Idea: Computer Recognition of Vocal Cords

Next week on the floor of EMS World Expo several vendors will be showcasing their video laryngoscopes. I will be asking them if there scopes have built-in vocal cord recognition.

Note: November 2011 article about different types of video laryngoscope devices

Every time I upload photos to Facebook the names of the people in the photo are suggested based on facial recognition feature built into Facebook. (from Mashable Facebook turns on facial recognition tagging)

If Facebook can recognize the people in my photos it seems that it would be pretty easy for software in a video laryngoscope to recognize vocal cords which are probably more homogenous than human faces. Recognition features could include:

  • Graphic enhancement of the cords
  • Arrow pointing to the cords
  • Text that says “insert tube here”

What do you think? Should the video laryngoscope have vocal cord recognition software?

Update February 20, 2013:¬†Read abstract 57: A Novel Video Content Analysis System for Interactive Video Laryngoscopy in the 2013 NAEMSP Scientific Assembly Abstracts. The authors write, “We found that a computer algorithm can be trained to identify airway anatomy with good accuracy. This may allow creation of an interactive laryngoscopy tool to provide procedural guidance and objective skill assessments.”

Photo (I lost the photo in a blog update): the Cowley College MICT Program’s Stairway to Airway lab features a¬†GlideScope Cobalt AVL and Ranger, 27″ Samsung monitor fed from the AVL. Stairway to Airway lab is always available airway manikin and equipment that allows our students and faculty to practice during any downtime. Visit Cowley College EMS to learn about their MICT program and the CCEMTP and The Difficult Airway: EMS courses they host.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.