4 Technologies You Can Use to Track Body Deformities

 Chris Myers
  Aug 08, 2018

Body deformities can take place for a number of reasons. Most often, you’ll hear about a congenital disability, in which a genetic anomaly causes physical deformities during development. In other situations, deformities can occur as a result of health issues, such as drastic vitamin deficiencies. Accidents also result in physical deformities.

Body Deformities

Image via Pixabay

Advancements in technology have made it easier to detect, track, and treat body deformities, assisting those in need and improving their quality of life. Here are four technologies you can use to track body deformities.

Bone Densitometry (DEXA) Scanners

Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry scans are a type of x-ray that takes a deeper dive into a patient’s bone structure, focusing not only on fractures but also evaluating bone density. The DEXA scan is favored in diagnostics because of the minimally-invasive approach that can be used on all body types and age groups, with few exceptions.

One of the main reasons for using a DEXA scan is for diagnosing and tracking osteoporosis in perimenopausal women. As osteoporosis has a direct impact on one’s bone density, it can cause deformities if the issue goes untreated over time. Those with osteoporosis often end up with extremely stooped posture due to the weakened spinal column. A DEXA can also track the progress of treatment and assess potential improvements in bone density for those at risk of, or be experiencing, the effects of osteoporosis.

Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is a scientific process in which measurements are taken using a series of photographs from different angles. This technology has a wide array of applications and is commonly used by police agencies to recreate crime and accident scenes for review long after the area is cleaned up. It’s also frequently used in filmmaking to create immersive cinematic experiences that are realistic and stunning to behold. In addition to these uses, among others, photogrammetry has biological applications for creating accurate renditions of a human (or animal) physical form.

One of the main medical functions of photogrammetry is assessing progress in scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, which can vary in severity, having a minimal overall impact on a patient’s quality of life or drastic implications. Specialists have used the 3D Viewer in PhotoModeler (read more) to track the curvature of the spine with a noninvasive procedure that leaves the patient untouched.

Photovoice

Photovoice takes a social approach to correct body deformities, particularly when tracking the treatment progress of clubfoot in developing countries. Unlike the previously mentioned photogrammetry, these simple photos are taken and shared in an online community setting. Photovoice encouraged participants in Peru to take photos of their children with clubfoot, as they used the Ponsetti method for correction. The participants were asked to share their daily experiences, taking photos from all angles, to capture and record progress.

What makes this methodology stand apart from others is accessibility. In many developing countries, people born with curable physical deformities go uncured because of a lack of access to the healthcare they need. For scientists to get an accurate depiction and do research based on a suitable sample size, they need to be able to get into these areas, which is both costly and logistically challenging. Photovoice is a simple method by which technology has made body deformity tracking accessible around the world.

Consortium.AI

Consoritum.AI is the brainchild of two medical companies called Insilico Medicine and A2A Pharmaceuticals. Their mission is to change the impacts of muscular dystrophy, a debilitating defect that causes both mental and physical deformities, to create new molecules that will treat the defects and aid in tracking recovery.

The AI used during their development process has the potential to impact other areas as well. Consortium.AI aims to use their machine learning capabilities to help create cures for other illnesses or work with drug companies to develop life-changing treatments that will change the face of the medical world, through advancements in diagnostics, progression, and quality of life.

Consortium.AI

Image via Unsplash

Will Technology Replace Humans in Body Deformity Treatment?

When it comes to treating body deformities, technology is a tool to be implemented, and will never replace the profound impact of the human touch. While we have photogrammetry to assess scoliosis treatment progression, the world will always need an expert to capture and analyze the data.

As more medical innovations come to light, it’s important to remember that we are treating human conditions, and thus, humans will always have a place in medicine.

4 Technologies You Can Use to Track Body Deformities

Chris Myers

Chris Mathew is a journalist and writer, covering video games, entertainment, latest technology, science and media topics through visual representation. In fact, he loves to write about all trending topics, illustrating patterns and trends in a quick, clear and meaningful way.

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