The human eye is not capable to see bacteria. This is particularly problematic for physicians who are checking chronic wounds for infection. However, a new device has recently been created that can show the bacteria present in real time and the physician can determine the treatment accordingly. The device is called MolecuLight i:X.
The physician can start utilizing the i:X to take a close-up photo of the wound under normal light. It doesn’t really show where the bacteria are prevailing but serves as a reference for the wound’s healing progress. Then the lights are turned off and the device is used to take another shot of the wound, this time illuminating it only with harmless violet light. This shows the healthy skin as fluoresce green on the i:X’s screen and the bacteria as fluoresce red. The device also shows the precise outlines of the wound and can calculate its area as with the reference photo, this information can be used to track healing progress over time.
No contrasting agents are necessary and no physical contact with the wound is needed as well. By knowing not only if but where the bacterias are present can help doctors focus on the treatment where it is needed, plus they know which part of the wound they need to swab for analysis.
A clinical trial that took place in Toronto, use of the device reportedly resulted in wounds healing nine times faster than with the standard procedure of care. The MolecuLight i:X is currently approved to be used in Canada and the European Union but not in the USA.