Silhouette® supports remote wound management in Buruli ulcer clinical trial

10 April, 2013


At Agogo Presbyterian Hospital in Ghana, Dr Albert Paintsil, plastic surgeon from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, conducts an assessment on a young Buruli ulcer patient. Looking on is Dr Richard Phillips, co-principal investigator of the study and physician specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi.

Silhouette is proving its value in rural Africa as part of an important study by the World Health Organization. WHO is conducting research seeking to simplify and reduce the cost of treatment of Buruli ulcer, one of the most neglected tropical diseases. The three-year study, which started in January 2013, is assessing patients with Buruli ulcer in Ghana and Benin, West Africa, where the disease is endemic. The American Leprosy Missions and the French Raoul Follereau Foundation are providing funding for the study.

As part of this study, researchers are using the innovative Silhouette wound imaging, measurement, documentation and information sharing system developed by ARANZ Medical Ltd. Study clinicians are using SilhouetteStar™ + SilhouetteConnect™ for fast and consistent wound documentation and to track healing at four trial sites in Ghana and Benin. This data is being remotely accessed by WHO and key researchers in France, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA using the SilhouetteCentral™ wound database via the Internet. 

Silhouette is extremely convenient, and we are pleased to be able to prove the value of using such technology in rural hospitals

Dr Kingsley Asiedu, WHO

Dr Kingsley Asiedu, Medical Officer of the WHO Global Buruli Ulcer Initiative at the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases based in Switzerland, says the study seeks to find participants in the remotest parts of West Africa. Here, where there are many poor rural communities, the actual prevalence of the disease is likely to be higher than official figures.

Dr Asiedu says the researchers are determined to understand the full extent of the disease.

“This is the first time we have used Silhouette in a trial like this in Africa and I think that the technology is already simplifying the capture of images and measurements,” he says. “It is extremely convenient, and we are pleased to be able to prove the value of using such technology in rural hospitals in Africa.”

Dr Asiedu says WHO is also exploring the possible use of Silhouette in major Buruli ulcer treatment centers for routine patient care and remote wound management.

Click here for more information about the study.

Click here for links to videos showing the WHO’s work.

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