3 million new cases per year in developed countries.

Acute upper gastrointestinal (UGI) bleeding is a potentially life-threatening abdominal emergency that remains a common cause of emergency admission. The UGI bleeding has 1/1000 incidence rate, which is about 6 million new cases occur each year globally, including 3 million new cases in developed countries. The statistic result shows that UGI bleeding has 3-8% mortality rate. In 2012, the median medical expense per case in USA was $6700 while the total medical expense was around $3.8 billion.

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Upper GI rebleeding hard to find in time.

After an emergent treatment on acute UGI bleeding, rebleeding could still occur. The rebleeding rate on the median-risk level patients is 12% and can be as high as 38% on the high-risk level patients. Most of rebleeding happens within the first 72 hours after treatment. Thus, patients at both median-risk and high-risk level are asked to take a monitoring procedure during their admission. However, the current monitoring method, i.e. measuring body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure, cannot clearly indicate whether or not the rebleeding occurs before blood loss is more than 15% of the total blood volume (around 750-1500 cc blood loss). However, this amount of blood loss could already lead to complications, huge blood transfusion, or operation.

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Real-time UGI rebleeding monitoring system

In order to provide real-time UGI rebleeding detection, we have invented an image based UGI monitoring system. The system consists of a tiny endoscope, a wearable host device, and a mobile display device. The tiny endoscope connect with the host and placed at stomach via nasal tunnel. The host is used to acquire image regularly and send to the mobile device for image analysis. An algorithm built in the mobile device is able to automatically judge whether rebleeding occurs.

Advantages of this monitoring system are (1) efficient and direct monitoring UGI tract, (2) less manpower on regular checking the patient’s condition, and (3) reduce health care expenses.