Wound is defined as a disruption in the continuous structure of the skin, which may at times extend to internal layers lying deep below the skin. Traditionally wound was defined as any bleeding of extremities or vital organs visible from the outside, modern science has nowadays included the occurrence of internal wounds within the definition of wound. The nature of a wound may vary from simple abrasion, to complex tissue damage.
Wound care is therefore often dependent upon the nature of the wound and its location. In some cases wound area needs to be understood in order to provide adequate care to the region. This provides a basis for the application of wound dressing in terms of material required, etc and at the same time measure the progression of the wound healing process. Besides being a mandatory practice to study the progress of wound healing, wound measurement and regular tracking of wound size is important in terms of insurance coverage, litigation and reimbursement.
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Wound measurement devices were initially surgical scales and rulers. These are now described as simple devices and are considered as crude or inaccurate, although they are still in use in many countries worldwide. Simple devices use the concept of rectangular or quadrilateral area (l*b*0.785) calculation measured with the help of conventional rulers or scales. Another way to measure wound is by using a transparency sheet to outline the area which can be later measured in an area grid map. Complex devices are expensive and are more accurate in comparison to simple devices.
Complex devices include optical instruments like stereophotogrammeter (SPG) or structured lighting to obtain wound images which can be later on rendered by a computer to make a 3D image for further study and monitoring of the wound care. Wound measurement devices are yet in the developing stages with new innovations arising every year. However the common conclusion is that novel complex technologies are better in monitoring progress and examining the wound coverage area.
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Wound care has seen a great quantum of development in the present ages with the assistance from the wound measurement devices. Hand held computers and smart phones are now being integrated using both simple and complex techniques to get a complete solution. Laser based wound terrain identification technology is also under development that shall monitor real time 3D image of the wound and its healing rate.
The global market for the year 2012 saw the North American region lead the world with little less than half of the world’s wound measurement procedures being conducted in the U.S alone, closely followed by the European and Asia-Pacific region consecutively. However the growth rate of the Asian market was observed to be higher than their North American and European region counterparts, with sales expected to grow larger than the North American region by 2020. This could be dedicated to the growing geriatric population of China, Japan and India that have the largest population of skin ulcer patients in the world. The rest of the world saw a moderate growth, which occupy only a fraction of the global revenue. However the Middle Eastern region has the highest potential for growth as the world largest fraction of diabetic population includes countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.
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Some of the key players in the market include: Smith & Nephew PLC, Derma Sciences Ltd, Medline Industries Inc.