Methods and Apparatus for Imaging, Detecting, and Monitoring Surficial and Subdermal Inflammation

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JDAxis and physicians from the University of Arizona’s Medical School have developed a patent pending medical device which is a proposed portable, non-invasive, handheld and intelligent wound assessment cameral based on infrared imaging. The technology consists of a thermal camera, imaging system and microcomputer that generates a thermographical analysis and visual representation in the form of color coded images. The time dependant images are aligned and synchronized so the changes can be animated in the visual and thermal spectrum.

The technology would provide a diagnostic medical device to locate, evaluate, and recognize areas of degradation in a wound, inflammation, and premature sub-dermal ulcerations. In many scenarios this technology could be used as a preventative tool, such as detecting ulceration before breaking the skin or identifying infection before it spreads into a vital area of the body. The technology would also allow physicians to remotely diagnose a patient which could provide a major advantage for smaller developing countries. The ability to quantify features of all steps in wound repair serves as a powerful diagnostic tool in the development and administration of effective preventative measures. Clinical trials have shown that this preventative approach to wound management greatly reduces the heal times and can help to avoid expensive and unnecessary procedures that cost the health care industry billions, not to mention the untold cost the patient pays.

Advantages:
-Facilitates the assessment of wound healing
-Objective assessment capable of realizing “wound inflammatory index”
-Addresses the need for a clear strategy to assess wounds
-Provides a preventative approach to a common health risk

Traditional wound management methods for chronic and surgical wounds sometimes fall short of the criteria for adequate wound closure. This technology will improve the ability of a physician to properly diagnose a wound as it offers much more information than is visible to the naked eye.

By implementing this tool in a clinical setting a physician could effectively care for a patients wound remotely and non-invasively. Some devices on the market offer the ability to monitor health remotely but none offer the ability to analyze the wound using thermal imaging. Thermal camera alone sell for thousands of dollars often dependent upon resolution and software capabilities. As the prices for thermal imaging technology continues to fall we see an opportunity to sell a reasonably priced unit that will help save more than just money. In order to manufacture the technology a strategic partnership with a larger more experienced company will be necessary.

Chronic wounds are estimated to cost the American healthcare system up to $25 billion annually and are responsible for considerable morbidity among patients, especially the nation’s elderly. US clinicians treat and estimated 90.8 million major wounds in 2004 and the total wound care market estimate in the US is estimated in the billions. Advances in technology have afforded the availability of low cost, high-resolution thermal imaging systems, which can be used to quantify sensitive changes on the skin surface and may be particularly useful to develop monitoring strategies for wounds.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Daniel Farrow
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    1
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    “The real inspiration comes from past inventors and the significant changes they have made for humanity. Also, my grandfather, a former Professor of Engineering, has always been an inspiration to my mechanical inclinations. Growing up I was always fixing things or taking them apart trying to improve them. Moving parts, electrical component, it all fascinated me and as I got older I desired new tools to explore this interest. It’s clear to see why mechanical engineering was an easy fit for me. While attaining my Master of Science degree my passion for invention took over and there was simply no going back. I soon realized that all it takes it the will of one man, along with, of course, a completely dedicated lifestyle. This commitment to continue to learn, understand and grow your web of knowledge is the real key. I hope to one day be able to say that I did something significant for humanity, something that will help people long after I am gone… a true dream of an inventor.”
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  • Patent status:
    pending