A diagnosis. The act of identifying a disease based on its signs and symptoms. But, what happens when the person describing the symptoms is too young, or too scared, to voice the truth? Every year, more than 700,000 children are reported physically abused in the United States, while tens of thousands more instances go undetected.
One of the biggest challenges doctors face in recognizing child abuse is in aligning the patient's story with the physical evidence in front of them. Currently, the only way to correctly estimate the age of a bruise is by its physical appearance. Even for experienced physicians, this is an incredibly difficult task.
Notre Dame's Dean of Science, Greg Crawford, is working with a team of researchers from Notre Dame and Hasbro Hospital in Rhode Island to develop a special camera that instantly and accurately detects the age of a bruise, providing doctors with key information to validate a patient or caregiver's story.