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Over 37 million Americans have diabetes, with 1.4 million newly diagnosed each year. In addition, the illness is growing quickly worldwide and has many associated complications, including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, neuropathy, kidney damage, and diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Patients with DFUs are at high risk for amputations that can result in permanent loss of mobility and earning power – yet 75% of DFUs are preventable! Our VP of Clinical Affairs writes about how Spectral AI’s developing AI technology for wound healing can help.

With millions of Americans already diagnosed with diabetes, and millions more to come in the U.S. and (increasingly) around the world, there is still no diagnostic tool that objectively assesses a patient’s status and predicts the future course of their diabetic foot ulcers. Instead, healthcare professionals continue to rely on subjective assessments – better known as guesswork — to determine if diabetic foot ulcers will worsen or respond to treatment. Because the first Diabetic Foot Ulcer amputation often leads to a second. Alarmingly, 85% of amputations are preceded by a DFU. The average life expectancy after a DFU is 5 years. DFU should be viewed as a life-threatening condition deserving of specialized care.

The costs of uncertainty in diabetic foot ulcer assessment and treatment

The current state of care has significant costs – in patient suffering, healthcare costs, and worker productivity. Patients suffer needlessly because currently DFU care isn’t generally provided by specialists in wound healing. In addition, most community hospitals or even larger centers do not have a standardized DFU workup protocol, defined criteria for specialist referral, or specialized multidisciplinary teams. This can result in unnecessary admissions, delay of care, prolonged hospitalization, and inappropriate management of diabetic foot ulcer disease. Ensuring that patients receive the correct care in a timely manner is imperative to patients outcomes. A thorough understanding of the causes, management and treatment of diabetic foot ulceration is essential to reducing lower-extremity amputation risk. Lastly preventing the delay in expert DFU care can get patients back in motion to their lives and reduce the lost patient productivity totaling some $90 billion a year.

The diagnostic future for diabetic foot ulcers is now

Despite these hurdles, with proper assessment and treatment 75% of DFUs are treatable and can be prevented. Spectral AI is developing a wound assessment tool enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) that promises to be the long-awaited game-changer for managing DFUs. Our DeepView® technology is a diagnostic platform that combines AI algorithms with medical imaging for wound healing predictions.

DeepView® proprietary imaging system can extract millions of multispectral data points from each raw wound image. DeepView® AI utilizes the multispectral images to determine if a DFU will close by 50 percent in four weeks  with an 86 percent accuracy DeepView® provides accurate, objective predictions of wound healing at the time of the patient’s evaluation of their DFU. DeepView can help clinicians determine if expert wound care should be incorporated into the patient’s care plan without delay.

A wound assessment tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) will be the long-awaited game-changer for managing DFUs.

Spectral AI: A new future for diabetic foot ulcer evaluation

By enabling clinicians to immediately and objectively assess wounds, our DeepView® technology holds the promise of  reducing the suffering and uncertainty DFU patients worldwide typically endure. To learn more about Spectral AI and DeepView®, please contact Spectral AI. We’re eager to demonstrate the possibilities.

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Mary Regan, Ph.D., serves as VP Clinical Affairs at Spectral AI, where she oversees all clinical trials and supports the commercial business operations. Dr. Regan brings over 30 years of clinical experience in wound technology assessment, development, research, and innovation with major industry leaders. Widely renowned in national and international forums as an industry thought leader in wound care, Dr. Regan’s career has been dedicated to improving prevention and management of chronic wounds and clinical research to improve outcomes for all patients with wounds. Dr. Regan has held board positions in the American Association of Wound Care Specialists and National Wound Healing Society. Dr. Regan received her M.S./B.S. degrees in Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research, and Clinical Nursing from SUNY Upstate Medical University and her Ph.D. in Nursing Science from the University of Miami.