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 treated an estimated 90.8 million major wounds in 2004 and the total wound care market in the US is estimated in the billions. Advances in technology have afforded the availability of low cost, high-resolution thermal imaging systems.
This patented wound management camera (US20130162796 A1 - Approved: Jun 27th, 2013) provides a preventative diagnostic medical device to locate, evaluate, and recognize areas of degradation in a wound, inflammation, and premature sub-dermal ulcerations from any remote location across the globe. The images and information gathered can be sent back to a central call center or to the patients personal physician.
The medical device is a portable, non-invasive, handheld and intelligent wound assessment camera 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.
In many scenarios this technology would be used as a preventative tool, such as detecting ulceration before breaking the skin, identifying infection before it spreads into a vital area of the body, or even assisting your favorite football athlete to heal a torn ligament or muscle. 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 specifically related to sports injuries, diabetic foot ulcerations, bedsores, wounds from gun shots, burns, open heart surgery and many other invasive surgeries.
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 and insurance company will pay.
Traditional wound management methods for chronic and surgical wounds sometimes fall short of the criteria for adequate wound closure. The intervention and use of thermographical preventative monitoring and detection has been clinically shown to be successful at vastly reducing the healing time experience by the patient. (Armstrong, D. et al., 1998, American Academy of Family Physicians, 1337-1344; Urban?i?-Rovan, V. et al., 2004, Journal of Vascular Research, 41:535-545). Unfortunately, there are no devices that currently exist in the medical community that allow a physician and the patient to view a real-time spectroscopic analysis of the human skin, with predictive capability to assess the pathology.
-Facilitates the assessment of wound healing
-Objective assessment capable of realizing “wound inflammatory index”
-Addresses the need for a clear strategy for assessing and classifying wounds
-Provides a preventative approach to a common health risk
-Yields a Wound Inflation Index (WII) rating the wounds healthy recovery or degradation
Wound Inflammatory Index: A Novel Way to Assess Wound Healing Trajectory. Manish Bharara1, PhD, Jeffrey Schoess2, Aksone Nouvong3, J Diabetes Sci Technol. Jul 2010; 4(4): 773–779. Jul 1, 2010.