Spectral images, which contain more color information than is obtainable with a typical camera, reveal characteristics of tissue and other biological samples that can’t be seen by the naked eye. A new smartphone-compatible device that is held like a pencil could make it practical to acquire spectral images of everyday objects and may eventually be used for point-of-care medical diagnosis in remote locations.
Potential applications of the new device include detecting oxygen saturation in a person’s blood, determining the freshness of meat in the grocery store and identifying fruit that is the perfect ripeness. The spectrometer could also make it easier to acquire spectral data in the field for scientific studies.
In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Biomedical Optics Express, the researchers describe how to make the new pencil-like spectrometer and demonstrate its ability to acquire spectral images of bananas, pork and a person’s hand. The new device can detect wavelengths from 400 to 676 nanometers at 186 spots simultaneously.
“The easiest way to use a spectrometer is to wave it over the part of the body or object being examined,” said first author Fuhong Cai, Hainan University, China. “However, many home-made portable spectrometers use a smartphone camera to acquire data and a phone cradle that contains other necessary optics. The cradle can be hard to align correctly and makes it awkward to wave the smartphone over the body.”
Rather than using a smartphone camera to acquire images, the new spectrometer uses a commercially available complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) camera that wirelessly transmits images to a smartphone. This approach allowed the researchers to assemble a cylindrical spectral imaging device weighing just 140 grams (about 5 ounces) that is about the length of smartphone and just over 3 centimeters in diameter.
Using off-the-shelf components
The new pencil-like spectrometer uses all commercially-available components that can be purchased for less than $300 (US). The light source is an array of white LEDs, which connects to an off-the-shelf optical lens tube with the CMOS detector and other optical components necessary for spectral imaging.
One can use the pencil-like spectrometer simply by moving it across the target area by hand. This manual push-broom scanning process builds up a series of spectral images that are sent to a smartphone or computer where software stitches the spectral images together into a 3D spectral image data cube.
The researchers tested the spectrometer by using it to detect banana ripeness and levels of myoglobin — the iron-containing protein that gives meat its color—in a piece of pork. They also used it to scan a person’s hand, obtaining a 16-second video containing 200 spectral images. From the 3D spectral images, the researchers could distinguish five fingers and the palm and saw differences in hemoglobin distribution in various parts of the hand.
The researchers are also interested in using their compact imaging spectrometer for environmental monitoring. “We’re developing distributed spectral cameras that could be used for a wide range of ocean surveys, such as detecting dissolved organic matter in water or pigments that indicate early signs of harmful algal blooms,” said Cai. “Since the imaging spectrometer can connect to any type of camera, we are also examining the idea of attaching it to the camera of an autonomous vehicle to create a remote ocean sensing system.”
Optimizing the system
Although using commercially-available components to make the prototype means that anyone can assemble the device, it also places some limits on resolution and sensitivity. For example, the prototype can only resolve wavelengths that differ by at least 17 nanometers.
“We expect significant spectral resolution improvements in the future by using an improved camera with a long focal length lens,” said Dan Wang, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China, a member of the research team. “These improvements would expand the applications for the device.”
The researchers also plan to develop software to make the spectral imager even more useful. “We want to develop ways to use machine learning algorithms to analyze the massive amounts of data that could be collected with the portable spectra imager,” said Sailing He, Zhejiang University, China, a member of the research team. “We also want to create software for smartphones that uses spectral imaging data to measure meat freshness, for example.”
The Latest on: Remote medical diagnostics
- Conway Medical Center receives more than $1 million for FCC telehealth programon November 24, 2021 at 1:50 pm
Conway Medical Center has received more than $1 million from the Federal Communications Commission to provide telehealth programs for underserved patients through 2023.
- Premier Radiology Services Increases Patient Access to Radiologists With Breakthrough Mobile Diagnostic Reading Stations From Dextro Imaging Solutionson November 24, 2021 at 6:14 am
Premier Radiology Services announced that it is increasing the mobility of its radiologists through the use of Dextro Imaging Solutions’ unique portable diagnostic reading station. These stations ...
- MTMI Partners with Lifetrack Medical Systems to Improve Training Experience and Patient Information Distribution Amongst Caregiverson November 23, 2021 at 6:16 am
The Medical Technology Management Institute (MTMI), the leading provider of medical imaging continuing education, announced today a new partnership with Lifetrack Medical Systems to improve its ...
- Hologic to Host Innovative Product Experiences and Medical Education Sessions On-site and Virtually at RSNA 2021on November 23, 2021 at 5:05 am
Hologic to Host Innovative Product Experiences and Medical Education Sessions On-site and Virtually at RSNA 2021 ...
- San Diego-based startup LifeVoxel raises $5 million seed funding for its AI diagnostic visualization platformon November 22, 2021 at 5:46 am
San Diego-based startup LifeVoxel has raised $5 million in a seed round to bolster data intelligence of its AI diagnostic visualization platform for faster and precise prognosis. The platform, dubbed ...
- LifeVoxel.AI Raises $5 Million Seed Round for its AI Diagnostic Visualization Platformon November 22, 2021 at 5:43 am
LifeVoxel.AI, a San Diego based medical platform for AI and Visualization, today announced it has raised a $5 million seed funding. LifeVo ...
- Point of Care Diagnostics Market Size, Share, Key Players, Growth Analysis and Forecast 2027on November 22, 2021 at 3:26 am
The Global Point of Care Diagnostics Market is estimated to value over USD 59.04 billion by 2027 end and register a CAGR ...
- The Power of Digitalization in the Life Sciences and Diagnostics Sectorson November 19, 2021 at 10:00 am
Medical talks to Frank Buescher and Wael Yared about the increasing digitalization of the life sciences and diagnostics sectors and the possibilities this entails.
- Lantronix All-in-One Connectivity Solution Enables Remote Management of Retail Stores and Pop-up Siteson November 16, 2021 at 10:00 pm
Lantronix Inc. (NASDAQ: LTRX), a global provider of secure turnkey solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), provides an all-in-one connectivity solution that delivers real-time management and ...
- Wearable Medical Devices Market is Expected to Register a Considerable Growth by 2026on November 16, 2021 at 2:15 am
The new report published by Stratview Research titled Wearable Medical Devices Market is Segmented by Device Type Diagnostic Devices Therapeutic Devices Product Activity Monitors Smart Watches Smart ...
via Google News and Bing News