Assessing Wound Depth with Smartphone Sensors

Ryan Black
NOVEMBER 06, 2017
mhealth, patient safety, wound sensor, swift medical wound, health care analytics news
A new technological capability enables clinicians to gauge wound depth and severity using smartphone cameras, according to an announcement today from Swift Medical. The innovation could help to better manage wound outcomes.

The system, called AutoDepth, will be part of the PointClickCare Skin and Wound application, which is powered by Swift's technology. In many cases, depth can be a key indicator as to whether a wound is healing properly. The system’s algorithms process dynamic changes in depth over time, and it also uses machine learning to improve its accuracy.

Carlo Perez, CEO of Swift Medical, equates the sensory techniques to those that enable autonomous driving.

Gauging wound severity with a smartphone has a few advantages, he adds. The non-invasive nature of the technique reduces patient pain. He also points to better cost and accessibility, as previous methods of doing such assessments have required specialized equipment.

“Not everyone–especially health institutions who are always in need of being cost-conscious–can afford the latest technology,” Perez tells Healthcare Analytics News. “Our hope is that arming clinicians everywhere with this feature will mean they can get better data to help patients heal faster.”

According to a company statement, the technology will be useful for long-term and post-acute care facilities for conditions like pressure ulcers. Perez says it can produce accuracy comparable to 3D sensor-based approaches, and “can be more than 3 times more accurate” than some current best practices for wound depth measurement.

In the future, the company plans to bring its AutoDepth technology to other areas of medicine. Swift Medical says it monitors more than 70,000 patients per month in North America, but Perez hopes to make the capabilities available to clinicians across the globe.

“While we have a special focus on wound care today, Swift AutoDepth technology is applicable to other medical conditions where volume, depth, or surface texture may be an important clinical indicator, like in examining moles,” he says.

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