A team from Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University say the diagnostic tool, which would work around scans taken from deep inside patients' bones, could help reduce the proportion of elderly patients who die after suffering a hip fracture.
The plan is to gather clinical data using advanced imaging techniques which provide a more comprehensive picture of any dangers, compared with traditional radiography that simply measures bone mineral density. Because bone is not made of a completely solid material, the tool will measure how porous it is, its strength on a microscopic level and determine how it manages daily loads.
This will provide essential information to diagnose individual patients' conditions and identify the most efficient treatment plan following a fracture.
Dr Yuhang Chen, an expert in computational biomechanics in the School of Engineering and Physical Science at Heriot-Watt University, said: "Around 25 per cent of patients aged 65 to 80 die after a hip fracture. This figure could be reduced by this unique tool."