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Handheld, point-of-care laser speckle imaging.


Laser speckle imaging (LSI) enables measurement of relative changes in blood flow in biological tissues. We postulate that a point-of-care form factor will lower barriers to routine clinical use of LSI. Here, we describe a first-generation handheld LSI device based on a tablet computer. The coefficient of variation of speckle contrast was < 2% after averaging imaging data collected over an acquisition period of 5.3 s. With a single, experienced user, handheld motion artifacts had a negligible effect on data collection. With operation by multiple users, we did not identify any significant difference (p > 0.05) between the measured speckle contrast values using either a handheld or mounted configuration. In vivo data collected during occlusion experiments demonstrate that a handheld LSI is capable of both quantitative and qualitative assessment of changes in blood flow. Finally, as a practical application of handheld LSI, we collected data from a 53-day-old neonate with confirmed compromised blood flow in the hand. We readily identified with LSI a region of diminished blood flow in the thumb of the affected hand. Our data collectively suggest that handheld LSI is a promising technique to enable clinicians to obtain point-of-care measurements of blood flow.

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