A portable 3D imaging camera has been developed for use in the field by British troops in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
The device developed by Eykona, a medical technology firm based in Oxford, is also being used closer to home at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where military casualties are treated.
The Eykona camera is designed to build a three dimensional image of a wound and utilises specially-designed software to measure the size and depth of the trauma with extreme accuracy.
Through the 3D models created using the Eykona camera, medics will now be able to use definitive evidence to assess fresh wounds and also to understand if and how the wound is healing, allowing them to adjust the treatment plan accordingly and with far more efficiency than ever before.
The system was conceived by Professor Ron Daniel and Dr James Paterson to replace antiquated methods currently relied on in wound care.
Eykona makes pivotal measurements with far more speed, consistency and accuracy than currently possible in hospitals.
“I have been using the Eykona system to gain more accurate measurements of wound healing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” said Lieutenant Colonel Steve Jeffery, a consultant plastic surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and who recently returned from a three month tour in Afghanistan.
“It is often difficult to judge the size of a wound and gain an understanding of if it is healing over time.
“The Eykona System allows multiple objective measurements of these wounds to be carried out to track the healing progress.
“It was recently evaluated at the British Military Field Hospital in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
“The Eykona System proved useful in Bastion to show medical team members who were not present in the operating theatre what casualties wounds looked like before we applied dressings.”
The Eykona camera took eight years of research and development to perfect and creates a detailed 3D model of any wound or scar from which accurate measurements of distance, area, colour, width or volume can be made.
Using the Eykona rendering software the 3D model can be assessed from all angles and even shared with other doctors and clinicians through server or cloud-based hosting.
The camera uses small sterile ‘targets’ to set the focus and position of the camera.
This eliminates inconsistency between images and can be used by any health care professional without the need for extensive or costly training.
The Eykona unit replaces current would analysis techniques including naked eye assessment, tracing paper and pencil, dipstick depth measurement and relatively invasive resin casts.
Through 3D models, clinicians will now be able to use definitive evidence to understand if and how the wound is healing, allowing them to adjust the treatment plan efficiently.
Until now, the colour and texture of wounds has been measured with the naked eye and recorded with hand written notes.
The Eykona system changes this by successfully reproducing colour accurately and consistently, then allowing colour change to be recorded over time giving valuable information on the status of the tissues in the wound bed.
The cost of an Eykona is under £5000 including the software and carry case and there is very little ongoing maintenance cost.
“Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are designed to inflict complex wounds on victims,” said Dr James Paterson, one of the inventors of the Eykona 3D imaging device.
“It is therefore of the utmost importance for medical personnel to be able to understand the exact nature of these wounds so as to properly determine the sort of therapy required to treat them.
“Furthermore, apart from wounds received directly from IEDs, recovering military personnel may also develop ulcerations from paralysis or prosthetic limb use, all of which require long term wound care and Eykona’s technology can assist with the evaluation of these wounds.”