Published 16 Feb 2024

Advancing Trauma Care in Winter Sports

Author: Katrina Matti, Daniel Lehewych



The Impact of's qXR 
According to the Western Journal of Medicine, snowboarding injury rates have significantly increased, ranging from 3.5 to 40 per 1,000 snowboarding days.  
Pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, occurs when air collects in the pleural space, causing the lung to collapse. According to the Journal of Thoracic Disease, Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax is common among healthy individuals aged 10-30, with an annual incidence of 7.4–18 (age-adjusted incidence) and 1.2–6 cases per 100,000 population, among men and women respectively. 
This condition is particularly prevalent in high-impact sports like snowboarding –so much so that researchers from the Western Journal of Medicine say that “pneumothorax should be suspected in any snowboarder with blunt chest trauma, no matter how severe, who complains of pleuritic chest pain and dyspnea.” 
Advancing trauma care in winter sports requires innovations designed to meet the exigencies of emergencies. AI emerges as a paramount tool, uniquely equipped to address these critical needs with precision and efficiency. 
The Growing Challenge of Snowboarding Injuries
The Western Journal of Medicine emphasizes the need for rapid diagnosis in cases of blunt chest trauma, common in snowboarding accidents. The nature of these injuries, which often involve high speeds and hard impacts, makes timely and accurate detection of pneumothorax crucial for effective treatment. 
The advent of's qXR --especially in detecting pneumothorax-- offers hope in this scenario. 
Recently cleared by the FDA for clinical use, qXR is a testament to the advancement in medical imaging and AI. Applied Radiology reports that Qure's qXR can triage pneumothorax and pleural effusion, which pose severe challenges in emergency rooms and intensive care units. 
The relevance of qXR becomes even more pronounced considering the nature of snowboarding injuries. According to the Western Journal of Medicine, the sport is associated with various injuries, including sprains, fractures, concussions, and crucially, pulmonary air leaks resulting from blunt chest trauma.  
These injuries can often lead to pneumothorax, where air collects in the pleural space, causing the lung to collapse. The journal emphasizes the need for suspicion of pneumothorax in any snowboarder with blunt chest trauma, highlighting the criticality of rapid and accurate diagnosis. 
The time needed to transfer patients to trauma centers may lead to dangerous delays. Implementing AI solutions like qXR in rural settings –as Qure already does at Everest Base Camp in Nepal-- could significantly improve outcomes for athletes injured in remote areas. 
Looking ahead, continued research into the biomechanical forces involved in snowboarding crashes could allow innovations in protective gear to prevent chest trauma before it occurs.  
For example, advanced airbag technologies are being explored to absorb impact when riders collide with the ground or terrain park fixtures. However, AI-assisted diagnostics remain essential for identifying trauma once it happens on the slopes. 
qXR: An Advanced AI Device for Pneumothorax Detection 
qXR demonstrates exemplary clinical accuracy in triaging pneumothorax, offering rapid passive notifications to healthcare professionals. qXR takes an average of just 10 seconds to alert medical staff. This feature is indispensable in critical settings like ICUs and emergency rooms. 
qXR, using a globally sourced training dataset, integrates seamlessly into the existing standard of care workflow. It serves as a passive notification system for worklist prioritization, enhancing the efficiency of medical professionals. 
Dr. Subba R. Digumarthy, senior thoracic radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, reports up to 96% sensitivity and 100% specificity for the qXR algorithm in a multicenter publication on missed and mislabeled chest radiography findings. 
Despite these advancements, room for improvement stays. A study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine finds that the conventional use chest X-rays –that is, unassisted by artificial intelligence-- have limited sensitivity in diagnosing pneumothorax, missing over half of cases.  
This highlights the need for continued innovation in radiographic technology to improve diagnostic accuracy further, making advancements like qXR even more salient for winter sports injuries. 
Furthermore, Neil Roy, MD, MBA, FACEP, CPE, Chief Medical Officer at Shady Grove Medical Center, underscores the transformative impact of qXR in emergency medicine. The AI's ability to rapidly triage pneumothorax improves the speed and efficiency of diagnosis. It adds a layer of safety by quickly naming one of the most time-sensitive radiographic findings. 
The FDA clearance of the qXR algorithm is a significant milestone in Qure's commitment to perfecting healthcare delivery in time-sensitive settings like the ICU and ER. This technology is designed to integrate seamlessly into current healthcare pathways, improving ICU & ER workflows and hastening patient care. 
Qure's qXR stands for a significant leap forward in managing chest trauma, particularly in winter sports like snowboarding. Its ability to detect pneumothorax streamlines the diagnostic process accurately and rapidly and enhances the overall efficacy of trauma care. 
Moreover, spreading awareness of pneumothorax risks and symptoms among snowboarding communities can encourage prompt medical care after crashes. Often, athletes ignore warning signs of lung collapse, losing crucial time before seeking treatment. Educational initiatives targeting winter sports participants may promote proactive monitoring following high-velocity collisions on the slopes. 

Share this story