A COR-NTD Success Story: Testing the LymphaTech 3D Scanner for Use in LF Lymphedema

One of the really great things about COR-NTD is the opportunity it provides to make and strengthen collaborative connections.  

At the time of COR-NTD last year (2016), we were involved in planning an upcoming clinical trial that involves longitudinal monitoring of limb lymphedema.  When we saw LymphaTech present their Xbox-inspired 3D scanner at the Innovation Lab, we thought it would be a great tool for longitudinal lymphedema monitoring. Channa Yahathugoda, Rao Ramakrishna, and I asked Mike Weiler and Nate Frank from LymphaTech whether they’d be interested in piloting this for LF in a small study in Channa’s clinic in Sri Lanka.  Although they had not yet developed the software for measuring legs (they’d previously focused on breast cancer-related arm lymphedema), LymphaTech accepted the challenge.  By March they’d worked out the software issues, we’d gotten a protocol approved and through Ethics/IRB in Sri Lanka and at Washington University in St. Louis.  

We conducted the study at the end of March, 2017 and found that the scanner worked very well for measuring leg volume and circumferences, and it took only about 2 minutes per patient.  The data were so encouraging that the LEDoxy study investigators opted to add the scanner measures as an endpoint in that study.  More importantly, this adds to the lymphedema management toolbox a great way to longitudinally track lymphedema progression (or regression) conveniently, reliably, and accurately. 

Although a lot of factors came together to make this study possible, COR-NTD was key in bringing together the innovators (LymphaTech), researchers, and clinicians.  Thanks to Pat Lammie for inviting LymphaTech and other innovators to the meeting.  Please keep it up! 

Links to our study and a couple news feeds about it: 

http://www.ajtmh.org/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.17-0504

https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/portable-3-d-scanner-assesses-patients-elephantiasis/

http://www.scidev.net/asia-pacific/disease/news/new-portable-device-to-gauge-severity-of-elephantiasis.html

 

Video: An iPad fitted with an infrared camera, called the LymphaTech volume scanner, measures leg circumference to create a three-dimensional model of the legs. The scanner is being used in a clinical trial of an antibiotic for reducing swelling associated with elephantiasis. (Mike Weiler/LymphaTech)