The invention is a portable imaging system for assessing the condition of hair loss. Optical coherence technology is adopted to provide an accurate, wide view and fast imaging solution. The system provides precise insight on the health of the hair follicle and its potential to regrow new hair, which is crucial for assessing the efficacy of hair regrowth treatments.
Dermoscopy of the scalp is a procedure for the diagnosis of hair loss disorders. Non-invasive imaging techniques, like trichoscopy, are used to get a superficial understanding of the hair shaft by providing magnified images of the scalp. Other solutions include the usage of ultrasound technology but provide a resolution too low to accurately characterize hair follicles. When these non-invasive techniques fail to provide sufficient information, physicians might need to use invasive methods. Moreover, there is still no appropriate method to track the longitudinal changes in alopecia after applying hair regrowth treatments, thus no accurate way of assessing their efficacy.
Inventors at UCI provide a novel, precise and portable system that enhances the whole personalized hair loss treatment experience. The invention uses optical coherence tomography to visualize, localize and count hair follicles, both on and under the skin surface. The device provides insight concerning the health of the hair follicles at different stages, including post-treatment stages, to assess the effectiveness of treatment options.
Second generation working prototype is in development. The initial prototype has been used in clinical trials assessing the efficacy of using platelet rich plasma in hair regrowth treatment.