Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano is playing a key role in developing a first-of-its-kind wound imaging device equipped with artificial intelligence to noninvasively evaluate wounds and chronically ischemic limbs. The WISCR (Wound Imaging System to Collect Clinical References) study is collecting wound images and data to further develop the DeepView Wound Imaging System device.
“Through a complex use of light waves, the device helps determine what tissue is viable and what tissue has a low chance of healing,” said Dennis R. Gable, MD, chief of vascular and endovascular surgery at Baylor Scott & White Heart – Plano, who is principal investigator for the study. “This is an innovative technology in the early stages of development, and it has the potential to help offer physicians guidance for the treatment of wounds.”
Baylor Scott & White Heart – Plano is one of only two centers providing data for the study, sponsored in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. Another center is collecting images and data using the device with patients who have burns.
Currently, when a physician evaluates a patient with a wound, it can take a few weeks of follow-up to determine how the wound is healing and if additional treatment is needed. Due to this, additional costs may be incurred for subsequent wound care or surgical debridement.
“If you had a device that would help you make a decision on day one and avoid three weeks of waiting, it would be advantageous for physician and patient, as well as decrease cost,” Dr. Gable said. “It would be a significant advantage that could save millions of dollars over the course of a year.”
As part of the study, the images and data collected will be used to help the device’s artificial intelligence constantly learn and improve its own accuracy. As the device sees more and more wound images, it learns from any missed evaluations to potentially decrease its own error rate.
“As the machine goes through and looks at wound after wound, it is designed to have a continual basis of learning,” Dr. Gable said.
Images and data from any patient who presents with a wound may be used in the study. The device only takes 15 minutes to evaluate the wound and requires no contact between the patient and the imaging machine.
“Right now, we’re not using the data to make clinical decisions or change the treatment of study participants,” Dr. Gable said. “However, through the study’s access to patients and data, we can improve a device that could be something used on a routine basis in the future.”