The use of telemedicine in burn care: Development of a mobile system for TBSA documentation and remote assessment

Daryousch Parvizi, M. Giretzlehner, J. Dirnberger, R. Owen, H. L. Haller, M. V. Schintler, P. Wurzer, D. B. Lumenta, L. P. Kamolz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The requirements for accurate documentation within the process of burn assessment have increased dramatically over the years. TBSA (total body surface area) and burn depth are commonly determined by visual inspection, especially in the emergency or acute care setting. However, inexperience often results in incorrect estimation of these factors. In 2001, BurnCase 3D was initiated in order to develop a tool for objective burn assessment and documentation on mobile devices (Apple I Phone TM). The centerpiece is a 3D model representing the actual patient. At two international burn meetings, a survey containing three pictures of patients was conducted and this data was collected. A patient-specific 3D model adapted to the height and weight of the real patient was created and the digital picture was superimposed in the computer system. The burns were transferred to the model and the TBSA in % was calculated by the software BurnCase 3D. The preferred methods of the 80 respondents for burn extent estimation were: the Rule of Nines (38%), the Rule of Palm (37%) and the Lund-Browder chart (18%). Analysis showed very high deviations of TBSA within the participants, even among the group of experts. In comparison to a computer-aided method we found massive overestimation of up to 230%. The use of BurnCase 3D could have a true impact on the quality of treatment in burns. In the acute care setting for burn injuries, telemedicine has great potential to help guide decisions regarding triage and transfer based on TBSA, burn depth, patient age and injury mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Burns and Fire Disasters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Application
  • Burn injuries
  • BurnCase 3D
  • TBSA
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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