Wound assessment, imaging and monitoring systems in diabetic foot ulcers: A systematic review


Patients with diabetes mellitus have a lifetime risk of 15% to 25% of developing diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). DFU is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Wound imaging systems are useful adjuncts in monitoring of wound progress. Our study aims to review existing literature on the available wound assessment and monitoring systems for DFU. This is a systematic review of articles from PubMed and Embase (1974 – March 2020). All studies related to wound assessment or monitoring systems in DFUs were included. Articles on other types of wounds, review articles, and non-English texts were excluded. Outcomes include clinical use, wound measurement statistics, hospital system integration, and other advantages and challenges. The search identified 531 articles. Seventeen full-text studies were eligible for the final analysis. Five modalities were identified: (a) computer applications or hand-held devices (n = 5), (b) mobile applications (n = 2), (c) optical imaging (n = 2), (d) spectroscopy or hyperspectral imaging (n = 4), and (e) artificial intelligence (n = 4). Most studies (n = 16) reported on wound assessment or monitoring. Only one study reported on data capturing. Two studies on the use of computer applications reported low inter-observer variability in wound measurement (inter-rater reliability >0.99, and inter-observer variability 15.9% respectively). Hand-held commercial devices demonstrated high accuracy (relative error of 2.1%-6.8%). Use of spectroscopy or hyperspectral imaging in prediction of wound healing has a sensitivity and specificity of 80% to 90% and 74%to 86%, respectively. Majority of the commercially available wound assessment systems have not been reviewed in the literature on measurement accuracy. In conclusion, most imaging systems are superior to traditional wound assessment. Wound imaging systems should be used as adjuncts in DFU monitoring.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; diabetic foot; mobile applications; wound healing; wounds and injuries.

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PROGETTO ITALIANO IN WOUND CARE 🇮🇹. SITO UFFICIALE DI LESIONI TOUR ®️. DAL 2017 Premio Eccellenze Italiane Assotutela 2020-2021.

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