G-LIFT: Longitudinal Individualized Force Transfer System, Available to Combat Musculoskeletal Issues Associated with Working in Radiation Protection Aprons

January 18, 2021 —

The G-LIFT was designed and developed by G-Tech, LLC and is based upon the well-established orthopedic principle of force transfer. The G-LIFT is currently being worn by some Physicians and Technologists in the cardiac catheterization lab. The G-LIFT system offers all healthcare providers a personalized system that is lightweight and effective. It is a solution designed to address the increasing related issues associated with working in heavy radiation protective aprons.

Radiation protective aprons are essential for protecting healthcare workers from exposure to ionizing radiation during medical procedures which require fluoroscopic equipment. However, it has become increasingly apparent that prolonged use of protective aprons may bear consequences of fatigue, chronic musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. These issues can become disabling and result in lost time at work. The current solution is to reduce the amount of radiation protection in the protective aprons so they can continue to work. But, this reduces the amount of protection from ionizing radiation. Many providers have undergone surgery due to years of wearing protective aprons.

In a case-controlled multisite study by the Mayo Clinic published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology:

▪ 55% of the respondents reported musculoskeletal pain. There have been successfully designed systems which relieve the weight problem for the physician doing the procedures. However, there are other healthcare workers involved in these procedures who seem to suffer more musculoskeletal pain than the physician and these systems come with a substantial price tag.

▪ 62% of technicians and 60% of the nurses versus 44% of the attending physicians in the Mayo Clinic study, reported musculoskeletal pain, despite the technicians and nurses being younger and having worked for fewer years.

▪ Since the technicians and nursing staff do not typically rotate out of the interventional laboratory, they are exposed to more constant physical stress from lead apron usage.

▪ Studies have shown that chronic musculoskeletal pain increases with higher case volumes and more years in practice for physicians.

The Mayo Clinic study concluded the following:

“musculoskeletal pain is more common in healthcare workers who participate in fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures and is the highest in non-physician allied staff. Female sex, increasing time per week participating in procedures requiring radiation, and increasing use of the lead apron are associated with a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal pain.”

The Gravity-Longitudinal Individualized Force Transfer system, G-LIFT, transfers the weight of a protective apron from the back and shoulders to the iliac crests. This weight transfer improves arm and neck mobility. More importantly, the neck is protected by the G-LIFT from potentially dangerous posterior pressure from the weight of the protective apron during movement.

Lance Lewis, MD, an Interventional Cardiologist in Wilmington, North Carolina, says “At the end of the day, I didn’t find myself fatigued or tired. Before, I wouldn’t have said I needed it. But, once you wear the G-LIFT, you realize how much better you feel. Now, I don’t like doing cases without it.

The design team implemented the expertise of an Interventional Cardiologist and an Orthopedic Surgeon. After using the G-LIFT system for several weeks, the users noticed relief of chronic neck/back discomfort, a decrease in fatigue at the end of the day and more comfort while working in heavy protective aprons.

G-Tech is in the process of working with The School of Health and Applied Human Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to study the reduction of musculoskeletal stress when wearing the G-LIFT system under protective aprons. G-TECH, LLC plans to publish this data once the study is completed.

The G-LIFT system was awarded a utility patent in August of 2020 and the G-LIFT system is launching commercially in February of 2021. G-TECH is currently in the process of developing and patenting extensions to the G-LIFT system that will continue to improve the safety of those employed in the Cath Lab, IR Lab, and


For Additional Information About the G-LIFT please visit: www.theglift.com

Sources Cited:

1. Nicholas M. Orme, Charanjit S. Rihal, Rajiv Gulati, David Holmes, et al. Occupational Health Hazards of Working in the Interventional Laboratory.

JACC, Vol 65, Issue 8,3 March 2015, pp 820-826

2. Savage, L. Carlson, J. Clements, C. Rees. Comparison of the Zero Gravity System to Conventional Lead Apron for Radiation Protection of the Interventionalist.

Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Vol 20, Issue 2, February 2009, pp s53

3. A. Goldstein, S. Balter, M. Cowley, J. Hodgson, L.W. Klein. Occupational Hazards of Interventional Cardiologists: Prevalence of Orthopedic Health Problems in Contemporary Practice.

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv, 63 (2004), pp. 407-411.

4. Allan M. Ross, Jerome Segal, David Borenstein, Ellen Jenkins, et al. Prevalence of Spinal Disc Disease Among Interventional Cardiologists.

The American Journal of Cardiology, Vol 79, Issue 1, 1 January 1997, pp 68-70.