NOMAD gets innovation award

Sept. 30, 2010
Product named as a runner-up in the medical device category of the 2010 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards.

OREM, UTAH--Aribex, a leader in handheld X-ray technologies, has announced that the NOMAD Handheld X-ray has been named as a runner-up in the medical device category of the 2010 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards.

The awards recognize products that break from conventional processes.

“We’re very pleased by this honor,” said D. Clark Turner, PhD, president and CEO of Aribex. “This is our first national innovation award, and it feels great that our seven years of hard work and focus has paid off so successfully. We also appreciate being listed with the other highly notable companies that have received this distinction.”

The Journal reports receiving nearly 600 applications from companies, organizations and individuals in 30 countries. Following a review from the publication’s editors, about 275 entries were forwarded to a panel of judges from research institutions, venture-capital firms and other companies, and 49 entries were selected for awards.

The NOMAD is a handheld X-ray for dental use. Aribex brought to life a futuristic “ray gun” for dentistry. Unlike the concept of wall-mounted X-ray systems that dentists have traditionally used, NOMAD represents a new approach: it’s handheld, cordless, and mobile.

When the X-ray machine was invented more than a century ago, it was known to have dangerous implications since it emitted radiation. In response, safety protocols were put into place for its use, such as lead-lined walls, lead vests for operator and patient, the operator leaving the room, and special dosimetry (radiation monitors).

Aribex changed this paradigm by developing proprietary shielding for the X-ray tube so that the radiation only goes toward the targeted area. In addition, an external backscatter shield was developed to protect the operator from radiation reflected from the patient during the procedure.

This makes the NOMAD safe enough to be held in the hand and used right next to the patient without many of the protocols previously required. As a result, the design of the NOMAD permits X-rays to be taken in or out of the office.

The NOMAD increases dental office productivity since it reduces the time required to take a series of X-rays. The NOMAD X-ray system requires no bulky arms, backing plates for walls, special cabinets. In fact, no installation is needed other than plugging in a small recharger unit. Dental treatment rooms (operatories) no longer need to be designed around the X-ray device.

Because it easily moves from treatment room to treatment room, one NOMAD can take the place of several conventional wall-mounted X-ray units in a typical dental office environment. This saves dentists money when purchasing capital equipment.

These innovations also allow X-rays to be taken without moving the patient, so those in wheelchairs, for example, do not have to be moved to the dental chair. Bed-ridden patients with dental issues can now have care on a level that was previously not possible.

Sedated patients in oral surgery now can have X-rays take without being repositioned. Most operating rooms do not have wall-mounted X-rays, but now they can be taken during procedures without moving the patient.

Previously, taking an intraoral X-ray of a child has also been a hit-or-miss affair since the children often will not sit still and will move their head while the x-ray is being taken. This results in a retake and additional radiation exposure to the patient.

Now the operator can stay with the child, comfort anxious patients, and take the X-ray when the child is ready. This has also been of great value with special needs patients, such as those with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and physically or mentally limited individuals.

The NOMAD has also been used in veterinary dental diagnostic applications and in forensic victim identification, most notably during the Asian Tsunami in 2004 and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The device has been used in humanitarian missions around the world, going where traditional X-rays could not previously go.

Today, NOMAD devices are used in professional offices, as well as providing access to care in the most remote humanitarian clinics. In addition to recognition in the dental arena, NOMAD products have received numerous accolades in the forensic and veterinary fields.

For more information, go to

A list of Technology Innovation Awards winners can be seen at

To read more about Aribex, go to Aribex.

To comment on this topic, go to