Scientists have developed a new finger scanner designed to help diagnose arthritis. The prototype will be presented at the MEDICA conference in Dusseldorf, Germany later this month.
According to researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering, the device uses two methods. It first pulses laser light of varying wavelengths at the finger, Then it records the returning sound waves generated from tissue expansion, pointing to sites of inflammation. This technique is known as optoacoustic imaging.
‘The device uses two methods: hyperspectral imaging and optoacoustic imaging. The combined imaging modalities provide an bodily structure of the finger overlaid with any suspected sites of inflammation.’
The second one is hyperspectral imaging, which shines light at full spectrum at the finger. Then it detects which wavelengths are absorbed, correlating that to known absorption spectra of inflammation.
Optoacoustic imaging is a cousin of ultrasound and the system naturally generates a 3D ultrasound scan of the finger. The combined imaging modalities provide an bodily structure of the finger overlaid with any suspected sites of inflammation.
Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age.