The aim of the project is to create a comprehensive tool for laryngological and phoniatrical diagnostics. The innovation of the planned solution will result from combining tools for the broadly-understood diagnostics of the larynx and throat region into one modular device. The solution’s main feature will consist in the unique examination methodologies implemented in the devices and the software which will support the work of a physician and also significantly simplify objective diagnosis.
The following detailed aims have been determined for the project:
- Creating a unit for specialist endoscopy for oncological and functional examinations of the larynx composed of a special illuminator, high-speed camera and software for image acquisition from the high-speed camera. There is no appropriate comprehensive solution available in the market whereas some of its partial components offered in the market by foreign producers are beyond the budget of the majority of potential domestic recipients.
- Developing a methodology for analysis of a slow motion video from the high-speed camera in order to obtain objective phoniatrical diagnostics. Currently, a subjective description prepared by a specialist is the only diagnosis. An analysis of each video frame will be completed, the edges of the vocal folds will be identified in the image and their movement will be parameterised. This will certainly be an improvement, a significant development and formalisation of methods currently offered in the international market. The existing solutions offer only the possibility of recording an image from an endoscopic camera and in
some cases also the basic kymographic analysis (without image stabilisation and cropping), while in expensive systems with high-speed cameras – the basic determination of the glottis area without parameterisation.
- Developing a methodology for the exercise (load) test used for examining long-term efficiency of the speech organ in diagnostics of occupational diseases, constituting a serious social and economic problem, as well as in qualification examinations for professions requiring one to work using their voice. Apart from the self-ability to complete diagnostics, the results of such examinations will be used to determine the diagnostic effectiveness of the parameters obtained from analysis of the image of vocal folds within the scope related to examining the efficiency of the speech organ.
- Creating a device for long-term (e.g., 24/7) monitoring of load on the speech organ for evaluating the exposure of the speech organ to overloads and its reaction to load. The device would constitute a supplement of the above-mentioned “stationary” exercise test in efficiency examination and occupational medicine.
- Developing a method of determining the absolute dimensions in the endoscopic images of the larynx, which constitutes the “Holy Grail” in the scope of evaluating the impact of surgical treatments of the larynx region (including removal of neoplastic transformations) on the quality of life of patients. This method will also be highly valuable in the functional assessment of the larynx and evaluation of anatomic predispositions for work in the case of people using the voice professionally, e.g., singers.
- Developing a methodology for automatic adjustment of sharpness for larynx endoscopy. More detailed and more advanced larynx examinations require image with improved quality and it is no longer sufficient to statically adjust the sharpness prior to the examination whereas manual adjustment of sharpness during the examination is practically not feasible.