Peripheral edema (PE) is characterized by an abnormal infiltration and excess accumulation of fluid in connective tissue of one or more of the body’s extremities (feet, hands, ankles, wrists, etc.). PE can serve as a diagnostic marker for a variety of diseases such as congestive heart failure, liver disease and kidney disease. Current clinical methods of diagnosing edema revolve around the use of the “pitting” method, which is accomplished by the clinician pressing into the patient’s skin and subjectively evaluating the degree of pitting.
Dr. Stephanie George and Dr. Jason Yao, Department of Engineering, and their co-investigator from the Department of Nursing, Dr. Sonya Hardin have developed a peripheral edema measuring device that can be used in the clinic and at home. The handheld device works by sending a pulse of compressed air against the skin. Cameras located on the device, capture both the rate and area of indentation. Using these two measurements a final score related to the severity of edema is produced.
George SM, Langley BD, Weaver EM, Hardin SR and Jianchu Yao. Design of peripheral edema measurement device for home use. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 Aug;2016:4387-4390. PMID: 28269250