HHS Sponsors Developement of Advanced Burn Imaging Device for First Responders

HHS Sponsors Development of Advanced Burn Imaging Device for First Responders

New advanced technology informs a healthcare provider whether surgical procedures are necessary or if wounds will heal with other non-surgical treatment.

An advanced technology burn imaging device will continue its development under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). 

With the understanding that fast, accurate information about burn severity is critical to provide appropriate care for patients, SpectralMD Inc., of Dallas, Texas will advance the development of its next-generation burn imaging device, DeepView, in an attempt to allow first responders to quickly and accurately triage burn patients. This enhanced triage ability will be particularly important in any type of mass casualty incident involving burns, including those resulting from a nuclear detonation. 

The project is part of a long-standing effort by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of ASPR, to develop new medical products that help to save lives in a radiological nuclear emergency.

“We want to give medical providers as many modern tools as we can to help them save lives in disasters,” said BARDA Director Rick Bright, Ph.D. “An emergency situation with many burn casualties could overwhelm surgical facilities and specialized burn care providers. They need fast, accurate assessments of burn injuries to provide effective medical treatment and to guide appropriate use of limited burn care resources immediately.”

BARDA concluded that current burn imaging technology is cumbersome and not user-friendly as well as requires experienced surgeons to be available to use it. SpectralMD is working to create a device that takes advantage of artificial intelligence algorithms to train the devices software to analyze the wounds at a pixel level to determine tissue damage severity, burn depth and other physiological information well beyond human capability. 

Under the new 2-year, $27.3 million agreement with BARDA, SpectralMD will conduct an expanded feasibility clinical trial across five burn centers to further develop a new, easily portable hardware platform and the machine learning algorithm for faster processing and optimal performance.

BARDA is seeking additional proposals for products that could be used to treat illnesses and injuries caused by disasters. Visit www.medicalcountermeasures.gov or Federal Business Opportunities to learn more about partnering with BARDA.

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