Hyperspectral imaging company, HinaLea Imaging, is using their technology to study the skin manifestations of critical COVID-19 patients to help identify the prognostic value of these skin symptoms.
In March 2020, Italian dermatologists were beginning to discover skin manifestations in patients testing positive for COVID-19, including the now well-known ‘COVID toes’ or pernio, which appears as blue or purple lesions on patients’ toes. Other skin symptoms that have been observed include livedo reticularis, rashes, hives and even water blisters.1
In an early report by Dermatology Times, physicians were also detecting these skin manifestations in patients that had tested negative for COVID-19 early on or displayed no typical symptoms associated with the virus, such as cough, fever and shortness of breath.
Hyperspectral imaging technology company, HinaLea Imaging, announces they have entered into a research program aimed at studying these skin symptoms and their prognostic value in relation to COVID-19.
In June 2020, the company began utilizing their hyperspectral imaging technology to research COVID-19 related skin findings such as ‘COVID toes’ and vasculitis in two hospitals in Maryland and New York. HinaLea Imaging plans on evaluating a total 200 patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.2
“Hyperspectral imaging is a wonderful tool for analyzing COVID-19 rashes. It combines the power of spectroscopy with digital imaging to identify subtle wavelength differences that are not observable by the human eye,” says Raja Srinivasan, M.D., principal investigator and clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The high spectral and spatial resolution achievable with the HinaLea imager will hopefully provide a calibrated and reproducible method for assessing rashes across a wide range of skin pigmentation. The identification of spectral signatures that correlate with different pathologic mechanisms would further demonstrate the value of hyperspectral imaging as a tool for virtual biopsy, providing key information for medical decision-making without the invasive and time-consuming nature of traditional tissue biopsy.”
With pernio being an ischemic phenomenon, typical evaluation requires invasive procedures like biopsies; however, the company is hoping to make investigating these skin manifestations easier by studying these symptoms with their hyperspectral imaging technology.
“Imager portability and ease of use is extremely important for this program because the data will be collected in a busy, time- and space-constrained clinical environment,” says Alex Fong, vice president of engineering at HinaLea. “In a truly transformative development, HinaLea has developed the only hand-held hyperspectral imager in the world that is capable of contact measurement. For the user, it is as easy as point-and-click.”
More information about HinaLea Imaging and their work investigating COVID-19 can be found here.
1. COVID Toe and Other COVID-19 Skin Conditions. https://weillcornell.org/news/covid-toe-and-other-covid-19-skin-conditions. Published July 9, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2020.
2. HinaLea Imaging to Investigate Prognostic Value of "COVID-19 Rash" Using Advanced Hyperspectral Imaging. https://hinaleaimaging.com/hinalea-imaging-to-investigate-prognostic-value-of-covid-19-rash-using-advanced-hyperspectral-imaging/. Published June 4, 2020. Accessed August 5, 2020.