StemRad MD, An Exoskeleton-Based Radiation Protection System, Reduces Ergonomic Posture Risk Based on a Prospective Observational Study

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Journal of Endovascular Therapy


Objective: Poor ergonomic posture during interventional procedures might lead to increased physical discomfort and work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Adjunctive equipment such as lead aprons (LAs) has been shown to increase ergonomic posture risk (EPR). The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of StemRad MD (StemRad Ltd., Tel Aviv, Israel), a weightless exoskeleton-based radiation protective ensemble, in reducing EPR on the operator using wearable inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors. Methods: A prospective, observational study was conducted at an academic hospital. Inertial measurement unit sensors were affixed to the upper back of 9 interventionalists to assess ergonomic risk posture during endovascular procedures while wearing a traditional LA or the StemRad MD radiation protection system. Total fluoroscopy time, procedure type, and ergonomic risk postures were recorded and analyzed. Results: Twenty-one cases were performed with StemRad MD and 30 with LAs. Mean procedure time for the StemRad MD procedures was 48.4±23.3 minutes (range: 24–106 min), and for LA procedures, it was 34.66±25.83 minutes (range: 6–100 min) (p=.060). The operators assumed low-risk ergonomic positions in 96.1% of StemRad MD cases and in 62.9% of LA cases (p=.001), and high-risk ergonomic positions in 0% and 6.2%, respectively (p=.80). Mean EPR score for StemRad MD was 1.16, and for the LA, it was 1.49 (p=.001). Conclusions: StemRad MD significantly reduces the EPR to the torso compared with a LA-based radiation protection system. Clinical Impact: Poor ergonomic posture during interventional procedures might leas to work-related musculoskeletal disorders for healthcare workers. StemRad MD, a weightless, exoskeleton-based radiation protection system was shown to significantly reduce ergonomic posture risk to the torso compared to conventional lead aprons. This might lead to reduced physical discomfort for procedure-based specialists.

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