How to tell if Frodo is getting better

News reports on Silhouette Mobile, a new wound imaging system from ARANZ Medical of New Zealand, are all about how the technology is the same as that used to bring characters like Gollum to life in "Lord of the Rings."

Silhouette Mobile from ARANZ Medical in New ZealandNews reports on Silhouette Mobile, a new wound imaging system from ARANZ Medical of New Zealand, are all about how the technology is the same as that used to bring characters like Gollum to life in "Lord of the Rings."

But this is better than a movie.

The device, a finalist for that country's health innovation award, combines lasers and digital photography to create an electronic record of a wound. Over time it gives accurate measurements of healing. And you can hold it in one hand.

Compare this to the current system where nurses trace wounds, on site, onto pieces of paper.

But there is much more involved here. Silhouette is designed as part of a system that can store and manage the data, and synchronize all of a hospital's Silhouette handhelds.

In the movie's production, Weta Workshop turned wax models into digital bits using something like Silhouette, which could then be manipulated to make those characters come to life.

In buying Silhouette you're also standardizing on a file format for imaging wounds, not just buying some boxes. You bet it's expensive. Your hospital board is bound to nickname it "the precious."

The story is worth doing now because Silhouette has just won FDA approval. Expect to see it at a hospital near you soon. Bring popcorn.