Reliability of a novel electro-medical device for wheal size measurement in allergy skin testing: An exploratory clinical trial

M.P Morales, J. Nuñez, P. Quan, G. Gastaminza, M. Ferrer et al

Allergy 2022; DOI: 10.1111/all.15474

ABSTRACT: Skin prick testing (SPT) is the cornerstone of IgE-mediated allergy diagnosis due to its high sensitivity and specificity. However, a uniform method for wheal measurement does not exist. Ansotegui et al. recommends to measure wheals in millimeters with a ruler, in many centers they are outlined with a pen and transfer by tape to a paper and then measured. Subsequently, the specialist is able to manually measure the maximum (MD) and orthogonal diameter (OD) of the wheal. This procedure is time consuming and makes reproducible measurements difficult. Knowing the wheal’s area could help make a more accurate diagnosis. Over the last 30 years, many attempts have been made to develop a device to measure the size of SPT. Nexkin DSPT® is a novel mechatronic system based on 3D laser technology, that automatically locates allergen’s wheal and measures its size (MD, OD and area in square millimeters). The results suggest a higher reliability of the electro-medical device Nexkin DSPT® for the measurement of wheal area in SPT, compared to the manual procedure. This device has potential for improving the uniformity of the reading phase of the SPT and, therefore, it may favour standardization, upgrade, and innovation of the current SPT technique.

More publications

Prick test: evolution towards automated reading

X. Justo, I. Diaz, J. J. Gil & G. Gastaminza

Allergy 2016; DOI: 10.1111/all.12921

ABSTRACT: The prick test is one of the most common medical methods for diagnosing allergies, and it has been carried out in a similar and laborious manner over many decades. In an attempt to standardize the reading of the test, many researchers have tried to automate the process of measuring the allergic reactions found by developing systems and algorithms based on multiple technologies. This work reviews the techniques for automatic wheal measurement with the aim of pointing out their advantages and disadvantages and the progress in the field. Furthermore, it provides a classification scheme for the different technologies applied. The works discussed herein provide evidence that significant challenges still exist for the development of an automatic wheal measurement system that not only helps allergists in their medical practice but also allows for the standardization of the reading and data exchange. As such, the aim of the work was to serve as guideline for the development of a proper and feasible system.

Medical device for automated prick test reading

X. Justo, I. Diaz, J. J. Gil & G. Gastaminza

IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics; Vol. 22, NO.3, May 2018

ABSTRACT: Allergy tests are routinely performed in most hospitals everyday. However, measuring the outcomes of these tests is still a very laborious manual task. Current methods and systems lack of precision and repeatability. This paper presents a novel mechatronic system that is able to scan a patient’s entire arm and provide allergists with precise measures of wheals for diagnosis. The device is based on 3-D laser technology and specific algorithms have been developed to process the information gathered. This system aims to automate the reading of skin prick tests and make gains in speed, accuracy, and reliability. Several experiments have been performed to evaluate the performance of the system.

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