J. Song, C. Kim, Y. Yoo
Effective vein visualization is clinically important for various point-of-care applications, such as needle insertion. It can be achieved by utilizing ultrasound imaging or by applying infrared laser excitation and monitoring its absorption. While these approaches can be used for vein visualization, they are not suitable for point-of-care applications because of their cost, time and accessibility. In this article, a new vein visualization method based on multispectral Wiener estimation is proposed and its real-time implementation on a smart phone is presented. In the proposed method, a conventional RGB camera on a commercial smart phone is used to acquire reflectance information from veins, and then Wiener estimation is applied to extract the multispectral information from the veins. To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, an experiment was conducted using a color calibration chart and an average root mean square error of 12.0% was obtained. In addition, an in vivo subcutaneous vein imaging experiment was performed to explore the clinical performance of the smart phone-based Wiener estimation. From the in vivo experiment, the veins at various sites were successfully localized using the reconstructed multispectral images and these results were confirmed by ultrasound B-mode and color Doppler images. These results indicate that the presented multispectral Wiener estimation method can be used for visualizing veins using a commercial smart phone for point-of-care applications (e.g., vein puncture guidance).