Exclusive Wound Evaluation – Planimetry Area White Paper
By Gayle Gordillo, MD.
Every segment of medicine has terms that are especially relevant and important to diagnosis and therapy. For healthcare professionals who analyze and treat wounds, planimetric is one of those terms.
Planimetric comes from the word planimetry, which means the measurement of the distances, angles, and areas of a plane. In wound care, planimetric analysis refers to the digital tracing of the perimeter of a wound to calculate wound area
Planimetric analysis is more accurate with less variability than traditional methods of measuring.
A good way to understand the benefits of planimetric analysis is to compare it to the traditional method of analysis, which involves measuring the greatest perpendicular length and width of a wound and then multiplying those two measurements together. This is the formula for calculating the area of a rectangle when the true shape of a wound is much more irregular.
Additionally, a point-to-point approximation, as described above, isn’t consistent from measurement to measurement because the points and process of the measurement can be affected by so many variables—everything from the wound care provider’s interpretation of the greatest perpendicular length and width, to the accuracy of the measuring tool, to how the patient holds her body.
Accurate wound measurements and comparisons are the foundation of all effective wound treatment. Caregivers need to know if the wound is getting larger or smaller over time. They need to understand the wound’s trajectory, i.e. the wound’s rate of closure over time, which is shown by the change in the planimetric area of the wound with each visit.
If there is variability in how the wound is being measured, then physicians, nurses, and other care providers really don’t know if the wound is improving or getting worse.With planimetric analysis, the method of measurement is duplicated every time, enabling far less variability. The care team can measure and compare the wound with greater precision from visit to visit.
With a 50 percent reduction in the wound at four weeks, for example, there is a higher likelihood that it will progress to full healing. However, if the wound is getting bigger, the wound care providers must diagnose why it is getting worse and change the treatment plan. An accurate measurement of planimetric area and its change over time, then, is a critical indicator for gauging the effectiveness of treatment.
An effective and simple new way to get planimetric measurements of wounds is WoundWiseIQ, a HIPPA-compliant mobile app that captures the image of a wound consistently and accurately using technology that most physicians and their staff already have – iPads.
The WoundWiseIQ system uses a photo from an iOS camera to measure the exact planimetric area of a wound and its skin characteristics. The system sets up a consistent and accurate comparison of changes and trends in the wound with previous measurements.
With more accurate data, physicians can effectively evaluate the current course of treatment and assess whether therapy should be changed based on accurate measurements, not approximations. With a tool like WoundWiseIQ it should be easier to recognize the need for changing treatment plans and potentially leading to faster resolution of wounds.