This medical video looks at the new treatment available to help detect foot ulcers earlier.
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William Malcolm: Cribbage and life run hand-in-hand because you have to deal. Jennifer Mathews: At age 40, William Malcolm was dealt an unexpected hand. He was diagnosed with diabetes. William Malcolm: It's just an insidious disease. It attacks every part of your body. Jennifer Mathews: One major complication is a foot ulcer that can go undetected until it's too late. Malcolm developed an ulcer on his toe and had to have it amputated. The only way to detect ulcers is to see them, until now. Doctors at Harvard are studying two new tests that identify which patients are likely to have ulcers. The first uses MRI technology to measure muscle energy in the foot. Dr. Aristidis Veves: The idea is that, if the muscles are not working properly, then these patients will be at risk of not healing their ulcers. Jennifer Mathews: Another method uses hyperspectral imaging. Doctors use images of a patient's foot to measure blood flow and early changes in oxygen. Here the blue represents oxygen. Patients with less oxygen in their skin may have a higher risk of having an ulcer that won't heal. Dr. John Giurini: If we can determine early on a patient's ability to heal an ulceration, then we can steer them immediately in the right direction to get that ulcer healed. Jennifer Mathews: That's good news for patients like William. William Malcolm: It doesn't have to be a train wreck. You can get the help you need. Early detection means prevention. Jennifer Mathews: And he hopes that prevention will pay off. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.