AKA: what’s what little blue dot?
We get asked this all the time. The small blue sticker you see beside wounds in Swift photos is called the HealX. It’s small yet powerful – and is a critical part of how the whole Swift Skin and Wound platform works. Deceptively simple in appearance, the HealX is a carefully engineered, precision manufactured adhesive fiducial marker* (defined below) that has 2 main functions:
- The HealX helps a user take accurate and consistent wound images, regardless of different lighting, body position or camera settings.
- The HealX communicates with the Swift Skin and Wound software when it is captured in the photograph, and provides the visual/spatial context required to enable the application to generate clinically accurate wound measurements – including the length, width, surface area and, now, depth.
In this way, HealX is a big part of what separates wound images taken with Swift Skin and Wound, from common wound photography.
Clinicians love this because not only are they taking better wound images, providing a visual story of the wound healing progression, but the automatic measurements mean they can get rid of the paper ruler – and all the variability in measurements (almost 50%) that comes with it. Wound care has never been this precise, simple or scalable.
*Fiducial Marker Definition: a fiducial marker is an object placed in the field of view of an imaging system, which appears in the image produced, for use as a point of reference or measure.
The Swift HealX
Safe – Meticulously engineered and precisely manufactured in a controlled environment.
Helpful – Helps the clinician position the device for taking the optimal wound photograph.
Accurate – Adjusts the image for accurate size, color and lighting.
Consistent – Produces reliable images even if multiple users are taking photos in different environments.
How Does it Work?
It all starts with the box. A unique, custom designed self-peeling dispenser allows for easy grasping, even with a gloved hand.
Then you place the HealX next to the skin alteration and begin imaging the wound with the Swift Skin and Wound mobile application. This is when the HealX starts to shine, helping guide you to align your mobile device and photograph the wound from the optimal distance and position.
The precision manufactured HealX design elements help the software calibrate the wound photo for color, lighting and size – all in real time on your mobile device. Next, the software automatically and accurately traces the wound and calculates clinically validated measurements. HealX is foundational to ensuring the high accuracy and consistency of these wound images.
You can then easily complete the wound assessment at the bedside, or later at a convenient time and place, always assured that you’ve taken the highest quality image possible.
What’s more, all of these captured data points are available at the next visit, and are also stored in web-based administrative dashboards, accessible from anywhere by authorized users. Now you can accurately track wound healing progression over time, and have a handy visual journey to see how the wound is changing, which studies show is also great for patient engagement. Swift Skin and Wound is might powerful, and it all starts with that little blue dot.
Is it Safe?
Yes! We’ve gone to great length to ensure HealX is safe to use (when taking a couple of common sense precautions).
- Design and Construction: In its design and construction, we build the HealX with quality materials, including certified bio-compatible medical adhesives designed to be light-release for sensitive skin. This means you can be assured HealX will not cause adverse skin reactions or pain. HealX is a deceptively simple looking product, but in reality it’s a carefully engineered piece of technology. With multiple layers, precision color-matched inks and protective coatings, every part of HealX has been designed to ensure it is safe and effective, while being resistant to damage during handling and use.
- Manufacturing: HealX is manufactured under strict quality control and quality management systems. Swift Medical is ISO 13485 certified, which means we adhere to industry-standard quality measures mandated in the design and manufacture of medical devices. We also ensure our suppliers maintain their ISO certification, and audit them ourselves at their facilities to ensure quality and safety are maintained. We complete the manufacturing of HealX ourselves, in-house, with strict sanitation and cleanliness standards.
- Patient Safety: To ensure patient safety, we recommend placing HealX only on intact skin, adjacent to the wound. As a single-use marker, HealX prevents cross-contamination and infection from one wound or patient to another.
- FDA-Registered: HealX is an FDA-registered Class I medical device, as is the Swift Skin and Wound software. Ours is the only FDA-registered device able to calibrate for scale, size and color with a single marker.
Why is it Important?
As a clinician, you will be taking wound images at different times of day, in different lights, and in different rooms. You need to be confident that whether the wound is healing or not, the photographs will reflect the truth. And to do this, wound images must be consistent and comparable.
Perhaps the wound isn’t changing, but uncalibrated photographs taken from different angles or in different lighting might obscure the image to make it seem like a wound has changed size. Knowing the true progress, or lack thereof, of your patients’ wounds is critical to treatment and healing. Decisions are only as good as the data on which they are based. Using calibrated wound photography, with the help of HealX, ensures that any time you take a picture the same colors and scale are used.
Checklist for a Calibrant Sticker
- Is it purposefully designed for clinical wound photography?
- Does it have a clinically validated impact on wound measurement accuracy and consistency?
- Do you know where it’s manufactured? Is it a controlled environment?
- Is it FDA-registered?
- Is it tested safe on skin?
- Is it easy for the clinician to use?
- Has it been used (safely and effectively) on millions of wounds?
- What is the point-of-care experience for patients and clinicians?
Things to Consider When Thinking About a Digital Wound Care Platform
Do they have a calibrant sticker?
Some vendors don’t have a calibrant sticker at all, meaning you won’t be getting the highest quality of standardized images. This could affect assessment quality, treatment decisions, and healing progression. It would even hurt you in court.
Is the calibrant sticker generic from a stationary store?
Some vendors make you purchase generic office stickers from a stationary store. At Swift, we only use office stickers for work. Would you want a non-medical, untested, unstandardized, unregistered, and potentially contaminated sticker next to your wound? You also won’t be able to trust the color of your photos – if the stationary vendor doesn’t control the ink batch to batch, the image can’t be calibrated for color.
Are the stickers very large or are multiple stickers required?
Some vendors have very large sized stickers, or require multiple stickers to be placed. This complicates things at the point of care, since there are areas of the body where it is difficult or impossible to place two stickers or large stickers. The smaller the better. HealX is precise enough to get industry-leading calibration and measurement accuracy in a compact marker.
Got questions about the HealX? Contact us to discuss how we can optimize wound care at your organization.