News Column

Patent Application Titled "Apparatus, System and Method for Objectifying and Accessing Skin Conditions" Published Online

February 13, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor Schwartz, Neal (Ellicott City, MD), filed on July 17, 2012, was made available online on January 30, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to a new apparatus, system and method for rapidly objectifying and accessing skin condition. More particularly the invention includes an apparatus, system and method using numerical data and a novel numerical based system for evaluating severity and treatment success of various skin conditions.

"Various skin conditions are difficult to treat and track the success or failure of such treatment. For example, in the treatment of acne, the treatment periods can be measured in weeks and months. As such a patient, and more importantly, a health care provider, needs a quick and easy way to assess a treatment strategy with readily apparent data.

"Typically, photos of the affected area are taken and compared over specified time frames. However this method does not allow for immediate assessment of a treatment strategy. The photos must be compared every time a new photo is taken. Photos often times cannot be readily utilized as objective data because the process of healing, dark marks, and scars can obscure the overall aesthetic image and confuse both patient and practitioner in regards to the presence or absence of objective progress. This new method eliminates the need for an artistic eye and instead creates objective numerical data that is irrefutable. This objective data is very reassuring to a patient who doubts their treatment choices based on the aesthetic distractions mentioned above.

"The addition of computer programs have helped with the assessment of such treatments in that photos can be compared online. However the current state of the art does not allow for immediate objective assessment of a condition or effectiveness of a particular treatment.

"Therefore, there exists a need for an apparatus, system or method objectifying and accessing skin conditions and treatments."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "In a first aspect the present invention relates generally to a new apparatus, system and method for rapidly objectifying and accessing an acne situation. More particularly the invention includes an apparatus, system and method using numerical data and a novel scale system for evaluating acne severity and treatment success.

"The method includes the steps of collecting multiple photographs of an affected skin condition over a pre-determined time period, identifying specific skin conditions in the affected area for each collected photograph, charting progress of the identified skin conditions for severity and treatment based upon a pre-determined scale, where the predetermined scale measures the skin condition and treatment thereof using a pre-determine numerical data quantitatively assessing the skin conditions in the affected area for each collected photograph, and charting progress of the identified skin conditions in a easy to visualize graph of trajectory over time. This rapid quantitative study clinically represents improvement or lack of improvement in the type of skin conditions that accumulate like acne, warts growths, scabs, dry patches, etc.

"In some embodiments the predetermined scale includes a scaling where 'each mark=1.' A trajectory of progress vs. a lack of progress is the concept in the preferred embodiment where zero is the goal regardless of the scaling system starting number. The preferred embodiment tracks progress of a tangible number of marks. The preferred embodiment can track progress, the lack of progress, trajectory, a starting situation and accumulation where zero bumps and marks equals the ultimate outcome.

"In embodiments where each mark=1, marks can be added up automatically as they are marked by the apparatus giving a final objective number that can be graphed for trajectory. This provides a comprehensive objectified finding to an otherwise confusing aesthetic analysis. The preferred embodiment turns a subjective assessment into an irrefutable objective assessment that can be used as tangible evidence to show progress or lack thereof.

"The apparatus includes a computer system having a self contained memory, a graphical user interface and at least one peripheral device connected thereto, the self contained memory having computer software code, where the software is programmed with instructions to collect multiple photographs of an affected skin condition over a pre-determined time period, identify specific skin conditions in the affected area for each collected photograph, chart progress of the identified skin conditions for tracking progress and treatment based upon a pre-determined scale, where the predetermined scale measures the skin condition and treatment thereof using a pre-determine numerical data.

"The computer system further includes computer software programmed with instructions to allow uploading of a uses photos to an online database that is designed to store such photos in a predetermined catalogue manner. The computer system further includes software programmed with instructions to identify and individually mark specific skin conditions in the uploaded photographs. The computer system further includes computer software programmed with instructions to chart progress of the marked skin conditions and the treatment thereof. The individual marking includes the ability to color code and specifically select a size and shape of the mark for simple referencing and charting.

"As used herein pre-determined time periods include the relative progress over time in general of a particular skin condition ant its treatment. Relative change can be objectified day to day or on a linear graph.

"Also as used herein the word 'treatment' can include 'Progression of treatment' or 'effectiveness of treatment'. Each patient progresses day to day and their progress can be tracked, over a predetermined amount of time for the treatment. What is novel is proving relative improvement over time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the present invention, it is believed the same will be better understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, in a non-limiting fashion, the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the present invention, and in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the Figures, wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram generally illustrating an exemplary distributed computing system with which an embodiment of the present invention can be implemented;

"FIG. 2 is a flow diagram showing a series of steps which can be implemented according to one embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 is a flow diagram showing an additional series of steps which can be implemented according to one embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 is a screen shot of a user's personal website showing acne analytics according one embodiment of the invention; and

"FIG. 5 is a screen shot of a user's personal website showing a before photo of an affected skin area with identified and marked areas thereon according to one embodiment of the invention."

For more information, see this patent application: Schwartz, Neal. Apparatus, System and Method for Objectifying and Accessing Skin Conditions. Filed July 17, 2012 and posted January 30, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1333&p=27&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140123.PD.&OS=PD/20140123&RS=PD/20140123

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Software, Treatment.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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