Imaging technology continues to evolve.
A hundred years ago, X-rays offered the most dramatic step change in diagnostics and treatment. Since then, new technologies have taken its place, each one further enhancing a physician's ability to visualize disease and illuminating a clear pathway to improved health.
Now Point of Care Thermography has advanced and is poised to continue the advancement of understanding the human body by viewing it through a novel point of view
Thermography in practice
It is estimated that 5% of Americans have some etiology associated with Venous Insufficiency. Instances involving the prevalence of varicosities vary from 7% to 60% within the adult demographic, with most research demonstrating clinical varicose reflux in about 40% of the population.
Since thermography has advanced and miniaturized over the last 5 years, we have been developing hardware and software tools to create a medical device that will help in a broad range of disease states. The leading edge of the "spear of thermographic innovation" may be in detecting superficial venous insufficiency. Our hypothesis is that human core blood is usually maintained in the deep system approximately 2 degrees warmer than the superficial anatomy such as the skin. Thus, when there is reflux of core blood backward to the superficial veins, it likely appears slightly warmer than the surrounding tissue or that of non-refluxing veins. These patterns have been observed in multiple independent vascular labs from around the world and have become the subject of much research and development.
Thermpix™ system utilizes thermal imaging to detect distinct temperature patterns near the surface of the skin and prominently and distinctly displays these patterns for viewing by the clinician and patient. These relative temperature variations may be indicative of a variety of underlying conditions. In addition to the display, our handheld, Wi-Fi enabled, HIPAA compliant device and back-end software provide an efficient mechanism of capturing and categorizing all thermographic data.
(This device is currently for Investigational Research Use Only. FDA approval is anticipated in 2022)
Thermography at work
While thermographic instruments measure absolute temperature, the beauty of clinical thermography is the visualization of temperature differences and their implication. Our thermography solution takes advantage of a phenomenon unique to venous insufficiency.
As a result of valve failure within a vein, blood is refluxed or back flows. This reflux is most evident while standing and is a different temperature than the surrounding area.
The refluxed blood has a distinctive "heat signature" that not only indicates diseased veins, but literally illustrates a roadmap for the physician to pinpoint the source of the venous disease.
Normal veins maintain a temperature equivalent to surrounding tissue and the skin, making them invisible to our device.