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The Integration of the Internet, Mobile Phones, Digital Photography, and Computer-Aided Design Software to Achieve Telemedical Wound Measurement and Care

The Integration of the Internet, Mobile Phones, Digital Photography, and Computer-Aided Design... I read with interest the article by Braun et al1 published in the recent issue of the ARCHIVES. Their study has established the feasibility of telemedical wound care using mobile technology. To deliver the appropriate telemedical wound care to remote geographic areas, wound measurement is of vital importance and aids in the scientific assessment of the progress of treatment. Wound measurement was not the focus of their article. My research team has proposed the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software for wound measurement,2 and I have illustrated the accessibilty and economic advantages to remote areas of using advanced software in telemedicine.3 Kantor and Margolis4 noted that my proposal of scanning or wound tracing with a microtip pen and mailing the resulting image to a centralized location for computer-aided measurement results in a slow rate of physician adoption of these novel technologies. Based on our previous data2,3 and my recent experiences,5 I herein suggest practical measures to overcome these limitations and to minimize the interobserver and intraobserver variation in telemedical wound measurement and care. Advancements in information technology are bringing about rapid changes in the concept of wound measurement. Essential steps involved in telemedical wound measurement and care are illustrated in the Figure. In step 1, images of any wound, regardless of its site or cause, are captured by either mobile or digital camera. This procedure avoids scanning or tracing the wound margins with a microtip pen. In step 2, the images are transferred to a computer or sent by e-mail to a centralized location for computerized wound measurement and evaluation by experts. Images are then downloaded from e-mail attachments, which eliminates the drawbacks associated with surface mailing practiced earlier.3 Figure. View LargeDownload Illustration of the steps involved in telemedical wound measurement and care using computer-aided design (CAD) software. In step 3, calculation of the area and perimeter of the wounds is done using CAD software, as described previously.2,3 In step 4, the professional at the computer center delivers the feedback to the medical personnel at the patient’s medical center. Periodic assessment and serial monitoring of updated images, noting the percentage of proportionate regression in the area and perimeter of the wound on a standard grid, aids in the follow-up care for wound management. Similar principles can be used in multicenter clinical trials. Using the steps described and illustrated herein, physicians can have immediate access to images of wounds on patients in very remote locations and immediately evaluate their measurements on a standard grid. Depending on the duration of the treatment, they can obtain updated images and perform regular follow-up evaluations. This process allows the physician to monitor treatment progress with rapidity, precision, and accuracy. Telemedical evaluation of chronic wounds is feasible. The wound images are captured and sent by e-mail from the patient site by attendees using a mobile camera. In this way, follow-up visits by the patient can be minimized, saving time and the cost of traveling from remote areas, and available health care professionals can optimize their use of time and resources. The steps illustrated in the Figure allow them also to minimize human error in capturing and transferring images and calculating wound dimensions, thereby minimizing interobserver and intraobserver variation. Hence, health care providers should integrate the Internet, mobile telephones, digital photography, and CAD software systems to deliver the best quality of telemedical wound care. Correspondence: Dr Kanthraj, Department of Skin and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreshwara Medical College Hospital, Mysore 570004, Karnataka, India (kanthacad@yahoo.com). Financial Disclosure: None. References 1. Braun RPVecchietti JLThomas L et al. Telemedical wound care using a new generation of mobile telephones: feasibility study Arch Dermatol 2005;141254- 258PubMedGoogle Scholar 2. Kanthraj GRSrinivas CRShenoi SDSuresh BRavikumar BCDeshmukh RP Wound measurement by computer aided design (CAD): a practical approach for software utility Int J Dermatol 1998;37(9)714- 715PubMedGoogle Scholar 3. Kanthraj GR Computers or simple wound measurements: when Greek meets Greek then comes the tug of war! Arch Dermatol 1999;135992- 993PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 4. Kantor JMargolis DJ In reply to computers or simple wound measurements: when Greek meets Greek then comes the tug-of-war! Arch Dermatol 1999;135993- 994Google Scholar 5. Kanthraj GR Computer aided design (CAD) mapping for SCORAD index in atopic dermatitis: accessible and economical Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2005;16182- 183PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Dermatology American Medical Association

The Integration of the Internet, Mobile Phones, Digital Photography, and Computer-Aided Design Software to Achieve Telemedical Wound Measurement and Care

Archives of Dermatology , Volume 141 (11) – Nov 1, 2005

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-987X
eISSN
1538-3652
DOI
10.1001/archderm.141.11.1470
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I read with interest the article by Braun et al1 published in the recent issue of the ARCHIVES. Their study has established the feasibility of telemedical wound care using mobile technology. To deliver the appropriate telemedical wound care to remote geographic areas, wound measurement is of vital importance and aids in the scientific assessment of the progress of treatment. Wound measurement was not the focus of their article. My research team has proposed the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software for wound measurement,2 and I have illustrated the accessibilty and economic advantages to remote areas of using advanced software in telemedicine.3 Kantor and Margolis4 noted that my proposal of scanning or wound tracing with a microtip pen and mailing the resulting image to a centralized location for computer-aided measurement results in a slow rate of physician adoption of these novel technologies. Based on our previous data2,3 and my recent experiences,5 I herein suggest practical measures to overcome these limitations and to minimize the interobserver and intraobserver variation in telemedical wound measurement and care. Advancements in information technology are bringing about rapid changes in the concept of wound measurement. Essential steps involved in telemedical wound measurement and care are illustrated in the Figure. In step 1, images of any wound, regardless of its site or cause, are captured by either mobile or digital camera. This procedure avoids scanning or tracing the wound margins with a microtip pen. In step 2, the images are transferred to a computer or sent by e-mail to a centralized location for computerized wound measurement and evaluation by experts. Images are then downloaded from e-mail attachments, which eliminates the drawbacks associated with surface mailing practiced earlier.3 Figure. View LargeDownload Illustration of the steps involved in telemedical wound measurement and care using computer-aided design (CAD) software. In step 3, calculation of the area and perimeter of the wounds is done using CAD software, as described previously.2,3 In step 4, the professional at the computer center delivers the feedback to the medical personnel at the patient’s medical center. Periodic assessment and serial monitoring of updated images, noting the percentage of proportionate regression in the area and perimeter of the wound on a standard grid, aids in the follow-up care for wound management. Similar principles can be used in multicenter clinical trials. Using the steps described and illustrated herein, physicians can have immediate access to images of wounds on patients in very remote locations and immediately evaluate their measurements on a standard grid. Depending on the duration of the treatment, they can obtain updated images and perform regular follow-up evaluations. This process allows the physician to monitor treatment progress with rapidity, precision, and accuracy. Telemedical evaluation of chronic wounds is feasible. The wound images are captured and sent by e-mail from the patient site by attendees using a mobile camera. In this way, follow-up visits by the patient can be minimized, saving time and the cost of traveling from remote areas, and available health care professionals can optimize their use of time and resources. The steps illustrated in the Figure allow them also to minimize human error in capturing and transferring images and calculating wound dimensions, thereby minimizing interobserver and intraobserver variation. Hence, health care providers should integrate the Internet, mobile telephones, digital photography, and CAD software systems to deliver the best quality of telemedical wound care. Correspondence: Dr Kanthraj, Department of Skin and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreshwara Medical College Hospital, Mysore 570004, Karnataka, India (kanthacad@yahoo.com). Financial Disclosure: None. References 1. Braun RPVecchietti JLThomas L et al. Telemedical wound care using a new generation of mobile telephones: feasibility study Arch Dermatol 2005;141254- 258PubMedGoogle Scholar 2. Kanthraj GRSrinivas CRShenoi SDSuresh BRavikumar BCDeshmukh RP Wound measurement by computer aided design (CAD): a practical approach for software utility Int J Dermatol 1998;37(9)714- 715PubMedGoogle Scholar 3. Kanthraj GR Computers or simple wound measurements: when Greek meets Greek then comes the tug of war! Arch Dermatol 1999;135992- 993PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 4. Kantor JMargolis DJ In reply to computers or simple wound measurements: when Greek meets Greek then comes the tug-of-war! Arch Dermatol 1999;135993- 994Google Scholar 5. Kanthraj GR Computer aided design (CAD) mapping for SCORAD index in atopic dermatitis: accessible and economical Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2005;16182- 183PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

Journal

Archives of DermatologyAmerican Medical Association

Published: Nov 1, 2005

Keywords: computer-aided design,internet,photography,software,cell phones

References