Better diagnosis for patients with arthritis

Researchers at Birmingham have discovered a new way to detect rheumatoid arthritis using infrared light, which could help doctors to better diagnose and treat the condition.

The patient puts their hand into an infrared scanner, which creates a 3D model, measuring the size and contours. The technique combines 3D digital imaging with infrared spectroscopy to create an image of blood content inside the patient’s hand. The scanner can calculate warning signs such as lower levels of blood oxygen which may indicate inflammation caused by arthritis.

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The scanner has been developed by a team from University of Birmingham’s School of Computer Science in partnership with Health Technologies Institute and rheumatologists the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre.

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