Preliminary diagnosis of closely resembling skin conditions can be highly subjective for dermatologists. In ambiguous cases, it often leads to performing invasive procedures like biopsies. Different skin conditions, however, have varying concentrations of fluorophores (like collagen, NADH) and chromophores (like melanin, hemoglobin) which can alter their fluorescence spectra. We demonstrate a handheld, portable, smartphone-based spectrometer that leverages these alterations in skin autofluorescence spectra for rapid screening of skin conditions. This methodology involves excitation of affected skin areas with ultraviolet (UV-A) 385 nm light, capturing the generated fluorescence spectra and sending the data wirelessly to a companion mobile application for data storage, analysis and visualization. By collecting the fluorescence spectral signals from healthy and unhealthy skin conditions, we establish that the signals collected using this portable device can be used to develop a classification method to help in differentially diagnosing these conditions. It shows promise as a useful skin screening tool for both dermatologists and primary health care workers. This device can enable quick, non-invasive and a more objective preliminary examination. We envision the device to be especially useful in primary healthcare centers of developing countries where availability of dermatologists is limited.
We demonstrate a highly sensitive mobile phone based spectrometer that has potential to detect cancerous skin lesions in a rapid, non-invasive manner. Earlier reports of low cost spectrometers utilize the camera of the mobile phone to image the field after moving through a diffraction grating. These approaches are inherently limited by the closed nature of mobile phone image sensors and built in optical elements. The system presented uses a novel integrated grating and sensor that is compact, accurate and calibrated. Resolutions of about 10 nm can be achieved. Additionally, UV and visible LED excitation sources are built into the device. Data collection and analysis is simplified using the wireless interfaces and logical control on the smart phone. Furthermore, by utilizing an external sensor, the mobile phone camera can be used in conjunction with spectral measurements. We are exploring ways to use this device to measure endogenous fluorescence of skin in order to distinguish cancerous from non-cancerous lesions with a mobile phone based dermatoscope.
Three dimensional (3D) imaging of the tympanic membrane (TM) has been carried out using a traditional otoscope equipped with a high-definition webcam, a portable projector and a telecentric optical system. The device allows us to project fringe patterns on the TM and the magnified image is processed using phase shifting algorithms to arrive at a 3D description of the TM. Obtaining a 3D image of the TM can aid in the diagnosis of ear infections such as otitis media with effusion, which is essentially fluid build-up in the middle ear. The high resolution of this device makes it possible examine a computer generated 3D profile for abnormalities in the shape of the eardrum. This adds an additional dimension to the image that can be obtained from a traditional otoscope by allowing visualization of the TM from different perspectives. In this paper, we present the design and construction of this device and details of the imaging processing for recovering the 3D profile of the subject under test. The design of the otoscope is similar to that of the traditional device making it ergonomically compatible and easy to adopt in clinical practice.