Diabetes may cause complex foot ulcers, which are time and resource consuming to treat. At worst the foot ulcers can result in an amputation of toe, foot or leg.
It is important to monitor the wound healing process in order to change the treatment plan in the early process. Numerous studies have shown that the size of the ulcers, including the depth, is one of the essential factors in delayed healing.
3D CAMERA FOR PRECISE MONITORING
Patients with diabetic foot ulcers have to come to hospital for treatment frequently, but through a regional telemedicine service they can receive part of the treatment in their own home by specialised nurses.
The nurse is in contact with a food ulcer specialist via a telemedicine platform where the nurse uploads photos of the ulcer so the doctor can review them and provide guidance for treatment of the ulcer. This means that the specialists see the foot ulcer with his/her own eyes less often than before. When the specialists primarily see the ulcers in pictures, it turned out that the regular photos and manual measurements of foot ulcers was not sufficient to estimate the healing and development of the ulcer. It is important to know the exact measurements of the ulcer to determine proper treatment, and therefore the idea for 3D photos of the ulcers emerged to be able to determine not only the surface of the ulcer but also the depth and volume.
Based on a PhD study of the effects of the telemedicine service and development of an early protoype of a 3D camera followed by a PhD study validating the clinical effects of the 3D camera, the technology has shown the potential to become a valuable supplement to the conventional methods of monitoring diabetic foot ulcers.
It is now up to the company behind the prototype, Teccluster, to develop a market-ready version of the camera.
- With the telemedicine service patients spend less time and resources on transport to and from the hospital
- The 3D images give a more accurate treatment than ordinary photos which can shorten the treatment time.
- The more accurate treatment prevents unnecessary complications and hospitalisations.
- The camera can also be used at local hospitals, in home care, at institutions etc.
3D CAMERA PRESENTED ON TV
As part of the programme series “The Danish Academy” from the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, reporters made a video about the 3D camera, what it means for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and the collaboration between the hospital staff and industrial partners.