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A research institute at a large German university active in the development of innovative medical devices developed a patented, innovative optical system for dermatological diagnostics.
So far, the standard device for the examination of skin diseases in everyday clinical practice is the so-called dermatoscope. This device is a reflected-light microscope which is placed on the corresponding skin area and works in contact mode. This for example often suppresses blood circulation. Modern devices often also have the possibility to store the enlarged images digitally. Due to the fact that these devices work in contact mode, the examination results are often falsified because some examined skin areas are deformed. Additionally, the colour reproduction often does not correspond to the natural conditions and is difficult to reproduce. Contactless dermatoscopes are much more flexible and promise realistic, unadulterated results. To date, contactless dermatoscopes only realize working distances of about 6 cm to the patient and use e.g. spacers which are in contact with the patients.
The core of the innovative device is a camera system for the detailed imaging of a patient's skin area and also consists of a contactless dermatoscope. The system is able to produce stereoscopic overview images as well as close-up images with a high resolution and allows for a higher working distance to the patient. In addition, the distance to the specimen can be measured simultaneously which enables the determination of absolute area sizes. Despite the necessary focus, an image scale can also be generated. Furthermore, the camera is able to recognize the exact location where the image was taken on the patient's body.
Potential fields of application:
- Dermatological examinations
- Objective documentation of the treatment course of skin diseases
- Skin cancer prevention
The university is now looking for partners to sign a licensing agreement with a suitable company from the medical device sector. Additionally, the institute is also interested in a commercial agreement with technical assistance. In this context, the institute is keen to find a suitable company, interested in introducing the innovations to the market. This also includes a possible technical optimisation of the presented innovations, which could be needed for the market entry. Therefore, the sought partner should be experienced and capable of turning innovations into market-ready products.Advantages & innovations The main innovation and novelty of the patented device is the combination of the camera system and the contactless dermatoscope. The device enables significant improvement of contactless dermoscopy as well as an improvement of image acquisition, documentation and examination/diagnosis of skin diseases. The system also improves the acquisition and measurement of real size image data and prevents incorrect allocation between images and body parts, by the integrated intuitive data archiving. Furthermore, the high image quality supports the image standard for telemedical applications. Additionally, the defined image quality does not depend on ambient light, which allows the exact measurement of colors within the taken image.
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