Friday, July 15, 2011
A thermal imaging camera that the Procter & Gamble Co. used in development of a recent Pampers diaper innovation will soon be used by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to help evaluate hemangiomas – the most common tumors of infancy – and their response to treatment.
Hemangiomas are birth irregularities in which small blood vessels grow into a mass in localized tissue.
Steve Varga, senior engineer for Imaging Research & Development at P&G, recognized that the thermal imaging camera could have a life beyond its use for diaper research. When the technology was no longer needed by the Pampers brand, he began looking for opportunities to share the camera technology. Cincinnati Children’s desire to use the camera for diagnostic and treatment purposes seemed the best fit.
“The Pampers brand is committed to the happy, healthy development of babies around the world,” says Varga. “This donation reflects that commitment. Pampers is proud to help continue the innovation cycle by sharing technology with medical professionals who can have significant impact on baby and child health.”
While the thermal imaging camera has many potential applications, including wound healing and the early detection and prevention of pressure ulcers, Cincinnati Children’s will use it initially in its Hemangioma and Vascular Malformation Program.
“This camera will be invaluable in looking at temperature changes in hemangiomas and vascular malformations,” says Marty Visscher, PhD, director of the Cincinnati Children’s Skin Sciences Program. “Temperature changes are related to whether hemangiomas are in their growth phase or resolution phase. Thermal imaging will tell us more about hemangiomas than we can tell visually, allowing us to assess the disease progression and response to treatment. Longer term, this will help us design the best treatment plan possible.”
The Skin Sciences Program brings together multidisciplinary scientists with expertise in human skin to conduct research focused on infant skin development, quantitative evaluation of skin condition, wound healing and skin restoration.
Families bring their children to the Hemangioma and Vascular Malformation Program from all over the country. The program is one of only three facilities in the United States that is considered a national referral center for children and young adults with complex hemangiomas, other rare vascular tumors and vascular malformations. Cincinnati Children’s currently follows more than 2,000 patients.
The Hemangioma and Vascular Malformation Program is a partnership between the Cincinnati Children’s division of Oncology and department of Surgery. The multidisciplinary team specializes in establishing an accurate diagnosis, which can be challenging due to the complex nature of these conditions.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report's 2011 Best Children's Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for gastroenterology and in the top 10 for all pediatric specialties - a distinction shared by only two other pediatric hospitals in the United States. Cincinnati Children's is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org