By Andrew Liszewski
Properly assessing the severity of a wound and then keeping track of how well it’s healing (or not healing) is vital to the recovery process. So a New Zealand company called Aranz Medical has developed a specialized wound imaging system called Silhouette that can not only help determine how bad a wound is, but can also be used to keep track of how it’s healing.
A portable hand-held computer such as a PDA is fitted with a high resolution digital camera that is used to photograph the wound in question. The camera also has an embedded laser calibration system ensuring that the photos of the wound are all taken in the same position making them easier to compare later on. Special software running on the PDA can actually analyze the photos and provide a certain level of quantitative data about the wound but since the software is no replacement for a real doctor the data and photographs get stored in a central database that can be accessed from all over the world and further studied on a desktop system.
Basically the idea behind the Silhouette is that a picture is worth a thousand words and while a nurse or caregiver might be skilled at documenting the healing progress in medical terms nothing beats an actual photo.