Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Thinfilm IR Technology Benefits Medicine and Other Applications

The IRIS Vascular Viewer
The IRIS Vascular Viewer incorporates near-infrared LEDs to provide improved vascular access.
Transillumination of the hand.
Light source for the IRIS Vascular Viewer is provided by OSRAM Opto Semiconductors.

By Stacey Meacham

On the light source side, OSRAM is working to increase the power of the system 10-fold. "If you can give more power you can do more things. If you can shine the light into it, you can see it. Other medical applications become possible," said Leahy.

Additional applications for the high-powered OSRAM LED are being explored, with one being battlefield triage. "One major problem the military encounters is getting an IV started on the battlefield at night," said Leahy. Medics could carry disposable IR light source to stick to the arm of the patient, and then use their night vision goggles to see the vascular structures making it easier to provide life saving medical care. Also, the medics would no longer need perfect conditions when inserting a central line in wounded soldiers. The intensive infrared lighting systems pave the way for a safer environment both through the life-saving medical needs administered in the field, and in the fact that a visible light source is not needed during the procedure that could make the medic and patient targets. This application is still under development.

Another potential application for intense infrared LED is enhanced point-to-point communication. Mini DRAGONS are already on the market in family entertainment systems. Cordless headsets for DVD and gaming systems are enhanced because of the LED's strong single light.

The automotive sector is also seeing benefits from this technology in the form of active night vision systems. Multiple emitters are mounted on the headlights of a car, making it possible to see up to a half mile ahead. This image can then be captured and projected onto the windshield of the car using a HUD system.

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