expert on sports injuries. He currently serves as Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic at Duke University. Prior to his time at Duke, Dr. Parekh was a foot and ankle surgeon at the University of North Carolina (UNC), where he not only taught medical students and residents, but he also consulted in foot and ankle cases for the athletic department. He treats athletes at various levels in his current practice.

After earning an MBA in Health Care Management as well as an MD from Boston University, Dr. Parekh completed both his surgery internship and his orthopedic surgery residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. While in residency, he was honored with multiple awards for his research in the field, and most recently was awarded the Ranawat Award by the Eastern Orthopaedic Association.

Dr. Parekh prides himself in learning about his patients to understand their specific needs and their overall functioning. He considers himself conservative in his surgical approach, and believes in maximizing non-surgery methods, only operating when necessary.

More popularly known as the “Fantasy Doctor,” Dr. Parekh has combined his passion for sports medicine with his love of fantasy football, utilizing his impressive skills to accurately predict how injuries will affect a player’s career and in turn, impact the Fantasy football league and its teams. He has even written two foundational research papers using Fantasy football data to track the epidemiology and outcomes of tendon and ligament ruptures in the NFL.

Orthopedic Cone Beam CT: A Primer for Radiologists

Two foot CBCT illustrationIn the past five years, cone beam CT technology has been incorporated into an increasing number of orthopedic clinics and hospital orthopedic departments. When a radiologist reviews a CT volume captured from an orthopedic cone beam CT device, he or she will likely observe that trabecular bony detail is comparable to or even superior to those acquired from a conventional medical CT system.

What a radiologist may not realize is that filters and kernels applied during reconstruction are set to accentuate hard tissue and bone, and are not changeable. Therefore, soft tissue windowing is limited. A radiologist may also not realize that the effective dose of cone beam CT scans is typically significantly lower than a scan of the same body part on the low dose settings of a conventional medical CT.

CurveBeam has put together an introductory primer for radiologists that details the differences between cone beam and traditional CT volumes.

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