From drawing board to bedside: More devices are moving from the lab to the office

New and Emerging Technologies in Dermatology (S001)

The newest in dermatology technology ranges from applications that have recently become commercially available to items that might fit better into a sci-fi movie. These will be discussed in nine presentations Friday.

Advances that will be discussed during “New and Emerging Technologies in Dermatology” include reflectance confocal microscopy, teleconfocal microscopy, using lasers to assist drug delivery and scar remodeling, multispectral imaging, Raman spectroscopy, photoacoustic imaging, nonlinear imaging, three-dimensional total body photography, genetic and genomic advances in the diagnosis of melanocytic neoplasms, immunostaining and other innovations in Mohs surgery, and dermoscopy innovations and new devices.

“This is a great symposium to get a flavor of what new technology is out there. If you are interested in something, then you can pursue it more in-depth and communicate with the dermatologist who has given the presentation. Because of the level of sophistication of the topics, we are allowing ample time for questions and answers,” said session director Jane M. Grant-Kels, MD.

One new technology that in the last year has moved from the laboratory to the office is reflectance confocal microscopy. Two presentations will explore using confocal microscopy in your practice. Confocal uses a low-level energy laser beam to capture images of cells and organelles in the skin without doing a biopsy. The Food and Drug Administration has approved its use, and it has been assigned a CPT code for Medicare and Medicaid billing.

“Those of us who have been using this for clinical research are excited because it is something that can now become available for patients routinely,” said Dr. Grant-Kels, professor of dermatology, pathology, and pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

The presentation “Innovative Uses for Medical Application of Lasers” will look at how lasers can enhance the penetration of medications. Other applications becoming more common include scar remodeling and improvements.

“Biophotonics in Dermatology” will explore several experimental applications, including multiphoton microscopy, multispectral imaging, photoacoustic imaging using various light beams and wave beams, and other optical measurements to evaluate skin lesions without performing biopsies.

Total body imaging has been available for several years, but new advances have led to the development of three-dimensional imaging of the entire skin surface, which will be covered in another presentation.

A presentation about the use of new molecular markers to diagnose melanoma is “Refining the Use of FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) and CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) for the Diagnosis of Melanocytic Neoplasms.”

Innovation in Mohs surgery is the subject of another presentation. It will focus on the use of new immunostains to better determine lesion margins.

Giovanni Pellacani, MD, a professor of dermatology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, will speak during the session. He will explore new dermatology technologies used in Europe.

In the final presentation, innovations in dermoscopy and dermoscopy devices will be discussed.

“Some of what we talked about in theory during this session last year is now commercially available this year. That’s exciting. The field is rapidly advancing,” Dr. Grant-Kels said. “Last year, confocal microscopy didn’t have a CPT code and didn’t get reimbursed, and this year it does. The technology is making it to the bedside and is becoming clinically available to people who are technologically interested in advancing their practices.

“Hopefully, some of the newer technologies that are experimental this year will be available to us in our practices to help our patients in the next year or two.”

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