Confocal imagers may replace routine skin biopsies

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Lucid's VivaNet telemedicine server and its VivaScope confocal imagers may allow dermatologists to share, review and diagnose noninvasive digital images of skin cells through the internet.

The technology relies on microscopes to digitally image a patient's skin, eliminating the need for surgical biopsies, according to the Rochester, N.Y-based Lucid. The procedure produces two images of the patient's skin: dermatoscopic-quality color macroscopic pictures and microscopic, cellular resolution images.

The images may then be used to form a clinical judgment for a variety of skin conditions, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, actinic keratoses and contact dermatitis, the company said.

The purpose of the technology is to allow practitioners to rapidly receive a pathologic interpretation of confocal images from a VivaScope session, potentially assisting the practitioner in arriving at a clinical judgment while the patient is still in the doctor's office, according to Jay Eastman, CEO of Lucid.