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New imaging technique improves viewing of chronic wounds

November 5, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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New technology that uses 3D sensors and computer algorithms on a tablet computer can allow surgeons to measure the precise area, depth and tissue type of chronic wounds, according to results of a study resented at the 2014 American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress.

The research team, led by Peter C. W. Kim, MD, PhD, FACS, of Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., created an "interactive automated wound assessment system"  by using computer algorithms on an Apple iPad, an open-source computer vision library and machine learning to identify wound borders and tissue types.

Compared to the traditional manual tracing method, the new mobile imaging technique delineated wound borders and classified tissue type (granulation, eschar or slough) 33 percent faster. Overall results using the automated method were consistent with manual tracing.

“Our method of wound assessment saves time, which saves money, and is more accurate, which translates to improved patient care,” Kim said in a press release.

The iPad-based computing format--both mobile and ubiquitous--and the open-source data library opendoors to bringing the technology to mainstream bedside applications in skilled nursing environments.