A new imaging tool could help measure arthritis severity

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A new imaging technology could be highly beneficial to arthritis specialists trying to more precisely determine joint inflammation in patients, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Generally physicians use tried and true methods like sight and touch to assess joints, however a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University’s Medical Robotics Institute and the University of Pittsburgh has led to the development of cameras that that enable rheumatologists to take images of painful joints that measure swelling and the temperature of joints, according to Dr. Raphael Hirsch, chief of pediatric rheumatology at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, the Gazette reports.
One of the cameras generates 3-D images to determine joint volume, while the other is a thermal camera. With the information combined physicians can determine the status of the disease in the joint, Hirsch said. This imaging technique could provide for a more consistent method to track changes in joint condition, and could eventually become a part of a routine doctor appointment, he added, the Gazette reports.