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Film technology applied to wounds

Published: 6:42PM Thursday August 23, 2007 Source: One News

The technology that brought Gollum to life in the Lord of the Rings movies is now being used to treat injuries.

Until recently, wound care nurses had to rely on their eyes and their memory to monitor progress, commonly injecting probes to test the depth of a wound. But now it is all hands off.

The Silhouette Mobile uses lasers to record not only a wound's width, but its depth. The measurements are stored on the camera's computer and then compared to previous recordings, mapping the wounds exact progress.

"It's so accurate you can actually measure every week that there is improvement," says Nurse Maude wound care nurse Kathy Hammond.

The technology was used by Weta Workshop to digitise and animate the Gollum. ARANZ Medical then developed the $6,000 hand-held camera for medical use.

ARANZ spokesperson Bruce Davey, says the camera not only helps nurses but is good for patients' recovery.

"The fact that they can see immediately how their wound is progressing, see a photograph of their wound and see the trends and the wound healing is very motivating," he says.

It also means nurses do not have to try other ointments or unnecessarily prescribe antibiotics - saving not only money, but valuable nursing time.